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TSMC Successfully Develops Energy-optimized High-temperature Furnace Tube

HsinHua Huang

In the face of extreme climate anomalies and its impact on global ecology and human life, TSMC is committed to environmental sustainability, actively tracks the latest environmental protection, energy conservation and climate change trends, and is determined to become a benchmark world-class environmental company. To practice green management, we not only work with outside partners to reduce environmental impact, we will also integrate "improving energy efficiency" into TSMC's long-term strategy and sustainable development goals. In 2017, TSMC held the "Tool Energy Saving Workshop" for the first time, encouraging colleagues to brainstorm and find opportunities for improvement in their daily work and take action. It is worth mentioning that the prizewinning project - "optimizing the temperature control program of the furnace tube to find the best energy-saving mode" was practically applied to our tools in 2018.

In-depth Analysis Furnace Tube Power Consumption, and Finding Opportunities for Improvement

In conventional high-temperature processes, a heating device is used near the bottom of the wafer carrier to prevent heat loss in the reactor. When the high temperature process is over, the cooling system will cool the wafer to room temperature and send it out of the machine. However, the device at the lower end of the tube is still heated, resulting in increased energy consumption of the device. This heating and cooling process causes the machine to operating away from the "best energy saving point".

Applying Big Data Analysis and Optimization Programs to Practice the Best Energy Efficiency of Tool

TSMC applies big data analysis to collect temperature curves, defect monitoring curves, product yield curves, and related data from internal components of the machine. We then analyze the necessary data item by item and begin executing an optimization program. In addition, since there are at least 50 wafers per batch in the furnace tube, the impact of any abnormalities are amplified several times. Therefore, any process changes must be reviewed and verified before they are implemented. After several months of hard work, TSMC successfully developed an energy-optimized high-temperature furnace tube program, which reduced energy consumption 95%. In 2018, total energy conservation of on-line machines reached 4 million degrees. This program is scheduled to be extended to all fabs by the end of 2019, for expected energy savings of more than 10 million kWh per year.

Tool Energy Saving Workshop – Driving Green Innovation for Future

The successful experience of the first "Tool Energy Saving Workshop" allowed colleagues to re-examine their daily jobs, stimulate innovation and implement green initiatives in their actual work. In 2018, the number of total proposals reached 371, a 66% increase from the previous session. As a member of the global citizenship, TSMC will continue to work hard to develop various energy-saving projects and move toward a sustainable future.