Strengthening global semiconductor supply chain in an uncertain era

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Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), USA, organized a conference on strengthening global semiconductor supply chain in an uncertain era. As the US Congress considers funding domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research, a new joint study by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) analyzed how such investments will help address the vulnerabilities in supply chain, and ensure more of the essential chips USA needs are produced domestically.

The report, titled “Strengthening The Global Semiconductor Supply Chain in an Uncertain Era,” finds that while the current global semiconductor supply chain structure based on geographic specialization has enabled tremendous innovation, productivity, and cost savings over the last 30 years, new supply chain vulnerabilities have emerged that must be addressed by government actions, including funding incentives to boost domestic chip production and research.

The participants were Antonio Varas, Senior Partner and MD at BCG, Raj Varadarajan, Senior Partner and MD at BCG, Ms. Susie Armstrong, Senior VP, Engineering, Qualcomm Inc., Ms. Jackie Sturm, Corporate VP, Global Supply Chain Operations, Intel Corp., and Dr. Chad Bown, Reginald Jones Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The session was moderated by Falan Yinug, Director of Industry Statistics and Economy Policy at SIA.

Semicon highest in R&D, capital intensity
Talking about the report, Raj Varadarajan, BCG, said that the semiconductor industry ranks high, simultaneously, in R&D and capital intensity. Pharmaceuticals is perhaps, the closest to the semiconductor industry. Also, the global semiconductor supply chain based on geographic specialization has delivered enormous value for the global industry.

Different parts of the globe have different shares. There was also 35-65 percent reduction enabled in semiconductor prices. He added there are five key vulnerabilities in the semiconductor supply chain. These are high geographic concentration of certain activities, geopolitical frictions. national self-sufficiency policies, talent constraints, and stagnation on funding of basic research.

Antonio Varas, BCG, added there are 50+ points of high geographical concentration across the supply chain. One sensitive area is manufacturing. Most of the global manufacturing capacity is concentrated in East Asia, such as China, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, etc. East Asia + China concentrate ~75 percent of the wafer fab capacity, and ~90 percent of advanced logic capacity. And, <10nm is focused in Taiwan. There is need to enhance supply chain resilience through a focused approach. Eg., US minimum viable capacity for advanced logic (<10nm).

Focus on R&D
Ms. Susie Armstrong, Qualcomm, said R&D is critical. If you don’t have R&D, you have really nothing to manufacture. This is an area where USA has led in. We need to ensure R&D continues to drive manufacturing. Mature node chips are also essential. We make Snapdragon in leading-edge technology nodes. We need to have mature components. Supply chain is also really complex. It is very intertwined. We have to look at allies and maintaining strategic access for some chips from different parts of the world. We are also involved in various conversations around semiconductor manufacturing.

Ms. Jackie Sturm, Intel, said that it is developing world-changing technology. Today, supply chains are crucial. The semiconductor industry is extremely integrated. As an IDM, there is state-of-the-art logic and MCUs produced around the world. She agreed that R&D is crucial. Over half of Intel employees are based in the USA. That’s also the center for R&D. We are keen on growing domestic operations. Pat Gelsinger, CEO, re-iterated domestic manufacturing. US and global capabilities are crucial to support the needs of our customers. Teams have accumulated skills over the years. By harnessing the collective capability across the ecosystem, we have been able to deliver chips.

The semiconductor industry also faces many risks. These are geopolitical uncertainty, pandemic, cyber/IP security threats, natural disasters, environmental regulations, disrupted logistics, and additional emerging risks. Demand shot through the roof to support WFH, education, etc. We were able to provide for customers. Business continuity ensured the delivery to Intel’s customers. We are actively engaging to do more, going forward. Intel’s supply chain enables the future. We are preparing for the next 10 years in advance. Its vital the business environment remains stable in the future, for Intel and all the other players.

Reasons for investment
Dr. Chad Brown said the report is diplomatic in nature. It is all about uncertainty. There is also the policy uncertainty created by governments. China is doubling down in promotion of their own domestic demand. A previous report said that about a quarter of US revenues come from Chinese makers. Revenue is what drives R&D. There is also a big shift in US policy. Other countries won’t just subsidize more. We also need to increase manufacturing within the USA. If you also want the manufacturers to do something new, you maybe, have to pay them more. Some manufacturing facilities, such as TSMC, need to have extra costs involved in areas, such as packaging.

