AMD and UMC Announce 300-MM Collaboration in Advanced Process Control Technology
Hsinchu, Taiwan, and Sunnyvale, CA --
AMD (NYSE: AMD) and UMC (NYSE: UMC) today announced plans to jointly develop sophisticated advanced process control (APC) technology for cost-effective, high-volume 300-mm semiconductor manufacturing. APC technology automates complex processes in high-volume semiconductor manufacturing to help minimize costs, maximize productivity, ensure consistently high levels of quality, and facilitate real-time adjustments to any part of the manufacturing process. This technology is expected to enable higher revenues per wafer and lower manufacturing costs. AMD and UMC will implement the jointly developed APC technology at the two companies’ joint-venture 300-mm semiconductor manufacturing facility in Singapore, Au Pte., which is currently expected to begin production in 2005. This technology will also be implemented at UMC’s other 300-mm facilities, including Fab 12A in Tainan, which is currently in volume production for a number of UMC customers.
“For some time, AMD has demonstrated a clear APC technology leadership position in the semiconductor industry,” said Dan Hutcheson, President and CEO of VLSI Research. “It is a testament to that leadership that a respected foundry like UMC has chosen to align with AMD for the development of APC on next-generation 300-mm manufacturing.”
“AMD’s collaboration with UMC will ensure that both companies leverage the substantial benefits APC technology provides to maximize the potential cost and productivity advances of 300-mm manufacturing," said Bill Siegle, AMD Senior Vice President, Technology Operations and Chief Scientist. "As a recognized leader in APC technology, AMD was one of the first semiconductor companies to adopt APC technology for high-volume manufacturing. Both AMD and UMC believe that productivity advances driven by APC will prove to be an essential component in 300-mm semiconductor manufacturing, as has already been proven in 200-mm manufacturing.”
The collaboration is expected to lead the industry in the development of technologies that drive the evolution of state-of-the-art, automated 300-mm manufacturing facilities. AMD and UMC customers around the world are expected to benefit from the development of leading-edge technology that drives down manufacturing costs through rapid, cost-effective implementation of the most advanced process technologies and manufacturing practices. The increased value potential of larger, next-generation 300-mm wafers mandates that chipmakers keep their manufacturing operations within very tight process windows. APC focuses on minimizing manufacturing errors through the use of real-time, automated controls that reduce negative impacts on quality, efficiency, and yields.
"Advanced process control will play a critical role in enabling chipmakers to realize the cost benefits of moving to 300-mm through improved yield and device performance," said Chris Chi, Senior Vice President, Fab Operations and President, UMCi. “One of our goals with this collaboration is to establish a new standard for automated wafer fabrication. AMD has led the industry in implementing advanced process control for high-volume IC production, and has gained a tremendous amount of knowledge in this critical technology. UMC has been the leader in the development and adaptation of 300-mm fab automation technology. By leveraging our combined manufacturing expertise, we can accelerate the proliferation of advanced control technologies required for automated wafer fabrication.”
AMD is considered a world leader in APC, and first began implementing APC technology at the company’s Fab 25 facility located in Austin, Texas in 1996. AMD’s Fab 30 facility ― located in Dresden, Germany ― is a highly automated, APC-based manufacturing facility widely recognized for its technology leadership. In fact, Semiconductor International named Fab 30 “Fab of the Year” in 2001.
UMC began production at its Fab 12A 300-mm facility in 2001, which is now producing customer products in volume quantities. With three separate ongoing 300mm fab projects, UMC leads the foundry industry in the migration to production on the larger wafers.
More about APC
Advanced Process Control (APC) provides real time closed loop process control to enable wafer processing with greater precision and tighter tolerances. APC run-to-run control technology (RtR) will help minimize process drift and variation by providing real-time, automated feed-forward and feedback adjustments to process tools. APC fault detection and classification technology (FDC) will be utilized to reduce wafer jeopardy by monitoring and proactively shutting down the complex tools used in 300 mm manufacturing before machine drift can adversely affect device yields.
AMD is a global supplier of integrated circuits for the personal and networked computer and communications markets with manufacturing facilities in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Asia. AMD, a Fortune 500 and Standard & Poor’s 500 company, produces microprocessors, Flash memory devices, and support circuitry for communications and networking applications. Founded in 1969 and based in Sunnyvale, California, AMD had revenues of $3.9 billion in 2001. (NYSE: AMD).
UMC (NYSE: UMC, TSE: 2303) is a world-leading semiconductor foundry that manufactures advanced process ICs for applications spanning every major sector of the semiconductor industry. UMC delivers the cutting-edge foundry technologies that enable sophisticated system-on-chip (SOC) designs, including 0.13um copper/low k, embedded DRAM, and mixed signal/RFCMOS. In addition, UMC is a leader in 300mm manufacturing with three strategically located 300mm fabs to serve our global customer base: Fab 12A in Taiwan, UMCi in Singapore (pilot production Q2 2003), and AU Pte. Ltd., a joint venture facility with AMD that is also located in Singapore (production in 2005). UMC employs over 8,500 people worldwide and has offices in Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Europe, and the United States. UMC can be found on the web at http://www.umc.com.