Whether for a single customer or a larger market, investing in new semiconductor products is a high risk business with the potential for strong profitability, but also significant loss. Mitigating risks in the manufacturing process go a long way in assuring that those business investments are profitable. Risk mitigation can be done through comprehensive automation of the collaboration between engineering to manufacturing. A number of benefits accrue through automation:
- Consistent use of best practice know-how
- Reduction of ECO costs from best-practice process deviations
- Enhanced oversight and compliance for material and chemical content reporting
- Acceleration of product introduction time
- Faster, lower cost accommodation for unexpected supply chain change decisions
This automation requires an integrated approach to configuring and managing the sourcing network as it applies to the IC BOM. The notion of an inverted IC BOM (see figure below) provides a model for defining the steps from which a wafer then is transformed into integrated circuit parts inventory. This becomes especially important when singulated dies find their way into a wide variety of finished goods SKUs.
IC BOM Example
The automation of this process is best done using a configurable rules system and process definition editor that creates hierarchical process that defines the execution of wafer-to-parts transformation. That transformation must not only embody best possible scenario that maximizes profitability, but also be configurable to accommodate unforeseen business and technical factors that require deviation from best business case in order to meet customer commitments. It should also accommodate corrective workflows for possible process deviation errors.
The rules engine should be able to define the complete sourcing network including fabrication, bumping, singulation, assembly, sorting, testing, marking and inventory storage and shipment. Process managers should be able to create and change these processes without resorting to low-level IT coding support, so as to quickly respond to supply chain issues. The resulting process should also provide up-to-date requirements and test result traceability from NPI to manufacturing. It should include analytics for flexible, end-user configurable assessment of process performance.
This process engine is then the structure for distributing manufacturing requirements and instructions, collecting test and operational data, creating a single go-to resource for design-to-manufacturing oversight.
Come visit us at the Design Automation Conference in San Francisco next week where our process architects for design-to-manufacturing process coordination will be discussing and demonstrating solutions and best-practices. We’ll be offering a full presentation and demo agenda, a cocktail hour and prizes.