Increasing Productivity with Managed Services
Delivering desired process results on a wafer with high productivity is essential to meeting yield and cost targets. Applied Managed Service offerings can help achieve this and increase tool efficiency by managing corrective and preventive maintenance and fielding a team of technical experts to improve tool performance.
In this blog, I provide an example of how a Managed Service solution we offer for our VIISta™ ion implanters met a tool uptime commitment for a customer and reduced variability for one of the most complex processes found in a fab.
The number of implant steps is increasing as chips become more advanced. Today, an integrated circuit featuring embedded memory can require more than 60 implant steps. Many of these are pivotal to the semiconductor device’s performance and require the use of high-current, medium-current and high-energy implanters. This is why it’s so important for these tools to meet advanced node requirements and deliver high yield and the highest productivity.
The Managed Service offering for the VIISta implant tool set is a new expert service capable of boosting the productivity of VIISta tools by increasing system uptime by 3%-5% and additionally increasing productive hours by 3%-5%.
Implant customers can face a myriad of manufacturing challenges to meet productivity goals, ranging from managing and effectively using the huge amount of control signal data generated by the tools in their fabs, to having the expertise needed to work on such advanced systems. They may also want to move new capabilities into high-volume production as fast as possible. Managed Service solutions can handle these complexity issues and optimize implant tools on-site in the fab.
For ion implant tools, productivity benefits can derive from sophisticated analytical models, allowing nearly real-time monitoring of the tool. Additionally, the beam tuning models that match tools establish best performance benchmarks with a corresponding increase in tool productive hours. Chipmakers stand to gain with more wafers out, tools matched for repeatable results and greater productivity from reduced planned and unplanned downtime events.
Applied validated the results of our Implant Managed Service solutions at leading customer fabs. For example, the yearly outcome across a fleet of six medium-current implanters achieved an increase in the tool uptime and improved wafer output. Uptime was increased by 4.5% based on SEMI E10 standards. In addition to increased productivity from more tool uptime, beam tuning improvements delivered an additional 4.2% of productive hours for the fleet, resulting in 71,000 additional wafers per tool, per year.
Once customers’ tool data is collected and analyzed, and tools optimized, the advantages of this service capability to their development roadmap is significant. The investment in data modeling and Managed Service offerings can solve some of the most difficult problems facing manufacturers, making it a great partnership model.
To learn more about this service capability, please read my full article published in the Nanochip Fab Solutions Journal.