Automation of semiconductor processing equipment
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This thesis describes a methodology to Automate Semiconductor Fabrication Equipment. The current processing Industry makes use of stand-alone equipment with built-in Microcontrollers, which are hardcoded or programmed using EPROMs to accomplish that particular process. The cost of building such systems is expensive. Automation of these systems is time consuming and difficult. These systems require a lot of user intervention during processing. This thesis presents a comprehensive insight into a generic approach of Automation of a process. A methodology has been discussed to automate a machine using DAQ (Data Acquisition Boards) and Extemal Interface Boards controlled by LabVTEW, a graphical programming language tool. This approach of automation is implemented and verified on two processing systems, namely a Plasma Etcher and a Plasma Deposition System. The project explains the specifications of the hardware needed and describes a modular approach to design the LabVIEW control program. It explains how this approach can achieve improved process performance by efficient monitoring and controlling of the process parameters for increased yield and productivity. The advantages of this methodology of automation are discussed along with applications.