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New Product: NEHP offers solutions for rapid low-cost tool hook-up projects

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NEHPProduct Briefing Outline: NEHP has utilized return on investment modeling developed in-house to better assess the cost of installation of major tools using a modular approach versus traditional stick-built methods and the timeline for tool installation from Dock to Signoff.  According to NEHP, its 3D or 2D P&ID pre-packaged modules have reduced costs by an estimated 14 – 49% (based on degree of modularity and tool complexity) and schedules by as much as 30 to 35% from start to finish (see Figure 1). Complete tool pre-facilitization techniques and solutions prior to tool arrival on the fab floor have been developed, resulting in significant cost savings that have been modeled by NEHP.

Problem: Traditional tool installation methods utilizing onsite labor for orbital welding, fabrication and construction of tool installations is expensive and is difficult to complete prior to tool arrival on the fab floor. OEMs are working on methods for tool installation that allow some utilities to be brought to the tool prior to arrival, but these methods do not necessarily address the need to minimize installation cost per tool.

Solution: NEHP modules are manufactured offsite in a controlled environment and are designed to optimize installation cost by effectively bringing the breakout point of the utilities as close to the tool connection point as possible. In a consistent and repeatable way these modules can be utilized on single tool installations or can be shared between tools allowing for maximum savings of fab floor and subfab space. Onsite facilities work becomes limited to point-to-point hook-up between the tool and sub-fab modules with existing fit-up utilities being brought to the tool efficiently. This minimizes the need for extensive home runs between laterals and the tool. Cost of labor is lowered by reducing activities normally accomplished onsite in a traditional stick-built method. While labor is a key component of tool hook-up for most tools, the utilization of these floor and sub-fab modules allows for efficient utilization and scheduling of onsite labor resources. NEHP Modules effectively become the end-point for QA/QC activities instead of the tool, resulting in known point-to-point physical connections and qualification points for facilities personnel without the tool in place. This unlocks schedule constraints such as tool arrival dates.

Applications: A full lineup of modules for gasses (inerts and toxics), process waters, chemicals and other system utilities are available for Applied Materials, Nikon, Tokyo Electron, Lam Research, Novellus, Hitachi High Tech and other OEM tools of all types for the fab owner (see Figure 2). NEHP modules are compatible with all existing OEM facilitization solutions.  

Platform: Process-level modules located integral to the floor system and sub-fab modules are prefabricated at NEHP to meet or exceed the demanding purity requirements required by OEMs. The sharing of modular utilities between like adjacent tools is also possible further reducing the cost of tool installation in any fab. Modules can be utilized in time-critical one-off installations and well as a consistent methodology across any new wafer fab.

Availability: June 2008 onwards.

Case Study

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