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Process control initiative in an IBM 0.35-0.50 μm CMOS wafer fabricator

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2 Author(s)
W. R. Hill ; 1000 River St., Essex Junction, VT, USA ; N. R. Poulin

Process stability is a key attribute in any manufacturing operation. The extreme complexity involved in producing semiconductor devices makes the stability of each individual step especially critical. Because technologies and products evolve at a very high rate, managing these dynamics is also an important element in high output, high serviceability production. This paper presents an overview of the techniques, business practices and `tools' implemented in the IBM Microelectronics Division 0.35-0.5 μm multi-part number CMOS fabricator in Essex Junction, Vermont, to address these issues. There are many elements to semiconductor fabrication productivity in the rapidly expanding early production line (EPL) at this site. A controls steering committee was formed to help achieve this productivity. Process module and equipment toolset teams were also formed and/or revitalized with a focus on controls. Many techniques and tools including, but not limited to, automated SPC were developed or improved and implemented. The affect on productivity in the fabricator is clear and presented in this paper. The philosophy of and approaches to achieving this control are now “woven into the fabric” of manufacturing engineering. They have also been propagated to the 0.5-0.81 μm fabricator on site, with elements of the effort incorporated into other IBM semiconductor facilities. Our controls initiatives have affected organizational decisions and been an engine for organizational change. Efforts are now underway to integrate initiatives earlier in the development cycle for new technologies

Published in:

Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference and Workshop, 1997. IEEE/SEMI

Date of Conference:

10-12 Sep 1997