Ms. Susie Armstrong said USA has traditionally led in the R&D area. It is an area that puts USA in a relatively good position. There is lot of fundamental technology leadership in the USA. There used to be Bell Labs, Lucent, Nortel, etc. We need to fund and make the world’s electronic devices. Keeping access to the global markets and supply is critical. There may be subsidies for R&D, as well. People need to look at the scale of the various companies. Decoupling from China also gets us worried. Security really starts with the R&D, and it is also linked with manufacturing.

Ms. Jackie Sturm added that for manufacturing, the need to build a fab is a major decision. There needs to be reasons to be considered for doing an investment. As you think about putting a multi-billion investment on the ground, we think about the workforce capability. Do they have enough technical background to work with technical equipment? It also leads to the R&D topic. Does the education policy look at that? Do the tax and trade laws look at power and water? Is there political stability, and perhaps, a strong industrial policy?

Varas said BCG took a long-term perspective. The growth is 5 percent CAGR for the next decade. The industry definitely needs to add more capacity. The industry and downstream needs a more diversified manufacturing scenario. It should be good for the entire industry.

Varadarajan added that the capacity is relative to demand. When you have a large number of players, there can be boom-bust. The industry then becomes consolidated and capex consistent. On the demand side, the industry has more utilization discipline. The industry had also switched to repurposing during the pandemic.

Confluence of AI/ML with EDA and software engineering: ISQED 2021

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The International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design (ISQED) 2021 started today virtually in the USA. It is the premier electronic design conference. . ISQED bridges the gap between electronic/semiconductor ecosystem members, providing electronic design tools, IC technologies, packaging, assembly and test, semiconductor, etc., to achieve total design quality.

ISQED is the leading conference for design for manufacturability (DFM) and quality (DFQ) issues. ISQED emphasizes a holistic approach toward design quality to highlight and accelerate co-operation among the IC design, EDA, wafer foundry and manufacturing communities.

Arun Venkatachar, VP, AI and Central Engineering, Synopsys, presented the keynote on the confluence of AI/ML with EDA and software engineering. He talked about how AI/ML can help in chip design and product development.

Chip design a tough game to play. There are deluge of challenges. There is debug, DFM, DPT, etc. We can leverage AI and Big Data to design silicon faster, and more cost-effectively. There are connected analytics, insights, time-series, patterns, etc. Algorithms generate a ton of data. Data has become the epicenter. Synopsys has three different vectors of innovation: enabling AI chips, AI-enhanced tools, and AI-driven apps. AI/ML looks at the data.

Synopsys has AI-enhanced tools and apps. These improve the performance, QoR, and productivity, beyond what is possible algorithmically. They are also using RL for design space optimization. ML enables new way of thinking about design.

Another example is VC LP, or faster violation debug with ML. There are manufacturing-related opportunities. AI/ML use cases have finally gone into production at customers. Customers are also more savvier, and understand the importance of good data diligence. Deployment of AI solutions are different than current EDA product deployments. However, not all problems can be solved with AI/ML. Confluence of data, algorithm, etc., is need.

AI/ML can also help build better EDA products, leading to better software engineering. Systemic complexity growth has been happening in product development. Products and engineering complexity is also increasing. We need to improve the release quality and predictability, improve R&D productivity, etc.

Quality can be managed by design, such as preventive measures and built-in quality, validation, such as test and failure analysis, and defect management, such as responsiveness and support. Path to actionable insights need data points, Big Data, and intelligence. AI/ML takes the insights and starts to predict. We can also do quality-by-analytics. You need to know the defects, tests, and code. Insights enable shift-left in quality and improves productivity. Shift-left strategy is enabled by quality-by-analytics and information at the disposal of the developer.

Synopsys has ML-infused apps. There is CodeQuarry, Plan Better, Failure Triage, Bug Triage, Intelligent Test Selection, Release Analytics, and Predictive Score. An example is the code hotspot analysis tool. We need to identify the functions that are hot. This will prioritize the R&D work that yields high RoI.

In bug triaging, new bugs are automatically compared to others, and clustered, based on stack similarity. There is also the check-risk analysis. We need to identify who should review the code change, whether dependent code modules need to be considered, related bugs, etc. Today, you can link and search collaterals across the organization, using NLP.

You need to establish a unified data management strategy. Streaming data access on a unified data platform can enable a true ecosystem via data sharing. Connected analytics can yield key insights and open up new avenues. Tap into the convergence! It all starts with good data-diligent approach and process management. Use AI/ML as a new paradigm shift to improve quality, productivity, and efficiency.

