Operational Excellence

Increasing pressure to reach higher levels of yield across processing tools

This foundry faces continual pressure to reduce time-to-money. Consumer demand to make latest innovations marketable as fast as possible is increasing. A new technology development that took two years to first silicon, now may only have a 3-6 month window to pay its development costs back. Process tools need to have 80%-90% yield as soon as possible.

Yield levels on several processing tools weren’t achieving their target but repeat investigations didn’t show a clear cause. On one process tool, the wafer throughput was at 10% of its peers. The process and equipment engineers needed to investigate further to find hidden variables that could be jeopardizing performance.

Eliminating the risk of a pump fault

As technology nodes were introduced, process chemistries were becoming harsher on pumps and forcing the SubFab team to shorten pump maintenance intervals dramatically. Within a year, frequency of pump maintenance schedules went from 2-3 years to twice a week. Not only did the Fab suffer increased costs associated with maintenance and pump swaps, but the process tools lost 4-8 hours production time at each event. Frustratingly increased maintenance wasn’t enough to eliminate the risk of an unexpected pump fault which often resulted in expensive downtime and wafer loss.

After experiencing a pump failure just a few weeks after a maintenance cycle, the SubFab team approached our team for help.

Find out how this foundry increased production by eliminating risk from the SubFab.

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