FabGuard® FDC


Fabwide, Process Specific

FabGuard FDC combines on-line Fault Detection and Classification (FDC) capabilities with powerful tools for fab engineers to readily analyze virtually any aspect of process and equipment behavior. No other system provides greater capability to guard against wafer loss, reduce unscheduled tool downtime and improve yield.

Regardless of wafer size or product geometry, timely information is key to fab productivity and competitiveness. The increasing pressure to reduce costs makes it critical to maximize fab productivity, reduce the number of scrapped wafers and maximize equipment utilization. FabGuard meets the challenges of today’s semiconductor manufacturing by combining the collective experience of statisticians and engineers tasked with maintaining cutting edge fab productivity. FabGuard FDC is built on the principle that process and equipment knowledge is crucial to smooth fab operations.


Redefining FDC - FabGuard Detection and Classification

FabGuard FDC enables FDC engineering at all levels ranging from detailed hands-on chamber specific knowledge to fab-wide statistical process control.

FabGuard is the only system that combines the sweeping functionality of fab-wide FDC systems together with tool specific data analysis capabilities for process engineering and equipment troubleshooting. Established fab Statistical Process Control (SPC) methods can be easily programmed into FabGuard with the added advantage of real-time tool interdiction. Wafer scrap is dramatically reduced when tool interdiction is applied as soon as a fault is detected. FabGuard reacts instantaneously to stop problem tools when an out of control condition is detected.

FabGuard FDC Expert System Learns Your Process and Recognizes Problems

SPC rules are frequently employed as a first line of defense to prevent product loss. FabGuard offers an additional level of protection - a trainable Expert System. Fab engineers can train FabGuard to recognize new problems as they appear and automatically detect them when they occur again. The problem solving know-how of fab engineers can be easily translated into FabGuard recipes that monitor any process step on any chamber on any tool. Running in parallel with SPC-based tool interdiction, FabGuard Expert System capability allows process and equipment engineers to train FabGuard to recognize problems that SPC methods may not detect. FabGuard Expert Systems allow engineering know-how to be programmed into FabGuard for an added level of wafer protection and fault identification.


Fabwide Protection

The FabGuard FDC system is deployable and sustainable at the factory level for real-time Statistical Process Control (SPC) on all wafer process equipment. A single user interface allows engineers to sort, display and analyze tool and process data with extreme flexibility and ease.

  • Fab engineers are provided with powerful tool-based data visualization and the ability to analyze all aspects of equipment and process behavior.
  • Process engineers can readily determine relationships between equipment state and wafer outcome.
  • Equipment engineers can quickly diagnose tool problems to reduce unscheduled downtime. Process chambers can be compared and matched.

Tool, Sensor and Gauge Integration


Collecting the right data at the right time is critical to detecting excursions and characterizing processes. Along with FDC analysis and excursion monitoring, FabGuard acts as an integration platform to allow engineers to collect data from a wide range of alternative data sources. The FabGuard architecture allows for easy integration of new sensors and gauges.


  • SECS
  • OPC
  • High-Speed Analog
  • INFICON Sensors (RGA, OES, RF/DC Arc Detection)
  • 3rd Party Sensors and Gauges


Scaleability, Sustainability

Data is archived and analysis results are stored in a relational database. FabGuard supports Microsoft®SQL, PostgreSQL or Oracle® databases. Hardware redundancy is eliminated through a tool-based system that is easily scalable from one tool to several hundred tools across an entire fab. FDC engineers can sort through and view all information through a single, easy-to-use, web-based interface. The consistent format throughout the fab improves the learning curve and facilitates the sharing of information among different process and equipment groups. Alarming, reporting and tool interdiction can be configured to the specific needs of user groups and equipment circumstances. INFICON has drawn upon its experience in leading fabs worldwide to create system templates that pay for themselves as quickly as they are deployed.

The unique combination of real-time SPC and expert systems capabilities make FabGuard FDC the most powerful system available for detecting problems to prevent wafer loss and reduce unscheduled equipment downtime.


  • Run-by-run and real-time analysis for process control and fault finding reduces scrap and improves process control
  • Seamless integration of equipment and sensor data allowing data from multiple sources to be available for analysis
  • Tasking system to automatically generate reports and perform system maintenance to greatly reduce system management
  • Single user interface for all tool data reduces learning curve
  • Classification of faults for quicker response to problems, minimizing downtime
  • Overall impression of tool/process health to aid preventive maintenance personnel
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