DRAM and NAND show building strength

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Memory markets struggled through a mixed 2020, but appear to have emerged, strongly positioned. Can 2021 be the beginning of another memory super-cycle?

Walt Coon, VP of NAND and Memory Research, Yole Développement, Semiconductor, Memory & Computing Division, said NAND was in early stages of recovery exiting 2019. A record year was expected in 2020. Profitability during the downturn was high. DRAM was in downward trajectory. Recovery was expected to commence in 2020. The pandemic led to H1-2020 demand pull-in. It was a weaker H2 for both NAND and DRAM. Work- and learn-from-home transitions led to strong notebook/Chromebook usage. Covid-19 impacted memory profits. Memory markets exited in weaker position during 2020.

Market outlook
Speaking about the market outlook for 2021, Mike Howard, VP of DRAM and Memory Research, Yole Développement, Semiconductor, Memory & Computing Division, said there was significant capex cut off in 2020 for DRAM and NAND. This is expected to grow 20 percent in 2021, and 2022, respectively. Suppliers also cannot pull back on their capex as other suppliers may come into play.

DRAM bit density is expected to grow 13-15 percent. Similar for NAND, growing at 20 percent. DRAM production is forecast to grow 18 percent in 2021, and 19 percent in 2022 based on recent capex, and expected growth in bit density per wafer. Significant adjustments could be made in 2022 production growth, and could reach over 22 percent. NAND production is forecast to grow 32 percent in 2021, and 31 percent in 2022, based on recent capex and growth in bit density per wafer.

On the demand side, server shipments are likely to grow inline with 5-year average in 2021, and slightly below in 2022. DRAM content is expected to grow inline with the recent trends. NAND content growth is expected to decelerate from 2020 growth rates, but remain above the 2019 rate.

Smartphone unit shipments are likely to outgrow recent trends. It will grow 6 percent in 2021 and 3 percent in 2022. Content growth is likely to continue the deceleration of the past few years. PC shipments are likely to remain high in 2021, before falling off steeply in 2022. Content growth is expected to decelerate slowly for both NAND and DRAM.

2021 is expected to see rather high DRAM demand growth and NAND demand growth slightly above the trendline. It will be a good year for memory overall. Demand pull-ins will happen in both markets. Prices will climb through 2021, peaking in Q4-21 for NAND and Q1-22 for DRAM. NAND revenue will peak or plateau in Q4-21. DRAM revenue will peak in mid-2022. The overall memory revenue in 2021 is expected to hit $163 billion and rise to $196 billion in 2022.

Development and key technologies of floating solar

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Solarplaza organized a conference on floating solar today. Kane Wang, Director of the System Solution Department at Sungrow, said the development path is crucial. Sungrow has completed CPIA, or high density polyethylene floating body for PV power system on water. New application of floating solar includes those at Guqiao, Yiyang and Guidang in China, along with Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia.

The offshore floating solar project is worth 180MWp offshore project in 2020. For the hydropower and floating solar, Sungrow has 2.5GWp+ of floating solar and 300KWp+ of hydropower and floating solar. There are key technologies of floating solar, such as wave impact. There have been wave breaker experiments. The material is corrosion resistant for 16 years in practical environment.

Anchoring design is for wind tunnel research, which includes wind load and shelter factor. There was current load simulation conducted. They have done coupling analysis for the floating system. Offshore floating is similar to nearshore. The maximum height of waves it can maintain for offshore solar is about 1 meter. They are researching for 2-meter high waves. Floating PV in winter conditions have been applied in several projects, especially in North Japan and North China, at approximately -40 degrees C.

2nd generation floating PV
Benedikt Ortmann, Global Director Solar Projects at Baywa r.e., presented the second generation of floating PV technology and levelized cost of energy (LCoE). It has a track record of over 3,000MWp realized worldwide, and is a European market leader in floating PV. They want you to co-develop with them in your area/country.

The choice for lakes/water bodies are that there are no offshore applications, no nature or protection zones, etc. There is great potential in places such as Germany of over 20GWp, France over 15GWp, Spain over 35GWp, and Italy over 16GWp. We need a new generation of floating PV is due to the fact that the installation cost or capex is higher than on a ground-mounted plant. The opex is lower than ground-mounted plant. The longer the generator can operate, the closer the LCoE of both, ground and floating PV technologies.

