Given the inherently complex nature of semiconductor manufacturing, chip makers are increasingly using automated software systems to make fabs more intelligent and responsive, with the ultimate goal of improving productivity and yield.
Since SmartFactory launched earlier this year, I thought I’d take the time to discuss what we’ve been hearing about the software.
Applied Materials’ SmartFactory is an MES software solution tailored to the unique needs of crystalline silicon (cSi) manufacturing and thus represents an opportunity to achieve significant improvements in quality of product and operations without costly investment in hardware systems.
The solar manufacturing industry is facing more pressure for a technology ramp-up than any other semiconductor-related industry at this time. This ramp-up is taking place in an environment where economic conditions force a major focus on cost savings and rapid return-on-investment.
Luckily, the solar industry has many similarities to the more mature LCD flat panel display and integrated circuit industries —enabling us to leverage innovation and solutions from these sister industries.