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Proceedings Paper

Yield: it's now an entitlement
Author(s): Bill George
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Paper Abstract

Only a few years ago, the primary method of cost reduction and productivity improvement in the semiconductor industry was increasing manufacturing yields throughout the process. Many of the remarkable reliability improvements realized over the past decade have come about as a result of actions that were originally taken primarily to improve device yields. Obviously, the practice of productivity improvement through yield enhancement is limited to the attainment of 100% yield, at which point some other mechanism must be employed. Traditionally, new products have been introduced to manufacturing at a point of relative immaturity, and semiconductor producers have relied on the traditional `learning curve' method of yield improvement to attain profitable levels of manufacturing yield. Recently, results of a survey of several fabs by a group of University of California at Berkeley researchers in the Competitive Semiconductor Manufacturing Program indicate that most factories learn at about the same rate after startup, in terms of both line yield and defectivity. If this is indeed generally true, then the most competitive factor is the one that starts with the highest yield, and it is difficult to displace a leader once his lead has been established. The two observations made above carry enormous implications for the semiconductor development or manufacturing professional. First, one must achieve very high yields in order to even play the game. Second, the achievement of competitive yields over time in the life of a factory is determined even before the factory is opened, in the planning and development phase. Third, and perhaps most uncomfortable for those of us who have relied on yield improvement as a cost driver, the winners of the nineties will find new levers to drive costs down, having already gotten the benefit of very high yield. This paper looks at the question of how the winners will achieve the critical measures of success, high initial yield and utilization of other cost reduction levers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 September 1994
PDF: 2 pages
Proc. SPIE 2334, Microelectronics Manufacturability, Yield, and Reliability, (14 September 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.186736
Show Author Affiliations
Bill George, Motorola (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2334:
Microelectronics Manufacturability, Yield, and Reliability
Barbara Vasquez; Hisao Kawasaki, Editor(s)

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