4 essential tips when ramping up semiconductor production

Are you preparing for production to ramp up? Here are four tips for product and test engineers. Picture: Pexels

When you're working for a fabless semiconductor company, nothing can quite match the excitement that comes with production ramp-up once silicon works and orders are waiting. Although it may result in added pressure on the test development and product engineering team, this can be managed if you follow the right path. We've put together four tips to help your team when that clock starts ticking to deliver volume and quality:

1) Make sure you have that gage R&R done

With volume comes manufacturing complexity. The chips won’t all be tested in the same set-up so make sure you have your guardbands properly set to take the variations into account. Automated tools, now applied to repeatability datalogs done on each set-up, will quickly help sort this out for you. In our opinion, this shouldn't take days anymore. The ability to share Gage reports back and forth in real-time with your test subcon is now possible. Having this step done properly will make test run efficiently and help reduce PPM.

2) Make sure your test facility follows an agreed re-screen plan

You need to know what is happening in test and then help the test subcon test your product efficiently. Having access to all the raw and rescreen data is critical. So make sure that you and your test subcon agrees on a way to mark the rescreen datalogs appropriately and follows any rescreen plan diligently.

3) Make sure you have a modern & cost-effective yield management system in place

The basic requirements here have moved on. Today, every company should be able to have its datalogs processed automatically into a YMS database hosted externally or internally. The database should be viewable securely over the web even by the test subcon for the chips they test for you. The YMS system should also allow the user to set up scheduled reports, set appropriate alerts and SPC limits. Further, the user should be able to interact fast with high volume data without having to download it first. Time is of the essence and modern cloud systems save time.

4) Make sure you have a responsive foundry willing to learn from the back-end performance

A modern YMS system links the WAT data with the test and sort data automatically. Ideally, you can share access to the YMS with your foundry and let them do the correlations and help reduce parametric sensitivities. By providing such accessibility to your fab foundry you should be able to sleep better at night especially when the ramp-up begins.

For other tips, check out our other blogs or if you would like to talk to someone, you can find contact details here.