Chips with Precision: Samsung Sees “Smart” Future for Flawless Fabrication

In recent years, relying on technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and 5G networks, many factories have incorporated an increased number of manufacturing robots to achieve a more centralized, intelligent, and efficient automated manufacturing process. For instance, last year ASUS initiated its first AI factory, supported by various AIoT technologies. This includes a 3D digital twin system, an AR platform, Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) for factory logistics, and an AI-driven defect detection system. These advancements are aimed at aiding ASUS in achieving its Industry 4.0 goals, enhancing manufacturing efficiency, and improving ESG outcomes.

According to ET News, Samsung is developing a Smart Sensing System aimed at increasing output and transforming the operation of semiconductor factories. This system is primarily used for real-time monitoring and analysis of the production process, currently focusing on automatically addressing uniformity issues in plasma processing. Since the results of etching, deposition, and cleaning processes in semiconductor manufacturing are significantly impacted by plasma uniformity, there is a high demand for precise measurement and management.

Samsung's SoC Spending

Samsung’s ultimate goal is to fully automate its wafer fabs by 2030, transforming them into unmanned semiconductor production facilities. Achieving this objective necessitates the development of systems capable of managing vast amounts of data and automatically optimizing equipment performance. The Smart Sensing System is a vital component of this plan, playing a critical role in the factory’s operations. Samsung has invested substantial funds in this endeavor, anticipating long-term returns. Additionally, Samsung is seeking collaboration with academic institutions and partners.

A notable feature of these new sensors is their compact size, allowing them to be installed in existing wafer fabs without requiring additional space, which is invaluable in cleanroom environments. Unlike the past heavy reliance on foreign tools for advanced semiconductor processes, these new sensors are designed and manufactured in South Korea. This marks a significant shift in Samsung‘s approach to developing the Smart Sensing System, indicating a move towards reducing dependency on foreign technology.