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Edwards XCEDE upgrades – protecting your productivity

Producing the most advanced microchips involves highly complex chemical and physical processes, materials, and gases.

Louise Hosking, Service Product Manager at Edwards discusses Edwards XCEDE protection technology and how it’s minimising risk and supporting our customers productivity targets.

Producing the most advanced microchips involves highly complex chemical and physical processes and materials, as well as gases, so the management of hazardous byproducts is really important. The more advanced the technology, the more significant the industrial challenge, so every moment the customer isn’t producing, prevents them from performing in their market, when they need to be as, or more, competitive and efficient than their competitors.

Edwards’ reputation for, and history of, innovation
Many of the markets and applications we serve are very dynamic and have constantly changing and challenging requirements for Edwards’ products. Innovation is the cornerstone of sustained economic growth and prosperity. It’s the use of new ideas that lead to the making of new products or services, or even a new process.

Having the ambition and desire to develop innovative solutions is a real critical enabler for Edwards. But also, for our customers to be innovative, means to be ahead of the times and produce something like nothing experienced or created before.

XCEDE protection technology is just one example of Edwards’ commitment to continuous improvement and to stay ahead of all the new vacuum-critical applications like etch. Edwards has developed a stream of successful innovations and new products and technologies, and in fact today we have over 20 different principles for creating vacuum and abating gases and a portfolio of 2,300 active granted and pending patents.

The chamber challenge
On harsh applications like etch we see condensable and corrosive gases often in the chamber at the same time so to maintain the vacuum in the chamber and to meet productivity expectations there is a need to manage the condensable by-products that could stop wafer throughput.

Two benefits of XCEDE

The real innovation challenge here was to increase the wafer throughput or productivity, but also to give the customer a reduced cost of ownership.

This was achieved by developing an industry-leading pump protection technology. Then, using Edwards global presence, to integrate this unique product into the kind of normal upgrade and service times.

In fact, customers benefit immediately by upgrading their pump fleet because XCEDE delivers what is set out to do:

  •  longer more predictable pump life
  • a lower overall cost of ownership

Requalifying not required
Upgraded pumps will return to the customer in an identical state, apart from the XCEDE technology, meaning we don’t change the performance of the product and it will therefore be in the same form, fit and function of the original pump. This means there is no need to re-qualify the pump. By applying XCEDE our customers get more value from their existing products, and with normal service lead times they get to keep control of their assets and fit the upgrade into their schedule.

The customer will see:

  • improved pump reliability and wafer throughput, with a reduced mean time between services
  • a longer more predictable pump life
  • normal service lead times for upgrades
  • overall lower total cost of ownership

Unmatched global service
Edwards has a strong global presence, meaning we’re able to upgrade your pump in the normal service lead time and have application and field service teams ready to assist in all regions. XCEDE upgrades not only let our customers improve the mean time between services, but they can have legacy pumps upgraded with no need to requalify the product.

Continuous upgrade supply
We have worked with our internal R&D teams to develop this class-leading protection technology. This is coupled with our state-of-the-art, fully automated XCEDE manufacturing line, which ensures a continuous, high quality supply to our customers, enabling their innovation.

To continue the conversation and explore the topic further, Louise Hosking’s interactive paper on XCEDE is available to download for desktop and mobile below.

Download interactive document.

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