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Semantically Connected Semiconductor Supply Chains

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SC3 (Semantically Connected Semiconductor Supply Chains)

Reporting period: 2020-10-01 to 2021-09-30

The semiconductor industry is characterised by complex supply chain structures. A common language and structure has to be developed and enrolled to enable smooth collaboration among different supply chain participants in this B2B (business to business) environment. SC³ relies on enabling a collaboration of industrial as well as academic stakeholders to ensure interoperability among semiconductor companies, and further industrial domains. SC³ implements an industrial reference platform as a de-facto standard (frequently used). This framework acts as a key enabler for realising an agile development - validation - refinement loop of a top-level ontology i.e. Digital Reference (DR). DR comprises a combination of different ontologies of semiconductor supply chains and supply chains containing semiconductors. To that end, the framework will support ontology governance e.g. development, archiving and indexing as well as the validation of high quality and interlinked ontologies and taxonomies. SC³ will incrementally add domain knowledge to the DR; the extended version of DR covers semiconductor domain vocabulary and related sub domains. The platform allows the involvement of all stakeholder groups in a customised fashion and proposes iterative engaging approaches for each community. The DR allows modularly including, developing and extending domain knowledge to provide a connected supply network structure.

The project will follow a deliberate piloting methodology in order to deliver the demonstrators needed as proof-of-concept and for evaluation of project’s measurable objectives. SC³ activities will have a strong focus on sustainability and uptake of the project results, this includes on the one hand to keep the established community alive and on the other hand that the semiconductor data documentation, (i.e. the Generic Semiconductor Data Model) will be further developed and maintained even after the project duration.
The requirements of stakeholders are currently collected and categorized. In the first period, we have set up (mostly internal) workshops to discuss those requirements within the industrial partners. The collection, categorization and delimitation will be subject of the next reporting period. Nevertheless, due to the ongoing COVID-situation, we were forced to postpone some activities until personal meetings are allowed and morally defensible again.

In view of designing and implementing new ontologies, in the first period, mainly activities were directed towards extending the top-level model/ontology with new ontologies from semiconductor and others domains. These extensions require also alignment and integration activities. The development of several new ontologies was initiated by the involved partners. Prior to the design of the new ontologies, the existing literature on ontologies for semiconductor manufacturing and more general supply chains was reviewed. Moreover, several interviews with experts in semiconductor supply chains from different companies were conducted.

Various parts of the SC³ Ontology framework were implemented. The SC³ Ontology framework platform already provides functionalities related to ontology governance, like the ability to host ontologies and to manage them for further processing and visualizations. Essentially, it provides a customizable tool that realizes a hybrid ontology visualization mode. Furthermore, we have implemented a set of interlinked required platform functionalities. These are an upload mechanism that allows the integration of existing ontologies into the portal. The upload is coupled to a first authorization and authentication infrastructure, that grants only privileged roles access to the uploading functionality.

The key achievements towards evaluation of the industrial platform and the ontology ecosystem are: The Digital Reference has been improved, both its structure and linguistic layer; the Digital Reference has been extended; CO2 ontology implementation can be a possible future link to the automotive industry; the collaborative update process supported by blockchain storage works well and first demonstrators have been proposed. To assure better consistency and readability of the Digital Reference and other ontologies we created Ontology Naming Conventions Best Practices. This document contains basic linguistic rules for ontology creating. Moreover, we worked on the topic of time modelling in ontologies. Also, we discussed versioning tools for the Digital Reference and reviewed open source platform options for the future publishing of ontologies. We started updating Digital Reference weekly, updates are communicated to all consortium members via e-mail and can be discussed during regular team meetings.

We have presented our SC3 solution and current state of its implementation in various workshops, webinars, and project external meetings.
SC³ will build a suitable infrastructure and hosting mechanisms to access the Digital Reference in an open yet suitably controlled and secured manner. During the SC³, regular meetings of stakeholders with a view to management are established. The meeting ensure that the latest updates of the results are shown to the management and feedback can be collected to enrol version updates. One major impact of the SC³ is to ensure that other relevant EU funded projects can access the platform. SC³ delivers standardised data documentation ensuring interoperability between industries. We make sure, that the platform contains the semiconductor domain as a core industrial domain. Furthermore, the platform is extended to other domains containing semiconductors as well, to cover the entire supply chain. During the SC³ project, the Digital Reference becomes the lingua franca for other Lighthouse initiatives like Mobility.E Health.E and Industry4.E. Therefore, the Digital Reference will be widely spread to the relevant communities. One major goal of the SC³ is to make the platform a self-sustaining one. Therefore, a value data sharing model will be implemented to generate income, which makes the platform self-sustaining in the end. SC³ will be supporting standardisations at the end of the project. Therefore, two main standards shall be implemented, in particular IEC 61508 and IEC 61511. IEC 61508 is used as the basic functional safety standard and IEC61511 is used as the Industrial Automation and Control Security Standard. Through the SC³, the Digital Reference platform as an open self-evolving de-central organized standard is developed. Therefore, domain knowledge will be incrementally added to the Digital Reference. SC³ beyond cooperating with relevant industry stakeholders and standardisation bodies, will closely monitor and interact with EU initiatives. SC³ will not only deliver ontologies and taxonomies documentation for all by the call targeted domains. It will maintain backwards compatibility where necessary, but it will also develop a comprehensive framework for the long-term relevance of the implementation. SC³ delivers standardised data documentation ensuring interoperability between industries. Capitalizing on the long-standing partners domain experience, SC³ will catalogue all existing ontologies along with their pros and cons. The SC³’s framework will incorporate all useful information evolving the necessary part while it will create a consistent migration path.
SC3 project concept to foster cooperation with different stakeholders
SC3 roadmap to achieve project results