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.
Chipmaking is arguably the most complex manufacturing operation in human history. To illustrate this:
A modern megafab – one that processes over a million wafers a year – contains hundreds of individual machines and turns out billions of finished chips a year
It can take over 750 individual process steps to make a modern microprocessor
The number of different types of chips being made simultaneously is growing while adding more layers to each one. As technology continues to progress the size of the chips are shrinking and manufacturing constraints are increasing
How is this complexity handled? By computers, of course, using a similarly complex piece of software called a manufacturing execution system (MES) which keeps track of every machine and every wafer in the fab.
At Applied Materials, we’ve taken software automation to the next level. Our...
My unofficial 2010 Solar Predictions. Before we start, an author’s safe harbor statement: these predictions are necessarily forward-looking statements and, since the future can be temperamental, any prediction that does not exactly match can and will be graciously excused.