More than 2.5 million terabytes of “Big Data” is created every day – a truly astronomical sum. The challenge is how to extract strategic insight and actionable information from these mountains of data.
Semiconductor Manufacturing and Design magazine recently examined Big Data in microchip fabrication. The article includes perspectives from leading chipmakers and discusses Applied’s remarkable data-mining technology as a solution.
Once upon a time, microchips were (relatively) simple and so was servicing the machines used to make them: if a machine stopped working, you called a technician. We call this break/fix model Service 1.0.
As chips became more sophisticated, instead of just repairing the equipment, Service 2.0 aimed to make it faster and more efficient.
Today, chips are almost unimaginably complex and we’re on the brink of Service 3.0, where virtually everything in the fab is monitored to identify subtle shifts that could affect chip performance.
Over the last 50 years computing power has migrated from the mainframe, to the desktop, to the laptop, and now, with almost-equivalent computing capability, onto mobile devices, tablets, and smart phones.
And tomorrow? If you were in Scottsdale, AZ in November for the now semi-annual MEMS Executive Congress, you would have heard about the latest concepts in personal computing – and I mean really personal. Think body art that collects data…well, not quite body art, but an array of patches, arm bands, watches, jewelry and more, all with one goal in mind – to help quantify every aspect of our daily lives!
It gives me great pleasure to share that Applied Materials has once again been named to the InformationWeek 500 list of business technology innovators for delivering a customized, highly searchable knowledge management portal for Applied field service engineers.
The prestigious list is published annually by InformationWeek and this year’s list spotlights how mobile devices, cloud computing and big data analytics are changing the landscape for IT organizations. Not only is the IT organization now responsible for just tech support–it is also a strategic partner embedded into business products and services.
The Applied Rapid Knowledge (ARK) portal was recognized for increasing work efficiency and stream-lining product-related document searches, enabling field service engineers to better support customer equipment.
In 1993, when the internet was mostly a science experiment, Applied shipped a new P5000 CVD system to the Motorola SPS (now Freescale) Oak Hill fab in Austin, Texas -- where it was used to produce processors for Apple computers. A year later, Motorola installed its second P5000 system. Fast forward 20 years and you’ll find both tools on the production line and still running!
Together, the two P5000s have processed an astounding 4.4 million wafers -- or over a billion chips. Continually modified and upgraded over the years with new hardware and software improvements through the Applied Global Services (AGS) organization, these two tools have gallantly served a number of technology nodes and applications at Freescale.
Anyone who’s anyone in the Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) community descended upon Zurich in Switzerland earlier this month for the first ever European MEMS Executive Congress. Organized by the MEMS Industry Group (MIG), and sponsored in part by Applied Materials, the congress draws together executives from across the MEMS value chain to discuss topics ranging from end-user applications to new technologies and current go-to-market strategies for MEMS.
The Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) – Executive Congress is now in its seventh year and with over 200 people in planned attendance, this years’ gathering is promising to be the largest in the history of the event. Organized by the MEMS Industry Group (MIG), executive congress is focused on drawing together executives from across the MEMS supply chain to meet and discuss topics ranging from end-user applications to new technologies and current go-to-market strategies for MEMS.
This is the last post in a series running this week looking at the interrelated building blocks that are key contributors to producing solar modules at a cost of less than US$1 per watt.
Advances in Automation
Many solar factories today operate with little or no tool or factory automation. Those which have automation on individual tools often use custom hardware and software which are expensive to create, acquire and install, and are labor-intensive to maintain. The solar industry is increasingly turning to well-known productivity methods from other high-volume manufacturing industries, including intelligent, affordable factory and process control software.
A lot more news has been published recently about large LED wafer production. LEDs Magazine reported that Philips Lumileds and Lextar Electronics are now running production on 150-mm wafers and that there is another un-named Asian company using 150-mm sapphire wafers supplied by Rubicon Technology. Rubicon also recently announced the availability of 300-mm Sapphire wafers for LED production. All this makes me think that this is only the first wave in what will be a deluge of announcements for large wafer size production in LED.
These announcements got me thinking about the technology that will be required to support production on these larger size wafers. Is there something small wafer manufacturers can leverage to derive some of the benefits of the larger wafers before they actually transition to these in their factories?
Yingli Green Energy granted Applied Materials its "Special Contribution Award" for excellence in optimizing the efficiency and productivity of its solar photovoltaic (PV) cell manufacturing operations in Baoding, Hebei province, China.
Applied Materials was one of only two equipment manufacturers among Yingli’s 200 suppliers to win this prestigious award. This was the highest honor given to Yingli’s business partners during its 1st Supplier Conference held recently in Baoding, China.
The annual PV Taiwan exhibition was held in Taipei October 26-28 with a three day exhibition and a two day forum. Backed by the Taiwan government and organized by SEMI, the PV Taiwan Forum featured speakers and materials discussing polysilicon, thin film, HCPV, OPV and next-generation PV technologies. Twenty industrial leaders, including heads of businesses from Gintech, Manz, Motech, Solarbuzz and SpectroLab, spoke at the forum to share their latest developments, market insights and overall trends.
The awards come as customers demand energy reductions beyond roadmap deliverables for 2012 – typically 30%. Subfab energy accounts for about 40% of total factory energy consumption during device production.