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This paper presents a decision-making model describing the automated material handling system (AMHS) variables that should be incorporated in the strategic planning process associated with the upcoming wafer size transitions. A literature review on AMHS technology facilitated the selection of critical variables, such as cycle time improvement, wafer transition costs, paying the bill, return on investment, productivity, equipment, and material. Several hypotheses were postulated and analyzed based on data gathered from an industry survey. Some of the findings include: companies involved in the transition of next wafer size should share the cost of development and implementation, and the next-generation AMHS technology will satisfy performance requirements of 450 mm fabs. This paper provides conclusions and recommendations that might assist managers in the strategic planning process.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2012