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How to Improve Yield in Semiconductor Manufacturing Industry

How to Improve Yield in Semiconductor Manufacturing Industry

What is your sole purpose when you proceed with your business? That is undoubtedly receiving the best outcome from the sources and hard work you put into the production, right? This is exactly what is behind the success of any manufacturing business in today’s world, and this is where the return on investment comes in as a major goal. Semiconductor production is an industry that is quite complex by its nature. This whole fraternity consists of too many complex materials, machinery, and processes all along. How can you expect that you will take the best extract out of all of them? This is why you must put a weight on ‘Yield Optimisation’ in semiconductor manufacturing.

In this article, we explore the best ways to improve yield in the semiconductor industry through a technological approach.

We will explore

Understanding the Semiconductor Manufacturing Industry

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  • However, before that, let us walk you through a brief journey through the semiconductor industry.
  • This particular industry is a vital sector responsible for producing the fundamental components of electronic devices. Semiconductors, made predominantly from silicon, serve as the brains behind smartphones, computers, and numerous other gadgets. 
  • The manufacturing process begins with refining raw materials into silicon wafers. Then they are intricately patterned with circuits using advanced machinery. These circuits allow the functionality of electronic chips. 
  • After going through rigorous testing and assembly, these chips are integrated into a myriad of electronic products. 
  • But why is this field receiving so much attention nowadays? The industry’s significance lies in its pivotal role in driving technological progress and innovation across various domains. It shapes the landscape of modern society by powering advancements in communication, computing, and beyond.
  • Did you know that the revenue in the semiconductor market is estimated to hit the US$45.36bn mark by 2024? Among each component, integrated circuits dominate the market, with a projected market volume of US$42.37 billion in 2024.
  • According to the reports, Singapore facilitates 11% of the global semiconductor market today.

What is Yield Optimisation in Manufacturing?

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  • We talk about various types of optimisation processes when it comes to the semiconductor industry. Among all of them, yield optimisation receives the top spot, and it refers to the systematic improvement of the production process to maximise the output of high-quality products. In the meantime, it focuses on minimising waste and defects as well.
  • The mechanism can be a bit complex, for sure. It involves identifying and addressing inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and sources of variation that can negatively impact product yield. 
  • It requires implementing strategies such as process control, defect reduction, and continuous improvement. The manufacturers aim to increase the percentage of usable products from raw materials or components. 
  • This not only enhances overall productivity and efficiency but also reduces manufacturing costs and improves profitability. 
  • However, this is not a simple process, as we mentioned earlier. Yield optimisation requires a combination of data analysis, process refinement, and quality management techniques to achieve optimal results. Due to the limited resources in today’s world, manufacturers put much weight on yield optimisation during their production ventures.

The Top 4 Ways to Improve Yield in the Semiconductor Manufacturing Industry

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Yield Learning and Optimisation

This is undoubtedly a potent strategy for enhancing yield in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. 

Let us explain how this works. Being able to establish a strong infrastructure for yield learning empowers manufacturers to pinpoint the underlying reasons for yield loss in the first place. This paves the way for ongoing improvement. This means analysing data from various facets of the manufacturing process, including equipment performance, product testing, and actual production processes. 

Obviously, after conducting a thorough examination, manufacturers receive valuable insights, highlighting areas ripe for optimisation. Over time, as these insights are acted upon and processes are refined, yields steadily increase. Not to mention that the latter creates a culture of continuous improvement, where each refinement brings the industry closer to maximum efficiency and productivity. 

This is why it is advised to pay attention to this aspect, as it not only offers a thorough understanding of your yield but also paves the way to competitiveness.

Continuous Process Improvement

Cultivating a culture that values ongoing enhancement is a top priority for maintaining and enhancing yield levels in this industry. If it is possible to promote collaboration across different functions, fostering a spirit of innovation and consistently evaluating performance metrics will not be a huge problem for manufacturers. This semiconductor industry can uncover avenues for refining processes and optimising yields. 

This proactive approach ensures that the industry remains competitive and adaptive to evolving market demands. 

Through regular reviews and adjustments, inefficiencies are found and addressed for sure. Plus, manufacturers can seize the opportunities for improvement, which leads to higher productivity and enhanced quality over time. 

If this is done correctly, superlative products will be the final outcome for the semiconductor fraternity.

Deploying Yield Enhancement Techniques

No industry can keep going without implementing suitable techniques. How can the semiconductor industry survive?

This emerges as a crucial strategy for boosting yield in the semiconductor manufacturing sector. Manufacturers can implement specific techniques like defect avoidance, wafer reclaim, and yield ramp acceleration in order to maximise the entire yield.

However, this cannot be done without the backup of robust tools. These methods actually need innovative technologies and methodologies to identify and address factors that limit yield. For instance, defect avoidance aims to prevent defects from occurring during the manufacturing process, while wafer reclaim involves salvaging defective wafers to minimise waste.

Likewise, yield ramp acceleration focuses on accelerating the rate at which yields improve over time. 

As you can witness, by adopting these targeted techniques, semiconductor manufacturers can enhance product quality while also reducing production costs.

How can we forget that it ensures that a higher percentage of manufactured components meet quality standards?

Design for Manufacturability (DFM)

In the semiconductor industry, there is a concept named ‘Design for Manufacturability, or DFM’. Do you know what that is?

This actually emerges as a pivotal approach for enhancing yield in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. Collaborating closely with design teams in the early stages of product development allows for the integration of manufacturability considerations. This leads to significant improvements in yield. This is what DFM means!

When it is possible to design products with optimised layouts, material choices, and process tolerances, semiconductor manufacturers can streamline production processes for sure. It goes without saying that the latter minimises the occurrence of yield-limiting issues. 

This proactive approach ensures that the manufacturing process is well aligned with the capabilities of production equipment and resources, reducing the likelihood of defects and errors. Moreover, DFM facilitates smoother transitions from design to manufacturing. This encourages efficient scaling of production volumes while maintaining high yield rates as well.

Cerexio Yield Optimiser for Optimal Yield Levels

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If you find it challenging to extract the best out of your initial resources, such as raw materials, extruders, machinery, and processes, the Cerexio Yield Optimiser System is something you must keep in touch with. It can offer valuable insights into your yield and provide yield optimisation suggestions to avoid gaps in receiving the most of your inputs.

Powering Up Semiconductor Yield Optimisation via Modern Technology

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Avoiding the semiconductor industry’s complex nature, modern technology offers beneficial answers to fill the gaps in receiving a 100% outcome through yield optimisation. However, it is not easy to find the best tool that aligns with your industry-specific requirements. It is always best to request a demo session before making any purchase.

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