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Panasonic Teams up with IBM Japan in Improving Semiconductor Manufacturing Processes

Published: Oct 15,2019

IBM Japan, Ltd. and Panasonic Corporation’s subsidiary, Panasonic Smart Factory Solutions Co., Ltd. (hereafter "Panasonic"), announced that the companies have agreed to collaborate to develop and market a new high-value-added system to optimize the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) of customers’ semiconductor manufacturing processes and to realize high-quality manufacturing.

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As part of its circuit formation process business, Panasonic currently develops and markets edge devices and manufacturing methods that contribute to improving semiconductor manufacturing of advanced packaging. These new devices and methods include dry etching equipment, plasma dicers to produce high-quality wafers, plasma cleaners that increase metal and resin adhesion and high-accuracy bonding devices.

This expertise will be combined with techniques and technology that IBM Japan has developed for semiconductor manufacturing to help Panasonic create smart factory technology. These include a data analysis systems including advanced process control (APC) and fault detection and classification (FDC), as well as an upper-layer manufacturing execution system (MES) — thus improving quality and automating production management in semiconductor manufacturing processes.

In recent years, IoT and 5G devices are becoming faster, smaller, and more multi-functional. This has given rise to manufacturing that is based on advanced packaging technology, in which a middle-end process (that combines the wafer process from the front-end process and the packaging technology from the back-end process) has been added between the front-end and back-end processes in semiconductor manufacturing.

Through the collaboration announced, IBM Japan and Panasonic will jointly develop a data analysis system that will be incorporated into Panasonic’s edge devices. The aim of this high-value-added system is to significantly reduce the number of engineering processes required, to stabilize product quality, and to improve the operating rates of manufacturing facilities.

Specifically, the companies intend to develop an automatic recipe generation system for plasma dicers, which is a new advanced packaging production method that is drawing increased attention in the semiconductor manufacturing field, and a process control system that incorporates an FDC system in plasma cleaners — equipment that has demonstrated good results in the back-end process. Going forward, the new system and IBM Japan’s MES will be connected to optimize OEE factory-wide and to realize high-quality manufacturing.

The two companies intend to develop the new system for the back-end process first, then explore an expansion of the scope to the front-end process in the future.

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