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AMD, UMC Bring Advanced Process Control to 300-mm

Semiconductor giant AMD Monday forged an alliance with semiconductor foundry UMC , under which the two plan to develop new advanced process control (APC) technology for 300-mm semiconductor manufacturing.

APC provides real-time loop process control which allows wafer processing with greater precision and tighter tolerances. The companies said that APC run-to-run (RtR) technology will minimize process drift and variation with real-time, automated feed-forward and feedback adjustments to process tools. APC fault detection and classification (FDC) technology will help reduce wafer jeopardy by monitoring and shutting down the tools used in 300-mm manufacturing before machine drift can affect device yields.

By automating complex processes in high-volume manufacturing, the technology will allow the two firms to minimize costs by reducing manufacturing errors. The technology is also expected to increase productivity, thereby increasing revenue per wafer.

The two companies will implement the technology at their joint-venture 300-mm semiconductor manufacturing facility in Singapore, which is expected to begin production in 2005. UMC will also incorporate the technology in its other 300-mm facilities, like Fab 12A in Taiwan.

"Advanced process control will play a critical role in enabling chipmakers to realize the cost benefits of moving to 300-mm through improved yield and device performance," said Chris Chi, senior vice president, Fab Operations, and president, UMCi. "One of our goals with this collaboration is to establish a new standard for automated wafer fabrication."