BayWa.r.e floating PV solution has direct water contact footprint, stable walkaways and integrated DC cable concept for fixed and protected cabling, less impact against wind, etc. It has moved to a floating PV park. Its floating transformer station has electrical standard concept with certified floating transformer station brought on the water. Special aluminum floater with integrated cable ducts and water sensors, integration into the floating-PV system with protected cables under the walkways, etc. There is stable walkway for operations and maintenance.

The first generation of floating PV was systems with one floater for each PV module that led to impeding the circulation of water. There were no paths for maintenance and cleaning. There was also no professional cabling for long lasting operation. There was also no reliable static calculation possible.

Anchoring is a key expertise of BayWa.r.e. Concept depends on lake properties, such as surroundings, soil quality, lake requirements, water height deviation, etc. There are different concepts, such as on-shore anchoring around the system, near shore anchoring, etc.

There have been lessons learned during the project Nij Beets. The FPV park had drifted. The company uses permanent anchoring lines from day one. Proper anchoring requires proper equipment. You need to choose the right technology.

How will 5G satisfy the quintet?

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5G Virtual Expo was held recently. There was a panel discussion on unlocking the potential of 5G. The participants were: Håkon Lønsethagen, Telenor, Research, and 5G Infrastructure Association (IA) member of the Board (EU 5G PPP), Edwin Bussem, Developer Next Generation Infrastructure, KPN, and Ms. Friederike Hoffmann, EVP, Head of Connected Business Solutions, Swisscom. Ms. Julie Snell, Chair, The Scotland 5G Centre, was the moderator.

How are we going to integrate the 5G network into the existing network? Edwin Bussem, KPN, said we are on the verge of being able to provide service levels on wireless connectivity, and there can be a wait-and-see situation with customers. There is a waiting game going on to see who goes first.

Ms. Friederike Hoffmann, Swisscom, added that their issues have not been about integrating with the existing infrastructure. However, some of our antennae have been demolished in Switzerland. Can you imagine that? We are installing a mobile 5G network. We are also working on automated vehicles. The private customer mind is very careful and hesitant in Switzerland. We can’t build the entire network as fast as we want to. We can’t make the networks strong, as needed to be, to fully test the use cases that we need, and to onboard more enterprise customers.

Ms. Julie Snell agreed that people are attacking networks that are not necessarily 5G. There seems to be a real concern that it is not safe enough.

Håkon Lønsethagen, Telenor, noted that in Norway, there have not been that many cases, compared to the UK and Switzerland. We are aware of these things and how we communicate carefully to the public. We are doing this is in a very well-thought way. We are installing and providing services in a secure way. It is also a matter for enterprises and verticals to step up and do testing, along with the operators. They also need to understand the pain points they would like to solve. We are trying to create methodologies to interact with the enterprise vertical customers.

Ms. Snell said there is a trial-and-error method on the move towards establishing standards. Ofcom, UK, released a report that calmed down the situation. Bussem, KPN, said we are trying to project what are the societal benefits that we are going to bring. The public are willing to give it a chance.

Satisfying 5G quintet
Next, there was a point raised about how will 5G satisfy the quintet of trusty, reliability, latency, and bandwidth efficiency.

Håkon Lønsethagen, Telenor, said that they have been able to define some new mechanisms with 5G. Eg., radio channel coding and how we use the spectrum. If you want to aim for high capacity, you typically introduce some buffering and channel coding. That may sacrifice some latency performance. So, there will always be this trade-off. You can probably deploy in private networks with industry use cases. It also enhances mobile broadband. You can also combine this with edge computing. There is 5G and network slicing. It allows you to allocate resources to the demand that you have. You can start optimizing across the whole 5G system. You can also build purpose-built logical networks. Eventually, you can think of green ICT.

Edwin Bussem, KPN, added that there are technology-related benefits with 5G coming into play. It is about optimizing per use case, and per field of interest. We need to provide societal benefits. We are being very careful in what we are promising the market. That’s the sort of prudence you need to take when you consider the quintet.

Ms. Friederike Hoffmann, Swisscom, noted that they have the opportunities to manage the quintet way better than before. Companies don’t stop at national borders. You have production facilities all over the world. We also need standards, and to learn from each other. We usually do this in telco networks and classical partnerships. We need to make sure that when trains are self-driven, they also do not stop at borders. We can do this, and are working on it. There are also gaming opportunities. We can manage resources way better than before, and be more energy efficient. We are going to need close-knit partnerships and ecosystems that are just evolving.

