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Semiconductor Manufacturing Execution Systems

Semiconductor Manufacturing Execution Systems (semiconductor MES) serve as the intermediary between a business system such as ERP and a manufacturer’s plant floor control equipment. It helps to manage production scheduling and sequencing, create an audit trail for track and trace, and deliver work instructions to shop floor workers. Today, semiconductor MES goes far beyond pushing the correct instructions to operators and up-to-date processes to the cell controllers; instead, these systems deliver a wide array of critical functions that provide context for each other. Semiconductor MES typically includes serialization and work in process (WIP) tracking—not only at the batch and lot level, but also to wafer and unit level—for full end-to-end track and trace. Other core capabilities include paperless manufacturing, dispatching, statistical process control (SPC), nonconformance management, dashboards, maintenance management, electronic procedure enforcement, e-signatures, operator certification enforcement, and complete automated audit trails for manufacturing activities and resources.

Semiconductor MES

In today’s increasingly complex, geographically dispersed, and constantly changing global marketplace, semiconductor manufacturers must innovate to meet the demand for unstinting quality with higher efficiency and lower cost. Increased visibility and greater collaboration across supply chain networks are essential to their ability to adapt processes to respond effectively to rapid and frequently volatile change. Since flexible technologies are essential to meeting these requirements, semiconductor MES has become a fundamental element in the technology strategy of semiconductor manufacturers.

Semiconductor MES is focused on proactive improvement of processes, such as preventing quality problems rather than reacting to them. Advanced systems are also designed for integration to accommodate the multi-tiered ecosystem of modern device manufacturing, in which many companies are fabless and must work seamlessly with subcontractors.

Semiconductor MES has a broad set of application features and functions, including integrated reporting and data analysis capabilities, process enforcement and integration for closed-loop quality, and extensibility and configurability in data and process flow. The functionality provided by semiconductor MES extends across the enterprise:


     

Semiconductor Manufacturing Execution Systems

Semiconductor MES enables agile, interconnected workflows that are indispensible to today’s semiconductor manufacturers. Real-time information exchange supports collaboration and better decision making across the extended enterprise.

Currently, a transition is underway as semiconductor manufacturers move from older legacy systems to new semiconductor MES. One of the drivers of this development is the number of MES providers that have announced the planned end of support for many legacy product versions that are used in semiconductor fab and back-end facilities. The acceleration of change in the semiconductor business (e.g., global markets, internal process requirements, vendor roadmaps, rising customer expectations) is making reassessment of current semiconductor MES a high priority for manufacturers as they look to newer systems and technologies to gain a competitive edge.

Quality

  • In-process SPC
  • Binning
  • Yield control
  • Root cause analysis
  • Corrective and preventative actions (CAPA)
  • Audit trail reports
  • Supplier quality visibility
Control
  • Process steps
  • Unit specific steps
  • Equipment specific processing parameters
  • Lot selection guidance and dispatch control
  • Enforcement of standard operating procedure rules
  • Setup with SPC checks
  • Real-time alerts within the enterprise and across the supply network
Equipment
  • Maintenance management
  • Reticle management
  • Mask cleaning
  • Mask and tooling maintenance
  • SEMI 10 tool and equipment tracking
  • Overall equipment effectiveness
  • Cell controller integration
Intelligence
  • Real-time operator notifications
  • Dashboards
  • Online operator and ad-hoc query
  • Personal reports (standard and configurable)
  • Real-time predictive analytics
  • Exception-based workflow
  • Multi-site comparison and analysis