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The free factory: cutting cycle time and gaining output

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1 Author(s)
Page, M. ; Texas Instrum. Inc., Dallas, TX, USA

In 1992 Texas Instruments launched a program to maximize the throughput in its existing wafer fabrication facilities by improving yields, reducing cycle times and increasing the predictability of the manufacturing process. It was a monumental effort, involving everyone in TI's Semiconductor Group worldwide, from process technicians on the factory floor, to design engineers, to R&D scientists to top executives. TI's “Free Fab” initiative was aimed at every process, every manufacturing step from design to finished product in every TI semiconductor manufacturing facility worldwide. The challenges were diverse spanning standardized commodity product processes as well as customized product processes, like digital signal processors. The results have been dramatic. By 1994, TI had gained the equivalent of a complete factory in output and, by end of 1995 a second “free” factory had been gained, all from productivity improvements. Cycle times have been cut from 140 days on a custom product to 60 days and on-time delivery is the best in the industry at over 95 percent. While the results are significant, the bigger challenge now is keep the organization focused on continued improvement in yields, cycle times and predictability

Published in:

Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference and Workshop, 1996. ASMC 96 Proceedings. IEEE/SEMI 1996

Date of Conference:

12-14 Nov 1996