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Strategy and metrics for wafer handling automation in legacy semiconductor fab

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5 Author(s)
Guldi, R.L. ; Texas Instrum. Inc., Dallas, TX, USA ; Paradis, D.E. ; Whitfield, M.T. ; Poag, F.D.
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We present a systematic approach for converting a legacy wafer fab from manual wafer handling to fully automatic wafer handling. Our strategy began by quantifying the need for automation in terms of impact on die yield, identifying a seven percent die loss associated with scratches from wafer handling. We then addressed the fundamental changes in production equipment and processes as well as overall fab goals and attitudes that are required to achieve full wafer handling automation. After considering several approaches to staged fab automation, we selected an approach which eliminated all manual handling within specific fab modules, completing the automation within one group of modules before embarking on another module set. In this way, we limited both the initial scope and cost of the project while preparing to leverage its initial successes. This paper summarizes the methodology and metrics found useful for preparing the fab for change, executing the change, and successfully managing the overall project

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Semiconductor Manufacturing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 1 )