Wireless Wafer Management

28 September 2009

Applied Materials has introduced its Applied SmartMove system, the semiconductor industry’s first comprehensive wafer management solution for non-automated 200mm and 300mm fabs.

The SmartMove system integrates with customers’ existing MES software to wirelessly track and direct the movement of wafer lots. With the SmartMove system, users can boost factory output by up to 10%.

The SmartMove system integrates Applied’s Activity Manager workflow automation software with LotTrack technology from Intellion AG, an innovative radio frequency and ultrasound-based wafer carrier tracking system. Using SmartMove technology, a customer’s MES is continuously updated with the exact location of every wafer carrier. This location-aware capability enables the MES to optimise operator efficiency by sending “attention needed” and “where next” data to display panels on each carrier, freeing operators from manual data entry, eliminating misplaced lots and reducing cycle time.

“The SmartMove system can be a game-changer for customers with mature fabs, delivering the key benefits of robotic handling systems at a fraction of the cost,” said Manfred Kerschbaum, senior vice president of Applied Global Services. “This end-to-end, non-robotic wafer management system uniquely integrates world-class software, hardware and service into a single, low-risk solution. The SmartMove system is a great example of our commitment to helping customers unlock additional fab efficiency and maximise the value of their existing assets in a very short time.”

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