Håkon Lønsethagen, Telenor, said they are migrating to inter-border capability. We are seeing advanced use cases. We still need some time. We need to step up as a community. With 5G, there are use cases that are quite demanding. We also need to develop inter-provider-based services and capabilities.

Ms. Julie Snell said that there is more of a shift toward private networks, eg., in campuses. We need to integrate these private networks to be part of a global network. MNOs are also providing new products and pricing.

Ms. Friederike Hoffmann, Swisscom, said that it is creating a challenge. We did a terrible job at monetizing 4G. When networks are full, we do need the capacity. Do we need more products and pricing? Of course, we do! It also depends on the market segment. There are qualities of service levels that are now possible, that were unseen on 4G. Customers understand there is a big value for them in 5G. They are also making efficiency gains. The use cases of 5G need to be very clear. Customers are also weighing their options carefully, before investing.

Håkon Lønsethagen, Telenor, said there is so much to do in 5G. There are solutions today, and more will happen within the next three years. There will also be society- and citizen-critical services. The application level cannot really express their intent to the network today. We have to work on this. We need to reach the optimization challenges ahead of us.

Edwin Bussem, KPN, agreed, adding that we need to look at what are we handling. You have to treat situations differently, and also have to prepare yourself as an organization. You also have to re-organize your own internal operations. You can charge some price. This is all new to us. We are going to build pricing models on a firm-by-firm basis. We have to take the potential use cases.

RISC-V an opportunity for China to reduce risks

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2nd RISC-V Week commenced today in Grenoble and Paris, France. Ms Lucilla Sioli, Director for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Industry within Directorate-General CONNECT at the European Commission, talked about Open Source Hardware: A European Perspective.

There is a clear and increasing interest for open source hardware and RISC-V solutions in Europe. It is important to have an alternative processor ecosystem due to various reasons like uncertainty about established processor IP providers, geopolitical considerations, creation of healthy competition in processor IP, etc. From a European perspective, there is a need to help further the creation of a European ecosystem around open source hardware addressing all performance ranges and including software and tools. Ms. Sioli provided an overview of the forthcoming European initiatives in processors and semiconductor technologies, and specific information about open source hardware activities.

Ms. Sioli talked about the European Processor Initiative and the significant role of RISC-V. EU expenditure from 2021-2027 is around Euro 1,824.3 billion. There are funding opportunities for open source hardware. Horizon Europe calls for proposals will be launched in the coming months. Specific call related to the open source hardware support action will also happen. Specific call for processor design projects in lower technology readiness levels (TRLs) will follow.

Horizon Europe will re-inforce EU’s technology autonomy is electronic components and systems. It supports the future needs of vertical industries and the economy at large. Digital Europe program ensures that Europe drives the digital transformation of the economy and society. There are testing and experimentation facilities in AI hardware.

RISC-V in China
Pierre Sel, CEA, (CEA, Ambassade de France en Chine), and Didier Guy (Expertise France, Ambassade de France en Chine), talked about RISC-V in China.

Mainland China has become the main market for semiconductors, attracting companies, talents and IP to the country. With the so-called “War on Huawei”, the Chinese government doubled down on independent innovation and mastery of the key technologies. In particular, it is crucial for China to emancipate themselves from the ARM/x86 duopoly and gain autonomy in designing processors and cores.

In that respect, RISC-V represent a unique opportunity for Chinese companies to develop their own cores and IP, and reshuffle the cards in the market. We wrote on extensive study of Chinese RISC-V ecosystem, from associations, universities, research centers as well as companies, in order to better understand who are the players of that ecosystem.

There is dependance on foreign intellectual property for semiconductors. The Huawei case is a scary screenplay for all in China. It is barred from ARM licenses, acquiring design tools, barred from using TSMC and SMIC, purchasing from Mediateak, and Qualcomm for 5G, etc. RISC-V is an opportunity for China to reduce risks regarding ISA. There is significant involvement with the RISC-V International Foundation. There are 7 premier members, on a total of 13. CRVA or Chinese RISC-V Alliance is managed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. CRVIC is another organization aiming at fostering development and adoption. It is managed by the Municipality of Shanghai.

Patent-wise, China lags behind USA, but has widened the gap with the rest of the world. In IoT/AIoT, there are concrete developments happening. Servers and data centers are expected to take 2-3 years. More time may be needed for desktop PCs, smartphones, etc.

