Implementing Manufacturing Science Solutions to Increase Equipment Productivity and Fab Performance

Timeframe : 2008 - 2012

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Maintaining cost decrease per function, reducing cycle times, improving reproducibility and equipment effectiveness while reducing the environmental impact of the factories are key challenges to be addressed to keep the competitiveness of European SC manufacturers. Manufacturing Science is the main enabler that will allow overcoming these challenges.

IMPROVE aims to enhance European semiconductor fabs efficiency by providing methods and tools to better control the process variability, reduce the cycle time and enhance the effectiveness of the production equipment.

IMPROVE will focus on 3 major development axes.

  • The development of Virtual Metrology (VM) techniques allowing the control of the process at wafer level whilst suppressing standard metrology steps.
  • The development of Predictive Maintenance (PM) techniques to improve the process tools reliability whilst optimizing the maintenance frequency and increasing the equipment uptime.
  • The development of Adaptive Control Plan (ACP) concepts, suppressing unnecessary measurements steps whilst dynamically improving the control plan efficiency.

For these 3 topics, models will be developed and assessed for different process steps and equipment platforms in different manufacturing lines leading to the development of generic solutions.

The impact of the integration of the developed techniques in the various line decision systems and IT infrastructure will also be evaluated and assessed.

To that end, a strong consortium of industrialists, SMEs, academia and institutes has been made-up, including the major European actors in the area of semiconductor manufacturing.

Keywords: virtual metrology, predictive maintainance, adaptive control plan

Financial support by: European Union, Italian Ministry of Education, University and Scientific Research (MIUR)

Coordinator of the IEIIT unit in the project: Stefano Vitturi