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Panasonic Taps IBM to Improve IC Making Process

Panasonic Smart Factory Solutions Co., Ltd. (PSFS), a subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation, has teamed up with IBM Japan, Ltd. to develop and market a new high-value-added system to optimize the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) of customers' semiconductor manufacturing processes and to realize high-quality manufacturing.

As part of its circuit formation process business, PSFS develops and markets edge devices and manufacturing methods that contribute to improving semiconductor manufacturing of advanced packaging. These new devices and methods include dry etching equipment, plasma dicers to produce high-quality wafers, plasma cleaners that increase metal and resin adhesion and high-accuracy bonding devices.

PSFS intends to combine this expertise with the semiconductor techniques and technology of IBM Japan in order for them to create smart factory technology. The cooperation will also include a data analysis systems, such as advanced process control (APC) and fault detection and classification (FDC), as well as an upper-layer manufacturing execution system (MES).

Through the collaboration, IBM Japan and Panasonic will jointly develop a data analysis system that will be incorporated into Panasonic's edge devices. The aim of this high-value-added system is to significantly reduce the number of engineering processes required, to stabilize product quality, and to improve the operating rates of manufacturing facilities.

The two companies intend to develop the new system for the back-end process first, then explore an expansion of the scope to the front-end process in the future.

In recent years, IoT and 5G devices are becoming faster, smaller, and more multi-functional. This has paved the way to manufacturing processes that is based on advanced packaging technology, in which a middle-end, or the point where the process that combines the wafer process from the front-end process and the packaging technology from the back-end process, has been added between the front-end and back-end processes in semiconductor manufacturing.