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Message from the FOA Team

FOA began the new year integrated into the SEMI family under the slightly revised name of Fab Owners Alliance.  The mission and activities of the group remain largely unchanged: To provide value to the fab management and operations community through collaborative platforms for device makers and solution providers.  We continue to do this through our quarterly meetings (more on the Collaborative Forum below), study and SMART Teams, benchmarking case studies and online forums.

One of the goals set by the FOA Governing Council was to grow membership, in a strategic, measured fashion.  We have started that process by engaging not only new fabs in the Americas, but also by engaging the fab communities in Europe and Japan through meetings of device maker groups in those regions.

Another goal is to leverage the SEMI infrastructure for continuous improvement in areas such as meeting management, connecting to other related communities and overall logistics.  Members who attended the Collaborative Forum in Scottsdale got to witness this first hand.  We also added a new member to the FOA staff team here at SEMI.  Ms. Shilpa Talwalkar joined us at the beginning of March as Program Manager, exclusively for FOA.  Shilpa will be facilitating the various study teams, benchmarking and a variety of other FOA projects.

We are also committed to opening up the communications and connecting FOA members with various benefits, communities and activities in the broader SEMI family.  This newsletter is one channel for those communications.  We definitely want to continue to get your feedback and respond with valuable programs.  Many thanks to all for sending your feedback as part of the survey at the end of the Collaborative Forum.  See below for some responses based on that feedback.

I look forward to seeing you soon at Broadcom in Fort Collins, Colorado. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if there is anything we can do for you and stay tuned for more info here and at our website

Yours in manufacturing,

Tom Salmon, FOA Executive Director, SEMI

Welcome new FOA Members!
Collaborative Forum Recap


Q1 2018 Quarterly Meeting Recap

The 6th annual FOA Collaborative Forum was held at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Paradise Valley in Scottsdale, AZ, Feb. 21-22, 2018.  We had the largest turnout ever with 111 attendees from 13 device makers companies and 42 supplier companies attending the event.

The event kicked off with the DM-Only meeting where reports on the study teams were received and activities discussed.  David Yao, team leader for the EE&MM group, reported that the team had met and discussed topics such as urgent parts requests, finding good parts sources, and filling the talent pipeline since so many of the fab operators are nearing retirement. 

All groups look forward to collaborating on the Connected@SEMI online platform for exchanging information. The morning session’s open discussion forum topics ranged widely, and included:

  • Discussion of significant drivers for 200 mm over next 5 years
  • The drive for zero defectivity, especially in the automotive space
  • How to achieve traceability at every level


Figure 1- Tom Salmon addressing a full room of semiconductor professionals

Solution Providers joined the DMs for the afternoon session which began with presentations from several industry analysts, followed by a panel discussion on semiconductor, equipment and material’s trends, led by Lara Chamness of SEMI’s Industry Research and Statistics team. 

Other presentations from SEMI during the forum included the smart data initiative including the best use of data for increased productivity and efficiency; the cost savings program; and an exploration of commonalities with other groups and Technology Communities within SEMI.  Members were encouraged to explore the full range of their new SEMI membership.


Wednesday’s agenda featured three case studies:

  • Miki Takagi of SPTS Technologies presented how they more than tripled the mean time between cleans on the ICP module.
  • Yaniv Malachy, Tower Jazz and Dieter Jahn, INFICON presented on efficiencies gained by using FabGuard to Improve LAM Rainbow TCP Tools
  • Terry Martin, X-Fab & Errol Akomer, Microtronic show the results of their use of EAGLE view advancements to improve fab efficiency and yield

Social and networking activities were a great hit, including the evening social at the Musical Instrument Museum.  Tuesday’s golf event was well-attended and the weather cooperated, although a little chilly for the locals.  Thursday’s after meeting social provided another opportunity for collegial discussions with those attending the Collaborative Forum.


Figure 2 The Musical Instrument Museum held a fascinating collection for the music aficionados of the SEMI-FOA

Thursday February 22, 2018

Additional case studies were featured on Thursday: 

  • Replacement of isopropyl alcohol for VOC free cleaner by Scott Leopard, Keteca and Laura Garcia, Skyworks
  • GLOBALFOUNDRIES presented on smart machine throughput improvements
  • Sparetech and X-FAB showed a method to increase the exhaust line maintenance interval using low-cost nitrogen inject
  • A study presented by Anish Arora and Sneha Lele, Exponent about Emerging Issues in Automotive Product Liability
  • Chris DiRuggiero, Semaplastics and Sarah Perez, Microchip presented on slurry flow reduction for BEOL CMP
  • Ebara presented on dry vacuum pump replacement strategies
Survey Results

We would like to thank you for taking time to respond to our survey. We had a 100% response to our survey which was excellent and shows that our members care about the organization and its success.

The survey results have provided us with insights of what worked well and where there is room for improvement with respect to our quarterly meetings.  Here is a sampling of the guidance we received from the surveys:

  • Some topics had a lower level of interest for some in the audience. We will be more selective with topics in the future and choose those which would appeal to the majority of our audience.
  • We have moved the Q2 Meeting dates to May 23rd/24th based on the conflict many of you noted with the previous dates.
  • We will minimize presentations on SEMI activities and only include those with the most strategic value to FOA members.
  • We will work to create more defined agendas and communicate these in advance to members.
  • We will try to get more presentations from the sub teams at the full-group meetings.

Thank you again for your excellent feedback on the meeting.

Upcoming Events

We look forward to the next meeting at Fort Collins, CO on May 23rd and 24th and continuing our successful collaboration.


DATE: May 23-24, 2018
HOST: Broadcom
LOCATION: Fort Collins, Colorado

Watch your inbox for details!