Wednesday, February 15, 2012

ISMI launches forum to reduce impact of semiconductor equipment obsolescence on wafer fabs

ALBANY, USA: Tool obsolescence has been identified by the industry as an increasingly important issue for 200mm manufacturing. In response ISMI has chartered an Equipment Obsolescence Forum to provide alternative source solutions for both wafer fabs and equipment manufacturers. The first forum meeting will be held May 21-22, in San Jose CA.

200 mm equipment has been extended well beyond its original life term, and as a result device and equipment manufacturers are challenged by the lack of replacement parts for their toolsets. To address this challenge, ISMI has launched a new Equipment Obsolescence Forum to help the industry identify and implement ways to locate and replace mission-critical parts.

“When critical components of semiconductor equipment are no longer being manufactured this creates a ‘critical vulnerability’ for that toolset,” said Bill Ross, Forum Chair for ISMI. “ISMI is working with both device and equipment manufacturers to develop a solution for an alternate supply chain for difficult to source or obsolete parts. The Equipment Obsolescence Forum will bring equipment manufacturers together to pilot innovative solutions to avoid equipment obsolescence.”

As a part of ISMI’s Equipment Obsolescence Forum industry equipment experts will present their unique perspectives on key productivity and cost issues associated with their specific semiconductor equipment. Specifically, participants will examine the financial impact tool obsolescence currently poses and the rate at which it accelerates over time, and work together to develop sourcing solutions for obsolete parts.

The Obsolescence Forum expands on ISMI’s ongoing effort to provide replacement or spare part solutions for its member companies through an extensive Alternate Parts Sourcing Database. The database centralizes information about products and capabilities for hundreds of voluntarily registered suppliers. ISMI members can quickly obtain data on supplier types, locations, repair and refurbishing availability, R&D capabilities, factory module and other focus areas.

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