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Performing yield management

Posted: 16 Aug 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Steven Griffith? Syntricity? wafer acceptance test? test houses? enterprise?

Griffith: EYM is becoming a requirement for chipmakers. It will result in increased yields, reduced costs, faster time-to-market and higher productivity.

Semiconductor makers connecting to the global supply chain are facing a tidal wave of data. Foundries are providing wafer acceptance test (WAT) and sort data, and test houses are supplying full data logs with every production lot.

Nonetheless, most companies continue to perform yield management the traditional way: collecting data from remote operations and assembling weekly or monthly yield reports, often manually, using cumbersome spreadsheets. Engineers spend more time assembling and aggregating data than analyzing it.

Failure to meet time-to-market schedules, inability to maintain or lower cost structures, decrease in productivity and unfavorable levels of customer satisfaction are symptoms calling the need for an enterprise approach to yield management. The underlying cause of these problems is not having access to the right data at the right time, which slows the response to product-yield issues.

EYM steps in
To respond to this challenge, companies are increasingly turning to enterprise yield management (EYM) systems to improve access to data. An EYM system continuously monitors the entire global supply chain, automatically gathers information into a centralized repository and makes analyzed data easily accessible throughout the enterprise.

With an EYM system, data from both the manufacturing execution system and manufacturing resource planning are automatically loaded into the centralized data warehouse. This establishes a consistent genealogy between manufacturing and engineering flows, while simultaneously visualizing data-log data with MRP data, permitting a broader perspective on the state of deliveries and immediate drill-down into possible technical issues.

An EYM system also makes daily, on-demand sort- and final-test yield reports by product available to all levels in the organization. Both management and engineering have drill-down capability.

Engineers can easily examine the WAT, sort- and final-test data and analysis flows to examine yield lot trends and do lot-level analysis, step-to-step yield correlation, integrated statistical analysis, and bin and parametric wafer visualization. The EYM system lets engineers identify problem areas in production and easily navigate the flexible engineering analysis tools for detailed root-cause identification. All the ad hoc analysis tools available in traditional yield management systems continue to be available in an EYM system.

Using continuously updated and centralized wafer fab, die sort, assembly and final-test data facilitates effective decision-making by automating and simplifying sophisticated analysis and business practices. The process promotes communication among executives, managers and engineers, thus enhancing business responsiveness.

A single data repository also connects the global supply chain partners to a common data set, accelerating root-cause analysis and problem resolution.

EYM is becoming a requirement for chipmakers. It will result in increased yields, reduced costs, faster time-to-market and higher productivity.

- Steven Griffith
CTO, Syntricity

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