How is RISC-V better than ARM? Many Chinese companies have partnerships with ARM. The China relationship with ARM is very complex. RISC-V can help innovate to design your own chips. There can be some arbitrary US sanctions. Also, if it takes 2-3 years for data centers, etc., the world could have moved on. However, there are significant cash capabilities with Chinese companies. The Internet giants also have the necessary talent.

Digital sovereignty
David Fraboulet and Laurent Crouzet, French Ministry of Education, Research and Innovation, presented the European digital sovereignty and open source hardware: a perspective from French research and innovation.

The industrial digital value chain provides sovereignty. Circuit design is in the middle of the cluster. You definitely need the hardware tools. Interface is done at the function layer. For that, you will need EDA tools, that are not yet easy for Europe.

New innovation requiring design know-how include specific circuits for strategic use (ASICs), security chips, FPGAs, IA dedicated chips, and later, quantum computing and hybrid quantum. RISC-V presents a fantastic opportunity. It is being adopted progressively by the majors. Hyper computing is vital for sovereignty and innovation, and a contribution from RISC-V. Core processor is one of the keys.

Discover, design, and deliver with Emerson: Ms. Vidya Ramnath

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Emerson Users Exchange 2021 was held today. Ms. Vidya Ramnath, President, Emerson Automation Solutions, Middle East and Africa, delivered the keynote. For those interested, I had met up with Ms. Ramnath, while in Singapore at Control Engineering Asia, in 2015. So, it was really nice to reconnect with Emerson.

Ms Ramnath said the MEA region is a fast-growing area for Emerson. Countries are blessed with very good natural resources. There is also a rethink toward future direction. There are three key areas for Emerson: digitalization, diversification, and decarbonization.

Ms. Vidya Ramnath.

Emerson has three goals: discover, design, and deliver. Human progress has been delivered on the bedrock of the ability to discover, design, and deliver. There have been millions of vaccination doses given out this year. Emerson is working with the vaccine manufacturers to speed up their production. We are also helping in the ventilator production and healthcare.

Significant changes happened in 2020. There was oil and gas demand shock. There was also the gain in momentum in environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) and sustainability. There were opportunities for diversification.

Emerson’s digital transformation journey began with small investments, RoI-focused initiatives. We offered solutions for asset health monitoring, industrial analytics platform, etc. We have also seen the application of PlantWeb Insight for thousands of assets enterprise deployment with AI/ML. Technology deployment is no longer a problem. It is helping in the customers’ digital future. There is also an emerging need to build a strong industrial backbone.

Emerson is also assessing the ESG and sustainability. We will reduce greenhouse gases by 20 percent by 2028. There is also energy use, supply chain, reliability, etc. Greening by Emerson will see greening through Emerson’s products, expertise, solutions, and services. Greening with Emerson will see engaging the external shareholders by partnering on solution development, etc.

Cyber security key condition for Industry 4.0 adoption

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Thomas Schulz, Channel Manager CEE, GE Digital, presented cyber security as the key condition for Industry 4.0 adoption, on the concluding day of SEMI Technology Week.

With the introduction and integration of Industry 4.0 devices, platforms and frameworks to existing systems comes the issue of interoperability. In industrial environments, securing interconnectivity between diverse devices is often challenging. Difficulties in ensuring security in Industry 4.0 result also from lack of technical capabilities of connected industrial devices and systems, especially considering integration with legacy infrastructures.

Cyber security in manufacturing is very essential. Fast progress is key to enable the valid responses to cyber threats in the future manufacturing environment. Here, the dependence on networks and information systems will increase rapidly. Attacks become smarter, and therefore, they need to be protected against. The semiconductor industry and manufacturing industry can be particularly vulnerable to attacks.

There are technical fields of action for cyber security. There are mobile and intelligent systems, platforms with hosted apps, and factory as an app domain. The physical assets need to be protected. Security by design, and security by default must be guaranteed at the outset.

Industrial automation and control systems, such as SCADA, DCS, ICS, BAS, and PLCs need to be secured. The equipment used in semiconductor manufacturing includes OT, that manages and monitors the industrial process assets, and manufacturing or industrial equipment. Cyber security must protect the automation and control systems to your physical assets and equipment.

