Hidden equipment productivity opportunities in semiconductor fabrication operations

Adar A. Kalir, Yair Nahum, Andy Sharon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In this paper, we first show that true equipment utilizations may be significantly lower than what is recorded by existing monitoring systems in semiconductor fabrication operations, owing to various process and tool-related delays that occur during the tool "busy" or "running" state. We then demonstrate the use of a custom-developed system aimed at re-gaining the productivity loss, piloted at an Intel production facility for 300 mm 45 nm high volume manufacturing. Through a pilot case study, we present how these delays were reduced significantly (37% on average delay and 17-40% on variation in delay.) This improvement represents an equivalent of up to 4% improvement in true utilization on the pilot toolset, far more than any single project or even aggregation of projects on the roadmap for the toolset's availability improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6530674
Pages (from-to)448-453
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing
Issue number4
StatePublished - 25 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Capacity
  • Effective utilization
  • Equipment productivity
  • Machine variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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