shutterstock_400819282If you are a fabless start-up or a growing semiconductor company that values the need for a Yield Management System, you will without a doubt be looking for a system which can be set-up quickly and cheaply and have low running costs, with all the cogs working together seamlessly. Would that be correct?

Like most companies, including your competitors, let’s assume you don’t have the internal resources to develop or support such a system, especially to keep it up-to-date in such a rapidly evolving and competitive industry. You also need to keep the ongoing costs down, maybe with the costs being part of the operating budget rather than a capital outlay. You yourself may have come from a large multinational who spent seven figures on such a system, but that was a few years ago and that system, though powerful, was “awful” to use. You’ve heard that newer and faster web-based YMS systems can manage all your needs and deliver ROI, but the value of such a system in your mind is initially in just having all your data automatically piped into a database and your engineers being able to analyse it simply and securely on a browser. You don’t yet see the value of advanced tools or dashboards or PAT capability but want the possibility of purchasing or leasing these later on if you need them.

From the Vendor’s point of view

When you contact a YMS vendor, once they hear you don’t have a big budget they will hope that your company has the following attributes, thereby minimising the vendor’s cost in setting up and maintaining the system for you:

  1. The data generated in Wafer Sort and Final Test in your subcons is STDF
  2. Your test programs generate unique test numbers and test names for each test
  3. You are using a popular Foundry (so the data format is already known and parsers are ready)
  4. You will allow the vendor to host your data
  5. You are willing to replace your FTP scripts from your subcon with the robust and proven scripts from the YMS vendor
  6. You are OK with a reasonable limit on the amount of GB of data that can be hosted by the vendor for you for free

Of course if all of the above attributes do not apply to you, you can still have your YMS system but it may be more time-consuming to negotiate and to set-up.

With the Six Attributes it’s just a matter of days

However, if you have each of the above already true, you could be within a few days of a low-cost fully relational database system. It would give you options to start with a limited volume of data and basic analysis. Eventually you can pay for the advanced tools and high volumes of data on-line which you don’t really need right now.

You might however be amazed what capabilities even the basic tools have, the generous hosting provided for free and how such a hosted thin client data model can allow you to do things that your current desk-top tool (and even that old system you had in your big multinational) could not do.

For MFG Vision’s customers having all the above attributes apply for some of them only.

How many of the above six attributes are true for your company?