By Emmy Yi
Technologies promising huge growth such as Artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, machine learning, high-performance computing, and telematics are ratcheting up pressure on semiconductor manufacturers in the race among product makers to accelerate time to market and capture share. To support rapidly evolving end markets for these and other technologies that are key drivers of industry growth, chipmakers are boosting semiconductor performance, producing more wafer sizes and improving manufacturing efficiency.
At the same time, chip manufacturers must enable unprecedented end-product reliability for exploding markets such as automotive and healthcare markets where, with lives at stake, products can’t afford even the slightest lapse in reliability. In response, chip suppliers are retooling their manufacturing processes to support 3D stacking, package-level integration and miniaturization. But they must do more. Bringing high efficiency to all phases of manufacturing including design and materials is the new imperative.
The key to quality management is not in the traditional post-production testing and damage control but in prevention. Delivering the highest quality and reliability must start in the earliest stages of production with manufacturing and testing design – an approach that reduces not only the cost of downstream testing but minimizes product defects that can damage a supplier’s credibility and lead to lost business.
To that end, SEMI has launched its Quality Assurance Task Force consisting of representatives from industry leaders such as Infineon, NXP, TSMC, UMC, ASE, Unimicron, and GCE. The task force’s goal is to establish quality requirements spanning the supply chain to meet new, higher reliability standards and help safeguard Taiwan’s competitive edge in the global microelectronics industry. Meeting for the first time earlier this month, the companies exchanged ideas for improving quality management in semiconductor manufacturing and ultimately deliver the reliability the market needs.
The company representatives unanimously agreed that the first step is to ensure a QA-friendly environment with quality requirements for various stages of chipmaking ranging from design, manufacturing, packaging and testing to even PCB and CCL production. The SEMI Quality Assurance Task Force this year plans to build on its current membership by enlisting companies from various fields to address critical areas of reliability including statistical process control, surface-mount-technology-based board level reliability control, and 0 dppm quality control for automotive chips.
“SEMI’s comprehensive platform of exhibitions, programs, forums, trade meetings and matchmaking events is instrumental in bringing together key industry players to enhance quality management practices and meet the growing reliability requirements of the end markets we serve,” said Terry Tsao, chief marketing officer at SEMI and president of SEMI Taiwan. “The Quality Assurance Task Force is a shining example of how SEMI continues to support the crucial role of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry in the international community.”
For more information about the SEMI Quality Assurance Task Force or to become a member, please contact Emmy Yi at [email protected].
Emmy Yi is a marketing specialist at SEMI Taiwan.