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Materials development in volume semiconductor fabrication

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Bill Reith, Senior Supplier Quality Engineer, Freescale Semiconductor, Scotland


Developing and releasing a material specification is only a starting point from which subsequent and ongoing improvements ensue. In order to optimize the performance of any material it is important to verify, using support data, the critical requirements for the product in the device or process application. Armed with knowledge of the critical parameters, you can compare objectively the performance of different materials from different suppliers. For semiconductor fabrication suppliers, it is vital that the goal of variation reduction becomes a cornerstone of these organizations’ quality policy. Systematic and ongoing improvements in product and process capability will ensure the development of robust products that will provide consistent performance in the customer application. Perfect quality, Zero Defect performance, can only be achieved through continuous, sustained improvements. Zero Defect deployment also requires the supplier to embrace the following behaviors:
• Early detection of process abnormalities
• Predictive and preventative versus reactive
• Protect the customer − contain the problem immediately
• Be relentless about exceeding Freescale demands for quality products
• Zero defect standardization requires employees to engage in a ‘no excuses’ way
of doing business
• Maverick incidents – when out of control (OOC) and out of specification (OOS) material
is dispositioned, always consider the impact on the customer – be conservative
• Focus on improving these areas is a step towards developing a quality mindset

Finally the ever increasing level of global competition means that no factory can stand still. There needs to be constant improvement in all factory core performance metrics. Freescale suppliers have an important role to play to provide ongoing suggestions for improvements that will deliver lower cost of ownership for their products, as well as driving improvements in device and process yield. Only by developing long term collaborative relationships with key suppliers can these opportunities be fully realized.

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