A 16 year veteran of the semiconductor industry, David has been successful in bringing multiple innovative software products to market in the semiconductor, display, and solar industries. David has also done extensive work in the areas of material handling controls, RFID, and advanced short-interval scheduling.
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 SmartSched software doesn’t just react to changing fab conditions; it peers into the future. This video shows how it works.
There is a strong need to use optimization systems and processes to better match lots and tools, especially in photolithography which is a known bottleneck area. Keeping litho tools fully utilized and reducing wafer cycle time is key to meeting on-time customer delivery. These benefits are realized by repeatedly creating new litho schedules based on the changing state of the fab. Prediction provides a snapshot of the future, allowing better lot grouping and increased tool utilization.