Intel’s challenge is to continue to improve its manufacturing yields and productivity. In semiconductor manufacturing, the silicon wafer is in contact with water and water-based solutions throughout the production process. Minute amounts of particle contamination in the water can lead to reductions in manufacturing yields and device performance.
By measuring filter efficiency using industry-leading sensitivity particle counters, Intel’s goal is to continually drive down particle counts in water to improve fab yields.
Using PMS’ Ultra DI 20 liquid particle counter, with unsurpassed technology to count particles in ultra-pure water (‘UPW’) down to 20 nm, Intel undertook statistical studies to understand filter efficiency and improve maintenance requirements.
This helped identify the optimal timing to change filters to ensure clean water, with a surprising insight that filters exceed the 20 nm baseline after just one month. The data helped improve filtration efficiency and increased yield.
Implementing PMS’ most advanced particle detection technology is aligned with Intel’s data-based approach for maintaining their factory water purification systems, which delivered cost savings and improved productivity.
In addition, Intel’s engagement with PMS to technically evaluate equipment in advance of release and provide feedback, helps drive next generation technology, supporting PMS in providing a higher quality particle counter for the semiconductor industry.