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Green fab, 300-mm Prime sessions
highlight productivity conference

Touted as the “only conference that is both for and by fab folks,” the ISMI Symposium returns for its third year on October 9–11 at the Hilton Austin Airport in Austin, TX. The event, sponsored by the International Sematech Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI), will consist of three keynotes; poster sessions; and a dozen technical sessions, including a special session dealing with 300-mm Prime and the 450-mm wafer-size debate. A special panel session titled “The Green Fab Challenge” will address issues involved with “environmentally friendly manufacturing operations and design.”

“The theme is ‘accelerating manufacturing productivity through innovation,’” says Mike Schwartz, ISMI program manager and symposium organizer. “We’ll focus on advances in both current and leading-edge factories, on areas that encompass the major parts of the system. We’ll cover not only equipment and fab productivity, but fab design…yield, metrology, and [manufacturing] statistical methods. So [it’s] a very broad spectrum of issues.”

“In our membership today, with an industry at full production, there is a lot of interest in pure productivity,” notes ISMI’s director, Scott Kramer. “How do we get more output from what assets we have today? This seems to be a real important thing for our members….that’s more true today than it was last year.”

One new addition to the symposium is about 20 booths’ worth of exhibit space for what Schwartz describes as “suppliers interested in displaying their wares.” The sponsors would also like to surpass last year’s attendance, with a goal of “about 300” attendees sought, according to the ISMI manager.

The activities surrounding the 300-mm Prime and 450-mm wafer-size transition will be a key component of this year’s symposium. “Part of our strategy is to engage the entire industry,” explains Kramer. “It’s important that we get our lessons learned from the last transition and have that dialogue up and down the food chain. Everyone who attends the symposium can bring their views and express them. We want that, we encourage that, that’s the nature of that session. We will show what our latest thinking is, and get a reaction.

“Internally we are working very hard to actually define what our requirements and care-abouts are for 300-mm Prime. By the time this October symposium rolls around, we will have a couple of revs of that, so it will be good to talk.

“There’s a piece of urban myth out there in the industry. I hear the statement made occasionally that ‘yeah, this is only an Intel thing.’ Even within our own membership, a majority of our 13 companies support and voted for a 300-mm Prime project. We have at least three companies that have 450 mm on their roadmaps. So it’s not just an Intel thing.”—TC

For more information about the symposium, go to

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