Science that is transforming lives and enabling the future

Benchmarks Bridge the Semiconductor Yield and Reliability Performance Gap in the Automotive Domain

All Posts

Benchmarks Bridge the Semiconductor Yield and Reliability Performance Gap in the Automotive Domain

A major difference exists as more features from our smartphones are integrated, replicated, and expanded in our cars - reliability expectations. A smartphone is designed to work effectively for 3-5 years while cars expect 10-15 years with standard maintenance. Failure in our cars can create dangerous situations for drivers, passengers, and others on the roadway. Designing and manufacturing our cars to ensure the functional safety along with the performance expectations of our new digital transportation systems is challenging manufacturing models for carmakers.

Table: A comparison of semiconductor customer requirements in different industries.4

Semiconductor feature Consumer electronics Automotive electronics
Process node 28 → 7 180 → 7
Temperature range (ºF) 32 to 100 -40 to 300
Operating lifetime (years) 3 to 5 15
Tolerated failure rate (per year) <1,000 ppm 0 ppb
Long-term supply needed No Yes, up to 30 years


At the heart of the electronics that power and empower these electronic systems is the semiconductor, or “chip.” Each instruction the chip executes is dependent on the reliability of the chip, the integration of the package, and the coordination of the sub-systems in the software environment. The intersection of a semiconductor fab’s inspection, testing, and contamination control addresses the functional safety challenges the carmaker and their electronic supply chain faces. Each plays a vital role in the quality of the chip.

nca-blog-inline-12330-600x600Addressing functional safety where test,
inspection, and contamination intersect.

Today’s pattern inspection technology is incredibly powerful and provides invaluable insight into the process health in semiconductor manufacturing. There is a gap in the inspection capabilities though. Particle size sensitivities in liquids, gases, and ambient air are smaller than the identification capabilities of installed inspection tools in these applications. Other contaminants, such as metals, are also not visible in today’s inspection technology. What cannot be viewed is a threat to yield and reliability at this scale. To bridge this gap, advanced contamination control improves process performance, leading to improvements in wafer yield and device reliability. The relationship with yield and reliability are longstanding and form best practices in the management of raw materials throughout the supply chain journey.

"Inspection does not improve the quality, nor guarantee quality. Inspection is too late. The quality,
good or bad, is already in the product."

− W. Edwards Deming, Out of the Crisis


Implementing these best practices can be accomplished through a collaborative approach to compare contamination-control benchmarks to fab process areas such as photolithography, wet etch and clean, CMP, deposition, implant, or facility/sub-fab. Through comparison to established benchmarks, each process area identifies areas of concern that threaten yield and reliability performance. As we give up more control in our cars, the assurance of functional safety remains the same.

To learn more, read Entegris’ and Volkswagen’s white paper,New Continuous Improvement Opportunities for Semiconductor Technologies Entering the Automotive Domain”.


Related Posts

Entegris and Farrar Scientific Announce New Collaboration

Entegris is proud to announce a new relationship with Farrar Scientific, by Trane Technologies – a global climate innovator. Farrar offers best-in-class operating systems for ultra-cold temperature storage and controlled rate freeze/thaw chambers for pharmaceutical, biotech, and biorepository applications. Entegris offers the best-in-class Aramus™ bag for robust cold storage and transport. Collaborating with Farrar enables Entegris to offer a combined solution that accelerates the freeze/thaw process. Powered by Trane Technologies, Farrar’s solutions fill an unmet need for large pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical customers requiring flexible, modular, and efficient ultra-low temperature freeze/thaw processing, as well as -80°C (-112°F) bulk storage reach-ins and -70°C (-94°F) pallet chambers. Farrar’s offerings and monitoring services, which include predictive analytics, provide an alternative to large-scale freezer farms or capital-intensive cold rooms used in the manufacturing of drugs, vaccines, and other biological products. Forced air convection cooling in Farrar’s controlled rate chamber greatly reduces +40˚ to -80˚C (+104° to -112°F) freeze/thaw times from days or weeks to hours, optimizing manufacturing efficiency and improving characteristics such as uniformity and repeatability versus competing technologies."This collaboration is a win-win for the industry,” said Holly Paeper, president, Trane Technologies Life Science Solutions. “Farrar and Entegris solutions jointly represent a step forward in reliability, simplicity, and affordability for end-to-end bioprocessing. We’re excited to discover how we can jointly advance precision temperature technology that helps protect quality and optimizes manufacturing.” Entegris will showcase Farrar’s controlled rate chamber in our new Life Sciences Technology Center in Billerica, MA, which offers life sciences customers the opportunity to leverage our expertise in cold-chain challenges to reduce costs, increase speed to market, and optimize processes. This premier facility brings Entegris’ tools and technologies together in one place, where customers can test equipment for freeze/thaw processes to determine which products best fit their needs. As part of our solutions for manufacturing challenges, we now offer Aramus shaped 2D single-use bags with custom shapes, sizes, and assembly configurations for customers’ space and function requirements. They are resistant to extreme cold temperatures and withstand gamma sterilization, which makes them a preferred solution for freezing, transporting, storing, and thawing drug substances, like COVID-19 vaccines, cell therapies, and gene therapies. “Our new technology center enables our customers to really understand the whole freezing process and optimize it before setting up a new lab of their own,” said John Lynch, vice president, Entegris. “Together with Farrar we are able to provide novel and high-value options for bulk drug freezing.”

Entegris and HOF begin Partnership to bring Added Value to Biopharm Bulk Drug Substance, Cold Storage, and Transport

Entegris is proud to announce a new relationship with HOF Sonderanlagenbau GmbH, an international provider of freeze/thaw equipment and special solutions for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. Entegris offers the best-in-class Aramus™ bag for robust cold storage and transport. Collaborating with HOF enables Entegris to offer a combined solution for our customers that accelerate the freeze/thaw process and help showcase our new Life Sciences Technology Center, built to offer customers the opportunity to leverage our cold-chain supply expertise to optimize processes, reduce costs, and increase speed to market.

Fire and Smoke: Outdoor Air Quality and Your Fab

Summer is the perfect season to enjoy the great outdoors with friends and family. Unless, of course, the air is filled with smoke and ash. The color-coded air quality readings too often go beyond the red danger zone into purple, with an Air Quality Index (AQI) of over 200 parts per million (ppm) of particulate contamination. This particulate count is far above what is safe even for healthy adults. In many parts of the western U.S. and beyond, purple air has become far too familiar.