There are factors influencing the technical fields of action. The German BSI or Federal Office for Information Security, Platform Industrie 4.0, and associations, such as SEMI are well established. There is compliance with ISO/IEC 2700, IEC 62443, VDI/VDE 2182, and SEMI E169 and SNARF 6506.

The IEC 62443 security for industrial automation and control systems was adopted globally. It created a framework and common language for the end users to communicate their requirements. IEC 62443-2-4 established that manufacturers must demonstrate that security measures are incorporated in their development lifecycles across four key areas: organization, system capability, commissioning and acceptance testing, and maintenance and support.

A penetration test, also known as pen test or ethical hacking, is an authorized, simulated cyber attack on a system that is conducted to assess the security of that system, and identify vulnerabilities. The Achilles test platform is a communications robustness test platform to test and monitor network and operational parameters of devices under real-world conditions. The Achilles Communications Certificate (ACC) verifies the network robustness.

Deep packet inspection (DPI) is used extensively to prevent attacks. DPI systems should always be kept up to date. There is an important role of IDS and IPS in network security. There is also the OpShield from GE Digital to inspect, enforce, and control. You can protect OT networks structurally via virtual segmentation. It creates zones that reduce the mobility and damage of a misconfiguration, or an attacker. The time to act is now!

Holistic data and computing platform for advanced semiconductor manufacturing

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Holistic data and computing platform for advanced semiconductor manufacturing, was presented by Tom Hoogenboom, System Engineer IT, ASML, and BG Lee, Director, ASML, on the concluding day of the SEMI Technology Week.

Holistic lithography is data hungry. Chips are ‘made with data’. The position and shape of every pattern element must be set with sub-nm precision. Holistic lithography is built on data. It helps building the digital platform of the future. We also have the digital platform for patterning.

Holistic lithography is our world. It helps compute the best process and actual process windows. There are compute process corrections. The nm level is fine grained. We have now moved from PCs to central computing platform. Today, we operate the digital twin of a fab. If we go to a new node, we analyze everything that has gone on with the previous, old node.

It is important to note that nm performance can be affected by any small variant on process, equipment, etc. We need a platform for running fab-critical software. There is also the integration of software from other vendors. IT should be ready to integrate.

The key requirement is secure communications. You need to move toward a digital lithography ecosystem based on IT technologies and a single platform.

The IT pieces are there for the next node. Integration remains a challenge. Fab automation has some standards. Digital Twin is needed to calibrate the machines. The ASML digital platform provides integration, and is scalable. You also need to process the equipment and connection data.

Moving to integrated and collaborative smart systems

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John Behnke, GM, FPS Product Line, Inficon, kicked off day 3 of the SEMI Technology Week, that was on the future fab. He spoke about the evolution of smart manufacturing — integrated and collaborative smart systems.

The semiconductor industry has been on the forefront of developing advanced technologies used to fuel innovation and accelerate technology development since its inception. Its understanding and access to advanced technologies, coupled with its need to continuously improve manufacturing efficiency and customer satisfaction has pushed the industry to develop and adopt semiconductor-specific Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0 methodologies.

These Smart/I4.0 methodologies are heavily integrated solutions, which enhance the existing systems and capabilities. Data from these multiple systems, such as MES, yield, metrology, fault detection, process control, maintenance, and demand, integrate to create a real-time digital representation of the factory.

Smart manufacturing is based on three pillars. These are sensing, connecting, and predicting. Sensing involves the integrated real-time tool, process, and WIP monitoring. Connecting involves uniting the different and unique data sources. Predicting involves the Digital Twin-enable predictive apps.

Inficon offers FPS Smart solutions, such as Digital Twin, Factory Dashboard, Factory Scheduling, NextMove VTS, and Metrology Sampling Optimizer. Digital Twin enables the integrated apps. It is a never-ending journey of increasing the complexity and adding more information. It is the repository of everything about your digital factory.

The window to the Digital Twin real-time factory visualization is needed. Users are aligned to the immediate fab needs. There are integrated analysis tools, so you can set, track and shift the output goals. You can do historical performance charting, maintenance tracking/planning, and line linearity views. Schedulers pick the best lot for the best tool at the best time, and feed this information to lot delivery systems. This ensures factory-wide performance optimization.

Inficon’s NextMove Vision Tracking System (VTS) tracks the smart WIP movement. Dispatched material needs to be moved as per the schedule. There is integration with FabGuard to allow for SECS equipment set up. He showed some dashboard and scheduling-enabled RoI examples.