Productivity challenges identified during ISMI Manufacturing Week

Semiconductor manufacturers identified key factory productivity challenges that need to be addressed and shared effective solutions they will need to stay leading-edge and competitive amid turbulent industry transitions during the recent ISMI Manufacturing Week.

According to ISMI, in the face of challenges posed by technical innovations in materials and processes as well as the pressure for continued cost-competitive manufacturing, the industry will need to determine how, over the next five years, it will tackle the considerable issues related to factory lifetime extension for 200 mm and 300 mm, factory and equipment complexities for planar and vertical devices, 450 mm capability, EUV lithography, and III-V materials on Silicon. To address these issues, ISMI programs are focused on driving solutions for enhanced factory operations through automation, emerging process capabilities, factory lifetime extension, and fab materials supply and cost management.

This year’s ISMI’s Manufacturing Week featured 15 interactive sessions and 87 presentations covering critical process technologies and fab productivity issues and solutions relating to equipment productivity, ESH compliance, factory automation, and continuous performance improvement.

“This year’s conference focused on reducing IC production costs through advances in equipment, processes, conservation resources, fab design, and manufacturing methods,” said Sanjay Rajuru, ISMI Director. “ISMI members shared equipment software and hardware experiences, and exchanged real-time feedback on high value items that will be applied to their factories for further investigation and implementation.”

ISMI will work jointly with its members and equipment suppliers to develop concrete solutions to top industry challenges identified throughout the conference. Key issues and success stories presented by ISMI member companies include:

Equipment Productivity:

  • A new in-house scrubber design process to mitigate tool downtime.
  • A prognostics and health management approach to vacuum pumps is necessary to avoid extended tool downtime.
  • Top processing issues for improving electrostatic chuck performance and wafer micro-arcing reduction through enhanced detection methods and defect reduction techniques.

Equipment Variation Control:

  • Alignment of best known methods for fault detection and control performance data to six sigma limits.
  • Increasing chemical lifetime 50 percent by correlating etch rate to lifetime of the chemicals.
  • Normalizing chemical mechanical polishing pad change timing by measuring real-time consumption.

Equipment Obsolescence:

  • Financial and productivity impact of tool obsolescence on specific semiconductor equipment.
  • Alternate supply chain solutions for difficult-to-source or obsolete parts.

 Energy Conservation:

  • Overall abatement and energy reduction target strategies.
  • Clogging and reliability from by-product formation and issues with recirculation pumps and heaters.
  • Idle mode implementation with the tool status communicated by gas flows.
  • Existing and upcoming code requirements impacting toxic gas monitoring (TGM) design, system technologies and placement strategies for TGM sensors, and risk based TGM system configurations.

The 2011 ISMI Excellence award was given to Takashi Aoyagi, the former director of the Naka Factory and currently president and COO of Renesas Semiconductor Engineering Corp. The award was given in recognition for his leadership in guiding the team for the recovery of one of Renesas’ wafer fabrication sites, the Naka factory, which was heavily damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

As a member driven consortium, ISMI is working cooperatively with more than 20 other leading chip maker and supplier members to continuously evaluate and refresh ISMI’s program content, which includes cycle time reduction, equipment productivity improvement, fab benchmarking, green initiatives, regulatory impacts, and resource conservation. In addition, ISMI and its members are collaborating with a broad network of companies, consortia, universities, national laboratories, and associations from around the world on innovative manufacturing and ESH technology solutions. ISMI membership is open to all semiconductor manufacturers and suppliers.

 

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