The objective of this project was to develop concepts and to realise practical solutions to enable efficient and cost-effective manufacturing to be carried out with respect to yield, cycle time, flexibility of products and processes, equipment utilisation and labour productivity. Traditional manufacturing technology, as well as advanced production methods, will be addressed with the aim of mastering the situation in the production environment for standard IC high-volume manufacturing, and for custom or semi-custom ICs with quick turnaround manufacturing requirements.
The objective of this project is to develop concepts and to realise practical solutions that will enable efficient and cost effective manufacturing to be carried out with respect to yield, cycle time, flexibility of products and processes, equipment utilisation and labour productivity.
Traditional manufacturing technology, as well as advanced production methods, are addressed with the aim of mastering the situation in the production environment for standard integrated circuit (IC) high volume manufacturing and for custom for semicustom ICs with quick turnaround manufacturing requirements.
The project started with an evaluation and elaboration of the technical specifications of the production factors involved, an investigation of cleanroom techniques and the improvement of the current manufacturing of masks and reticles.
The project focuses on the following 4 topics:
automation and integration;
About 400 individual manufacturing problems for the optimisation of production in the focus topics were successfully addressed. The main objectives were to optimise 1.0 micron processing and define manufacturing requirements for 0.5 micron processes, both of which have been achieved as scheduled.
The project focused on the following four topics:
- Equipment Engineering
Equipment selection and cooperation with suppliers, preferably on a European basis. Strategic decision making for new equipment installation, modifications and improvements. In-time acquisition of manufacturing experience on equipment for larger wafer sizes. Investigation of the potential for cost reduction by: design; dimensions and materials of equipment; particle reduction by surface finish; availability improvement by real time process control; self-diagnostics; lot and wafer traceability.
- Automation and Integration
Material flow and management system for high product mix and varying lot sizes. CAM and network hierarchy. Flexible manufacturing cells. Communication interfaces. Modelling of manufacturing figures of merit, ie influences of rework, microprocessing, equipment idle time, equipment reliability, awareness of cycle time, inventory, and capacity of manufacturing lines. Investigations on optimised operator time utilisation in a fab environment.
Optimisation of the total manufacturing environment through manufacturing design (theoretical throughput time, fab layout, process mix, lot sizes, wafer size, simulation tools). Investigation and optimisation of manufacturing efficiency (productivity improvement, cost reduction), equipment utilisation, people utilisation, rework reduction, WIP management.
- Cleanroom Technology
Total isolation of materials (wafer, dice) from operators. Clean-room design, material selection, air-flow control for particle control. Detection of ultra-small particles. Analysis of airborne, sticking and liquid-suspended particles. Improvement of existing facility monitoring systems. Measures for the minimisation of outgoing process media, heat and power dissipation, environmental protection.
Waste management, including specifications for cleaning techniques, installations, and equipment.
- Mask Making
Mask technology for quick turnaround IC production: CAM including mask and reticle identification for mask, process and lot allocation, mask process automation and statistical process control (SPC), high-precision mask repair for clear and opaque defects, pellicle technology, improvement of materials for advanced exposure techniques, and mask-cleaning technology. Automated mask and reticle management and storage.
Work has started with 1.0/0.7 micron technology requirements (during the start-up phase) and aims to ultimately address 0.5/0.3 micron manufacturing requirements.
SN2 2QW Swindon
6534 AE Nijmegen
W1N 3AA London