Orla McCoy

UPM Community Engagement Manager

Based in Oxford, UK

Yield enhancement;

5 examples of industry change: April UPM Community Event

On April 12th 2022, UPM held an Community Event with a panel of IRDS experts. Below are some interesting examples of how the semiconductor manufacturing industry is evolving, as well as implications for defect control and yield enhancement.

The semiconductor manufacturing industry is evolving fast, which has spurred greater collaboration between experts. This event brings together experts from three different areas of the International Roadmap for Devices and Systems (IRDS) to discuss different technology roadmap areas, and the implications for yield in manufacturing.

The Yield Enhancement (YE) focus team is working more closely with two other teams. Collaboration with the More Moore (MM) focus team helps the YE team to understand why contamination control requirements are changing according to device complexity. The Factory Integration (FI) team helps to determine a roadmap to correlate facilities’ data with the analytics in processes throughout the fab, so process change and defectivity can be traced back to its source. 

Watch the April UPM Community Event recording: 'Deconstructing the Challenges of Facility 2.0: Yield and Reliability Drivers' Speakers include Mustafa Badaroglu, Supika Mashiro, Dan Wilcox and Slava Libman (moderator).

  1. Consumer demands are influencing chipmaking strategies 
3D integration brings many implications for yield control. A prime example of consumer demands influencing this is Apple’s business model relies on introducing a new generation of technology every year with the aim of bringing better device speed and energy consumption. The company recently used 3D integration to introduce a new generation of technologies which has better compute capabilities and uses the same chip content as the previous generation. Rather than monolithically connecting the chip, a silicon bridge was used to stack the chips vertically. Read Mustafa's Badaroglu's insights on how such 3D integration strategies increase process complexity and therefore make contamination control more important.    

  1. Advanced devices are raising material demand and process complexity 
Advanced devices now require more semiconductor material, which increases manufacturing complexity. For example, devices using artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, and 6G applications require much silicon material to be able to rout data to the cloud and data centres. Likewise, augmented reality (AR) glasses require a lot of semiconductor material – microprocessors, sensors, communication interfaces and other technologies. What’s more, these materials must be integrated in small form factor, adding complexity to the manufacturing process. As AI is applied not only in consumer electronics, but increasingly in industrial and automotive applications, the demand on such complex devices becomes even greater. 

  1. Facilities need to catch up with the fab on Virtual Metrology 
Virtual metrology (VM) has been used in fab processes for many years, but less in facilities. VM includes methods which can prediction of the wafer yield and properties based on sensor data from different manufacturing processes. To implement VM systems in facilities, better digitization and organisation of sensors will be required, including greater quantity of sensors, a greater number of data collection points, reduced latency, and better time synchronization. Such changes will help manage data flows and data integration and potentially achieve a full digital twin model across the fab. 

  1. Efforts to simplify water management creates opportunities for alternative technologies 
In addition to digital, predictive technologies, a more consistent yield can be achieved by adopting through less disruptive operational practices. Electrodeionization (EDI) is an example of a technology type which the industry should aim to adopt to reduce human interaction and chemical usage in the ultrapure water production process. EDI is preferable to traditional ion exchange because it is a continuous process and maintenance is easier. IRDS experts hope that EDI will eventually be able to replace the traditional ion exchange polishing step in the ultrapure water production process entirely. 

  1. The use of new tools will impact micro contamination control procedures 
New tools and materials will be introduced across the fab environment, with many implications for contamination control. For example, fabs currently use extreme ultraviolet (EUV) tools with regular numerical aperture (NA). In the future, high-NA tools will be needed, which will come with difficult challenges, including the new outgassing requirements for the new resist materials which will go into the tools. Fabs might need 10-20 of these new tools, and as such there are huge implications for eliminating airborne contamination in the cleanroom.