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.”

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