Are my yields too good to bother with YMS?
A Yield Management System (YMS) is virtually indispensable these days. They help you manage high volumes of production analysis with fewer engineers. But when your semiconductor yields in final test or wafer sort are already in the high nineties, why would you need a Yield Management System? A company asked us this question previously. Their yields were typically 98% or more.
With ever-decreasing margins, yield improvement remains a key driver in the semiconductor industry. Many of our customers invest in a yield management system for this reason alone. But it is not the only reason for a yield management system. Today, we will explore some of the other reasons semiconductor companies need a yield management system.
Identify issues early
Many yield management systems have daily reports and automatic alerts. This means you can get a report when you want, daily, weekly etc. With alerts, the system lets you know as soon as it identifies an issue or an anomaly. The yield management gives you peace of mind that production is running smoothly, without you even have to log in.
Generalities and specifics: When you’re using an internal option, it typically wouldn’t have the volume of charts and graphs of a yield management system. In yieldHUB, our charts are “high level to die level”. You will see data for the overall production. If you want more detail, you can zoom in to an individual wafer, die or even stack wafers to see their performance. You’re less likely to get that level of detail with an internal option.
The yield management system produces graphs and charts for you. You can share this information with your customers. Some customers are happier when they are kept in the loop and see where the project is at. The customer is happier without any extra input from you.
A yield management system is ideal for fast-paced, deadline-driven environments. You can include senior management in reports and let them see any developments themselves. If something goes wrong and needs to be addressed quickly, you can use a chart to help explain your point.
Track data: Your data is stored on the cloud, meaning you can get access to it when you need it. You never know when it might be useful to refer to old data in the future. A YMS safeguards your information until you need it. Futureproof your data with a Yield Management System.
A lot of yield management tools are scalable. If your company is growing, you will need to handle more data. If you’re relying on an internal solution, you will need to invest more time and money to handle increasing amounts of data. Many yield management systems are designed to handle growing data, without having to wait for additional resources.
If the vendor provides service as well as software, it’s likely they will share their expertise with you. As they are outside the company, they will have a different way of looking at data. You could benefit from the insights and a change in perspective.
Many YMS companies provide hosting. This reduces the pressure on your IT team. With the right hosting partner (e.g. Amazon Web Services), you could have added security for your data.
Reduce staffing needs
By investing in a yield management system, you reduce the need for additional product or test engineers to analyze the data. The yield management system analyzes the data and generates reports for you. There is less need to hire extra people to create graphs and reports for you.
If your engineering team are creating graphs and charts, they aren’t maximizing their skillset. An Engineering mindset is a problem solving one. They enjoy figuring things out and coming up with novel solutions to problems. A YMS allows them to spend their time solving problems, which is what they are skilled at. In this way, you ensure that you’re matching the employee to their skill set, thereby increasing job satisfaction.
Some yield management systems allow you to add comments as you go, and send messages in the system. This makes communication easier and faster than emailing about a problem, using screenshots. By increasing collaboration and the speed of communication, it’s likely to have a positive impact on the speed of production.
Reduced learning curve
When you use an internal option, you train people to use it. Whenever someone leaves, you hire someone to replace them. They need time to become fully productive in their new role. With a yield management system, you remove the learning curve. It is automated, so any new hires will hit the ground running.
As you can see, there are many reasons to invest in a yield management system. Yield improvement and scrap reduction is a key reason. But the sheer volume of advantages ensures that it is an all-round system. It is well worth the initial investment.