TSMC professional counseling team made specific suggestions on work processes for suppliers

TSMC Cross-departmental Professional Team Supports Material Suppliers of Improving Manufacturing Process

S.H. Chen
Stephanie Hsu

The development schedule of semiconductor advanced process is constantly shortened. How to rapidly develop new materials, balance production capacity and product quality is a challenge that TSMC faces with its suppliers. In 2017, TSMC and local suppliers made remarkable achievements by various collaborations. Not only did the company successfully co-locate 20 local suppliers, but also jointly established an "integrated material supply ecosystem" and put forward "Capacity Building, Advanced Measurement Technology and Manufacturing Quality Reengineering ". The professional counseling team made specific suggestions on various work processes for suppliers and successfully assisted material suppliers in quickly identifying problems and solutions.

Establishing a Cross-departmental Supplier Counseling Team

TSMC continues to accelerate the advancement of advanced manufacturing processes. The mass production of 7nm process technology began in 2018 and 5nm process technology has also entered the R&D stage. As long as TSMC's manufacturing technology continues to lead, material suppliers also face the challenge of meeting TSMC's requirements on quality and building new process capacity in a very short period of time. In view of this, a cross-departmental professional counseling team consisting of TSMC's Nano-Materials Center, Quality Control and Procurement colleagues has entered the supplier's production line. Through TSMC's high-quality standards and extensive manufacturing experiences, the Company has closely collaborated with suppliers in the processes from incoming materials, production, filling, and testing four major segments, and with a view to rapidly overcoming the challenges of new process material development.

Four Major Processes to Provide Suppliers Comprehensive Counseling

Feeding Area: Install Purification System

In response to the demand for new processes of semiconductor manufacturing, suppliers must simultaneously expand their pure water system. TSMC's Counseling Team advised suppliers to install and intensify the purification system directly at the discharge end without stopping production line. After adopting TSMC's proposal, not only the water resistance has been improved by 10%, but also the construction period has been shortened by 1.5 months. That's a way to kill two birds with one stone.

Production Area: Process Adjustment and Blanking Sequence, Tank Cleaning Method Advancement

The TSMC Counseling Team found that the major sources of impurities are the poor cleanliness of supplier's mixing tanks and pipeline cross-contamination. The supplier was advised to adjust the order of material filling. After the recommendations of the counseling team have been implemented, the purity of the product has been significantly improved by 60%. In addition, the counseling team also advised suppliers to install sprayers around the mixing tank, so that the uniformity of the watering can be increased when the tank walls cleaning is undergoing. Not only the cleaning efficiency increased, but also the production efficiency increased by 30% successfully.

Filling Area: Adaptor Cleaning Automation and Operating Environment Isolation

The sensitivity of advanced process is relatively high, so the raw materials can be easily contaminated due to poor cleanliness of the filling environment. TSMC's Counseling Team recommends that the supplier isolate the working environment of the filling area and implement the adaptor cleaning automation, so that the impurity successfully reduced by 50%.

Detection Area: Upgrade Measuring Instruments, Implement Temperature Control

The new process is extremely sensitive to the impurities in the raw materials. TSMC's counseling team recommends that suppliers upgrade their measuring instruments and improve the stability of testing by sample temperature control. After implementing the recommendations by TSMC, the measurement accuracy has been successfully improved by 50% and the stability has increased by 75%.

TSMC's counseling team worked together with material suppliers to complete a total of 16 improvements in two years and successfully reached the goal of 10nm mass production. After the material supplier's production line has been optimized, not only the quality of the material was assured, but also the product yield both for TSMC and suppliers increased synchronously, laying a good foundation for the successful production of TSMC's 7nm products.