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Fab automation-where's the payback?

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1 Author(s)
Scott, D. ; PRI Autom., Billerica, MA, USA

Historically, a lot of attention has been given to improving the physics, the chemistry and the process technologies used in semiconductor manufacturing. This focus has produced dramatic results. Since its inception, the semiconductor industry has achieved productivity improvements unmatched by any industry ever. Shrinking feature sizes, larger wafers, yield improvements and other productivity gains have contributed to this success. However, most of the known technological capabilities will be approaching or have reached their limits within 10-15 years. Already, larger wafers and improved yields are making a smaller contribution to productivity improvements than they have in the past, creating a widening gap in the productivity curve. Also, during the past decade, mass consumerization and commoditization of the electronics industry has put increasing pressure on the profit margins of semiconductor manufacturers. These pressures are increasing, just when the annual productivity benefits from larger wafers and improved yields are starting to decline. This paper discusses performance enablers which help close the gap in the productivity curve, and results that have been achieved

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Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference and Workshop, 2000 IEEE/SEMI

Date of Conference: