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Message from the Executive Director

It has been a great 6 months of 2018!  Thank you for the great turnout at both the Collaborative Forum and the Q2 Meetings. With that kind of support, we know we are getting the very best of information for continuous improvement to meet your needs as a community. 

I am pleased to welcome to the new FOA members!

Tom Salmon, FOA Executive Director, SEMI

Welcome new FOA Members!
  • NXP
  • HP
  • Wolseley Industrial
FOA Q2 Recap

FOA-logo-200wOur sincere thanks to Broadcom for hosting the FOA Q2 meeting on May 23-24, 2018 in the beautiful city of Fort Collins, Colorado. We had the largest turnout ever with 102 attendees.

Wednesday May 23, saw a full day meeting of the Equipment engineering& maintenance management (EE&MM) team covering a wide range of topics, including cost savings. The group looks forward to the next meeting and to kick off a sub group focusing on Fault detection & classification (FDC). Please contact Shilpa Talwalkar ( if you wish to participate in FDC related discussions.

Social and networking activities followed the meeting with members adjourning to the local ale house, Mainline.  The golfers joined the socializing and awarded prizes to the winners of the various contests.


Figure 1  Members network at evening reception

On Thursday May 24, the day began with a welcome address from Tom Salmon, SEMI-FOA’s Executive Director. Kamran Azad of Broadcom did a quick overview on site safety and cleanroom protocol.  We then proceeded with the rest of the agenda, starting with introductions.

FOA study groups provided their reports. David Yao, lead for the EE&MM team gave an overview of the team activities and next steps. Dale Miller, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and lead of the Inter DM tools team presented a report on activities.  Shilpa Talwalkar from SEMI-FOA gave reports on the activities of the rest of the sub-groups, as well as an overview of the Connected@SEMI collaborative online platform.  Connected@SEMI is used for online collaboration between face-to-face meetings. MAX International Engineering Group spoke about the benchmarking survey #3 focused on capacity planning, yield improvement, toolset benchmarks amongst other topics and urged more fabs to take the survey.

The group discussed best practices for project selection process in their facilities and agreed that projects come from engineering teams, with a clear ROI and aligned with corporate objectives received the highest priority.  A variety of Site Security approaches were also discussed, including the importance of cyber security and the need for securing intellectual property. SEMI’s ITL InfoSec group is focused on this and for the equipment community.  The structure of the that group could be replicated for the fab managers IT managers to realize similar benefits in sharing best practices. 

The discussion moved to attracting and retaining talent at fabs. Several member companies are currently working with local colleges to develop curriculum tailored to develop skills for fab workers. In addition, members are using staffing agencies who work with veterans, since they often have the requisite training to fit into technician roles at fabs.

The group had interesting discussions on excursion prevention and detection.  Lam Research, who graciously sponsored the reception at Mainline for a presentation about their offerings and an overview of their executive structure.  Lunch for the meeting was sponsored by Broadcom.


Figure 2 FOA members listen intently to the SP Member Presentations

The afternoon session, which included the Solution Providers kicked off with an overview of SEMI, and detailed information on relevant standards activity.   New solution provider members, including Siconexx, Nanotronics, Ebara,Critical Manufacturing presented to the entire membership.

Fabio Worndl of Siconnex presented a case study for cost and space improvement in a fab, concluding that they are able to achieve cost savings due to their end point detection. Dr.Matthew Putman of Nanotronics presented their work in the area of automated optical inspection (AOI) for semiconductor wafers and devices.  Jeff Peabody, Critical manufacturing spoke on how Modern MES is the backbone of smart manufacturing (aka industry 4.0). Steve Olsen from Ebara technologies spoke out their  product portfolio and their CMP Refurbishment Program.

After the series of innovative technologies presentations, the device makers went on the much-awaited fab tour and entire Broadcom facility. The tour ended with highly-interactive session between the host and the members their impressions of the Broadcom fab.  The charitable contribution for the quarter went to Harmony House.

Survey Results


Figure 3  Thank you to Broadcom, Fort Collins, for hosting our Q3 meeting

Thank you for taking time to respond to our survey. The results provide us with an insight of what worked well and where there is room for improvement.

Two key points of guidance from the surveys:

  • We should take time to review presentation materials to ensure sufficient technical depths, case study information and new material.
  • Detailed agendas should be published as far in advance as possible so members have more time to plan their travel, time away from the fab, and create the required justifications for receiving approvals from management.
Upcoming Events

We look forward to the next meeting during SEMICON WEST at San Francisco on July 12th, 2018 and continuing our successful collaboration.


DATE: July 12, 2018
LOCATION: Moscone Center – South Hall, 747 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 - SF Ballroom #208