AUSTIN, Texas - October 28, 2021 - At the 2021 SEMI Strategic Materials Conference, leaders in the semiconductor industry across the supply chain came together to discuss the big challenges and opportunities that are likely to emerge over the next 5 years. As a first-time exhibitor at SMC, Enthought debuted transformational solutions for the industry to a receptive, informed audience of scientific leaders.
From materials suppliers to equipment manufacturers to chip designers and fabs, all segments of the industry agree that major materials-based advancements will need to be made in order to continue device density scaling trends and satisfy the insatiable digital appetite of our modern day society. With critical device features already reduced to a few nanometers, obtaining increased device density by shrinking feature size is reaching its limit. Instead, increased device density is now being afforded by new, higher dimensional device architectures. Architectures are built using new materials and are processed using new methods and equipment. Creating pattern features at scale to form full devices requires purity and defect control down to parts per trillion levels. As the industry continues to push the limits of what’s possible, problems are becoming harder and more complex and solving them requires tighter coordination across the supply chain.
In addition to the technology roadmap, talks were trending on current semiconductor supply chain shortages, the effect on automakers and the world economy, and new opportunities emerging behind the leading technological edge. There is a robust and growing market for older technology node chips produced on older fab lines, which now has a major financial incentive to increase production by finding equipment improvement and process control solutions to increase yield and throughput.
Digital transformation in the semiconductor industry was addressed by leaders from Siemens, Globalfoundries, IBM Research, and JSR, all where data and digital technologies such as machine learning, AI, and computational chemistry are being employed to solve challenging problems. It is clear that Digital Transformation is emerging as a trending topic across the semiconductor industry, and there is still a lot of untapped potential for innovation.
At present there is incredible opportunity for companies to gain competitive advantage by leveraging digital technologies across organizations to address critical business challenges. Large, traditional, industrial companies are riding the wave of computing demand that machine learning and AI are creating but are slow to deploy these tools to develop next generation products and services. What we are observing is not just a technology barrier, but a cultural one. There are great opportunities for companies to develop competitive edge in the years to come by investing in building a digital culture throughout their organizations and starting to become more data-driven across all parts of the value chain.
As a leader in the digital transformation space, Enthought engages in high value areas where digital solutions will play a central role:
Materials chemistry, processing, and chip design co-optimization to access new and improved device architectures
Materials metrology and analytical fingerprinting for enhanced quality control and quality assurance
Digital twins and data sharing between suppliers and purchasers to reduce friction and time to a working solution
AI-assisted knowledge management systems for rapidly diagnosing complex process excursions with limited information
Automated materials and device characterization and analysis to accelerate data generation and improve data quality for product development driven by materials informatics
Increased instrumentation of fab equipment and data pipelines for ML-driven, real-time process control
Flexible, automated wafer image analysis for quantifying dimensions of critical features and identifying defects across diverse device architectures
To learn more about how Enthought can help tackle the challenges of digital transformation and implement digital solutions, schedule a chat with Enthought. We look forward to putting our expertise and proprietary technologies to work for you!
About the Authors
Chris Farrow, VP Materials Science Solutions, holds a Ph.D. in physics from Michigan State University and degrees in physics and mathematics from the University of Nebraska.
Michael Heiber, Applications Engineer, holds a Ph.D. in polymer science from The University of Akron and a B.S. in materials science and engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with expertise in polymers for optoelectronic applications.
Tim Diller, Director of Digital Transformation Services, holds three degrees in mechanical engineering, including a Ph.D. and B.S. from The University of Texas at Austin and an M.S. from M.I.T.
To learn more about Enthought’s semiconductor offerings, visit www.enthought.com.
Enthought, Inc. powers digital transformation for science. Enthought’s technology and deep scientific expertise enable faster discovery and continuous innovation, building a digitally enabled workforce and arming them with analytics-ready scientific data to be catalysts of value creation in science and business. Enthought specializes in transforming organizations in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, energy, semiconductor, science and materials design, manufacturing, electronics and consumer goods markets. Enthought is headquartered in Austin, Texas, with additional offices in Houston, Texas; Cambridge, United Kingdom; Zürich, Switzerland; and Tokyo, Japan. For more information visit www.enthought.com, or follow on LinkedIn and Twitter.