FabGuard® Advanced Process Control (APC)


Timely information is essential for increasing fab productivity and remaining competitive in the market place. The pressure to enhance profitability makes it critical that a factory is productive and flexible, while increasing yield and throughput. FabGuard APC saves both time and money in factory operations by executing run-by-run (RbR) control strategies that drive process results to achieve target regardless of day-to-day equipment or process drift.

APC systems collect product measurements and recipe set points which are used to calculate new recipe set points that optimize wafer processing. The use of an APC System maximizes overall product yields and increases profit by making sure that each wafer performs as close to end of line metrics as possible.

Benefits

FabGuard APC increases yields, reduces costs and enhances manufacturing by providing optimal process set points to compensate for equipment and environmental variations.


  • Tailoring your yields: Whether customers demand faster computation speed, lower power consumption or other specific device requirements, FabGuard APC adjusts process recipes to drive product distributions toward the products consumers want and need. Better yields result in fewer wafer starts for the same number of die, resulting in higher capacity and lower wafer costs.
  • Get more from your tools: Extend the life of existing equipment by compensating for tool drift and performance inadequacies. FabGuard APC increases the capability of your tools and allows them to have wider processing ranges and eliminates the need for costly equipment dedication. Move to Closed Loop control and get control over your tools.
  • Drop the reworks: Reworking wafers is expensive and wastes valuable consumables and processing time. Use FabGuard APC to apply the best possible recipe settings the first time and reduce rework rates.

Strategy and Flow

FabGuard APC provides you with tools to create both custom logic and business rules. Tailor the process control logic to meet your local manufacturing needs. APC logic can be easily configured to handle special needs such as send-ahead lots, new product introduction, as well as parameter and data relaxation to deal with low running parts or special situations.


Control strategies are designed to promote ease of use, utilizing a drag-and-drop ladder diagram interface. Components are dropped into the logic flow, connected to other blocks, and configured in place to allow for quick development and visualization of the logic flow.


Developers can also extend the capability of the APC system by adding custom Java blocks to enable integration of third party data sources, custom mathematics, or specific and proprietary logic. These blocks are added to the existing system and extend capability without impacting core functionality.


Integration Flexibility

The FabGuard APC system provides upstream and downstream communication allowing messages to be set to and from the APC system. This allows the factory Automation system to send metrology data to the APC system, get results from the prediction calculations, and send used recipe parameters to the system.


  • Factory Automation: Using an XML protocol (E133.1 and legacy XML via HTTP) for control requests and data collection.
  • FabGuard FDC: Bi-directional communication with FabGuard Fault Detection and Classification Systems to merge FDC and control data for better understanding of processes and control moves.

Features

  • Easy to use web-based Graphical User Interface
  • Integration with FabGuard FDC and eOCAP
  • Comprehensive logging and control move history viewing
  • Hierarchical parameters, limits and constants
  • SEMI E133.1 communication support
  • Support for custom Java blocks to allow for user-based custom logic to be used
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