Semiconductor MESReimagining Semiconductor MES (eBook)


What could justify replacing the MES in an operating semiconductor fab? Advanced capabilities that traditional MES cannot model or support. Significant changes in the business of making microelectronics have created the need for much greater agility and complexity of processing. Seeking out a system that can support current operations is crucial to ongoing competitiveness.

Reimagining Semiconductor MES: Advanced Fab Capabilities for Agility and Success supports semiconductor companies in understanding why the changes to their business demand truly modern, supportive software. Reimagining an MES that supports advanced capabilities in fabs – and then investing in it – is the path to ensure semiconductor company profitability and agility today and into the future.

For related research, please read The Manufacturing Data Challenge.

Please enjoy the summary* below. For the full research, please visit our sponsor Critical Manufacturing (registration required).

Table of Contents

  • New Semiconductor Imperatives  
  • Topic: Skyrocketing Demand Puts Pressure on Fabs
  • Innovation Issues
  • Meeting Demand
  • Processing Challenges
  • Progress Matters
  • Quality Demands
  • Empowering the Workforce
  • IT Overwhelm
  • Streamlining Information Systems
  • MES Reimagined
  • Reimagine and Reinvest in MES
  • Acknowledgements

New Semiconductor Imperatives

Keeping up with rising demand, product portfolio growth, complex products, processing mix, and new application requirements creates tremendous challenges for semiconductor makers. Companies must increase their pace of both learning and ramping up new products and processes.

Production operations are a pinch point. To handle new demands, companies must optimize further. Thus, it is imperative to reimagine the manufacturing execution system (MES) for semiconductor to meet today’s needs. 

MES must expand beyond work-in-process (WIP) and track and trace to become the data platform for production innovation, change, and efficiency. All types of facilities face this need, and modern MES can serve silicon, R&D, front-end fabs, back end, and even module production. While no longer isolated, front-end fabs face particular challenges and urgency due to their array of advanced capabilities. 

Reimagine and Reinvest in MES

Expect More in Software

Over the past several years, fab processes have changed, and your Manufacturing IT must as well. Open your minds to reimagine what MES is and does. Evaluate MES against customer requirements and strategic business needs. As this paper describes, modern MES solutions go far beyond track and trace and WIP management to support advanced semiconductor processing capabilities.

Evaluate the Need 

Most semiconductor fabs have a vast “hidden fab” where workarounds have become the norm. To understand that count how many systems you use to support fab operations today

measure how much time, effort, and energy your team spends finding and consolidating data for day-to-day operations understand how much time the Manufacturing IT team spends maintaining and customizing the MES. If you’re dissatisfied with the answers, look for software that supports your fab’s advanced capabilities.

Reinvest in MES

Push MES providers to get what you need. Some specifics you might need are in Figure 5. Beyond specifics, you need a smooth and coherent flow of data in the fab and into the enterprise. Speed of learning all you need to ramp up for NPI and continue improving yield and serving the market opportunities lies in that manufacturing data management. Investing is urgent – you can’t be as resilient nor as profitable as you want without data that’s in context and ready to use.


*This summary is an abbreviated version of the research and does not contain the full content. Please visit our sponsor Critical Manufacturing for the full research (registration required). 

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