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In the semiconductor industry, there is nothing like the excitement in a fabless company when silicon works, orders are waiting and ramp-up is about to begin. The pressure on the test development and product engineering team to deliver volume and quality can be mitigated when certain things are in place. These are four tips from our experiences with successful fabless start-ups:

 

  1. Make sure you have your 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 available applied to repeatability datalogs done on each set-up will quickly help sort this out for you. Don’t accept that this can take days any more. 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-rescreen 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 and cost-effective Yield Management System in place
    The basic requirements here have moved on. Every company should in 2014 be able to have their 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, if you so wish. The YMS system should also allow the user to set up scheduled reports, set appropriate alerts and SPC limits and allow the user to interact speedily with high volume data without having to download it. Time is of the essence and modern private 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 share access to the YMS with your foundry and let them do the correlations also 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.

We at MFG Vision have other tips as well and can help you ramp successfully. Please contact us for more information.

What additional tips would you give for the test and product engineering team? Please add to the discussion below.

John O’Donnell
CEO
MFG Vision Ltd
www.mfgvision.com