Lam Equipment Intelligence Enabling Productivity and Performance
The concepts of advanced equipment control and advanced process control have been around for many years. These concepts are gaining new life as we enter the age of machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data with a promise of process equipment achieving both higher productivity at a lower cost and improved process performance. Achieving this vision of equipment intelligence will require strong collaboration between customers and suppliers to innovate in many areas. Collecting relevant, high quality data is the first and most important requirement. This requires having the right sensors in the right place, providing easily configurable access to relevant data, and a highly reliable infrastructure to ensure data quality without impacting tool performance. Process tool architectures must evolve to support both local on-tool control loops and fab-wide control loops. Flexibility is critical to allow customers in different environments with different requirements to implement control algorithms. Finally, customer data access protocols will also need to change as closer integration between fab wide data and local data will be required to train control loops. Enabling equipment intelligence at the point of use will require data transparency with collaboration between customers and suppliers. Lam Research is leading the industry into this new era of equipment intelligence by using machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data, combined with Lam’s equipment and process expertise, to deliver improved productivity and process performance.