Automation Challenges Facing Semiconductors

Automating semiconductor manufacturing processes, on the other hand, comes with its own set of difficulties.

Fremont, CA: Shortly, the semiconductor industry will face the challenges and opportunities of growing product demand. The semiconductor supply chain will get stressed as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) expand in popularity and continuous markets from the smartphone industry and other high-tech businesses.The problem will get exacerbated by ongoing international trade tensions, which might drive up the cost of semiconductor materials and stymie global industry collaboration.

To meet these needs, new solutions are required. The requirement to build semiconductor devices utilizing more sustainable procedures to reduce harmful pollutants emissions during the manufacturing process and recycling semiconductor materials at device end-of-life remains a challenge.

Automation issues in the semiconductor sector

The semiconductor supply chain needs streamlining. Currently, the production of an integrated circuit can take up to six months, not including packaging and delivery of chips to the buyer. Therefore, manufacturing procedures for semiconductor businesses must be smoother and more efficient.

Automation can provide solutions.Automating semiconductor manufacturing processes, on the other hand, comes with its own set of difficulties. Let's see few ways automation can be helpful.

  • Automation improves ROI

More excellent and more consistent wafer yields and reduced material waste occur from automating jobs and enhancing process dependability. According to the study, 100 percent of electronics executives, including semiconductor makers, want to incorporate or are implementing AI into their manufacturing process, with 83 percent reporting moderate to considerable ROI due to better yield pre-processing.

  • Automation improves process reliability.

Downtime at any point within the manufacturing process represents a financial and material penalty, given the length of time required to produce semiconductor devices. In addition, human handling would increase the possibility of human mistakes in wafer transit. Errors in transferring wafers to the correct machine in the proper manufacturing sequence are common due to the thousands of steps in the manufacturing process.

Furthermore, even in a clean room where airborne particle concentration gets controlled, human handling risks contaminating wafers with dust particulate. Front-opening unified pods (FOUPs), regulated by automated material handling systems (AMHS), are used by semiconductor manufacturers to prevent contamination and guarantee that each wafer is transported and positioned precisely.

  • Intelligent automation prevents reliability issues and yields losses

Automation and AI go hand in hand. Smart machines aid in the expansion of a facility's capabilities and the identification and elimination of production bottlenecks.

Intelligent automated systems use fault detection, and classification (FDC) plans to recognize production abnormalities—outliers in machine parameters and sensing data—to avoid product reliability difficulties and yield losses.

What is the biggest problem in the semiconductor business when it comes to automating processes?

A semiconductor automation system has to control wafer manufacture throughout all of its processes, which must be able to adapt to changing demands placed on semiconductors. Therefore, it puts pressure on automation systems to fine-tune the fabrication process and its several processes constantly.

To ensure that their automation frameworks keep on top of tuning-wafer fabrication and other operations, semiconductor makers must continue to engage in human and AI oversight. In other words, automation is necessary, but it comes at a high cost—not only in terms of adapting facilities for automated operations but also in terms of maintaining such processes.

See Also: 

Business Management Review

Top 10 RPO Firms in Europe