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Industrial Engineering National Taiwan University


Advanced Process Control (APC)

Art editor Img


Facing aggressive competition for achieving better quality, IC makers have invested in the Advanced Process Control (APC) framework for optimal production decision support. The motivation for implementing APC is to improve the device yield by controlling processes and machines to collect information, reduce the process variability, and increase the equipment efficiency. To achieve this, a wide variety of mathematical, statistical and physical techniques have been deployed, and standards and communication interfaces between the equipment and IT systems have been defined. The controlling algorithms, system interfaces, and the infrastructure have been widely investigated in the literature over the last two/three decades. APC shall work as a sustainable practice to ensure a continuous process improvement in the semiconductor manufacturing environment. It normally consists of several functional systems, for example, Run-to-Run (R2R) control, Fault Detection and Classification (FDC), Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE), and e-Diagnostic. The APC fundamentals are based on the data collection and interface design, which will enable the aforementioned engineering systems to function smoothly. The exact scope of APC is hard to clearly define because the techniques are being continuously developed and standards are constantly evolving. As can be seen in the figure above, challenges still exist everywhere in the framework from equipment prognostics, smart scheduling/dispatching, advanced R2R regulator, to predictive wafer health.