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29th Annual U.S. APC Conference Gets Underway in Texas

By Nanochip Staff

Industry 4.0/Smart Manufacturing and Big Data among hot topics as chip industry technologists converge to examine challenges and solutions for advanced process control (APC) in microelectronics manufacturing.

For nearly three decades, the annual U.S. APC Conference has been the place technologists go to examine the latest innovations in advanced process control techniques for microelectronics manufacturing—arguably, one of the most complex technology endeavors ever. As we go to press, more than 150 attendees have gathered in Austin, Texas to immerse in topics from run-to-run control (R2R) and fault detection and classification (FDC); to virtual metrology, and predictive maintenance (PdM); and now, to new models for manufacturing control for big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and the fast-emerging Industry 4.0 (“Smart Factory”) initiatives.

Ongoing conference events feature keynote presentations by a diverse group of chip making executives offering different perspectives. These include:

  • Boyd Finlay of Globalfoundries, discussing the expectations of a foundry in implementing equipment and process control
  • Qorvo’s Howard Witham, speaking about big data, analytics and artificial intelligence in chip making
  • Ernest Adams of Cypress Semiconductor, who will outline the challenges of APC in a legacy factory
Boyd Finlay - GlobalfoundriesHoward Witham - QorvoErnest Adams - Cypress

In addition, tutorial programs for those new to microelectronics manufacturing process control are underway, as are poster sessions and refresher programs for existing practitioners. Later in the week attendees can attend poster sessions and have the unique opportunity to attend an APC Council session. Here, chip makers, suppliers, OEMs and technology experts will gather to chart a course for the industry.

Applied Materials is a platinum sponsor for this annual event and encourages participation by the company’s technical staff in the conference technical papers or events programs.  This year, we are proud to recognize the submission and acceptance by the APC Committee of nine papers by Applied Materials experts:

“Physics-based Predictive Maintenance of Cryopumps
Arman Niabati, Jimmy Iskandar, Bill Pryor, and Chong Jiang

“A Practical Method of Optimal Tuning and Performance Assessment of R2R Control Systems”
Jianping Zou

“Solutions for Monitoring ADC Data from Scanner and Shot Level Diagnostics”
Todd Nowalk, Haw-Jyue Luo, and Shu-Sheng Chou

 “An Industry 4.0 Implementation for the Subfab”
Andreas Neuber, Ben Williams, and Maxime Cayer

“Virtual Sensors for Advanced Process Control in Chemical Vapor Deposition Application”
Hemant Mungekar, Bill Pryor, Aziz Khaja

“Using an Industry 4.0 Approach to Provide Predictive Maintenance in the Pharmaceutical Industry”
Amos Dor

“Tutorial: Introduction to- and Practical Application of APC”
James Moyne[i]

“Advanced Segmentation and Pattern Recognition for Sensor Data in Semiconductor Manufacturing”
James Moyne, Jimmy Iskandar, Heng Hao, Brad Schulz, Michael Armacost (Applied Materials), Yuan Di, Xiaodong Jia, Jay Lee (University of Cincinnati)

“APC Council Meeting: Determining a Roadmap for Data and IP Security in Microelectronics Manufacturing”
James Moyne

For additional information about the APC Conference and other related programs, please visit APC Conference or contact

[i] Dr. James Moyne is a University of Michigan engineering associate research scientist and a technology consultant to Applied Materials.  He also serves as Chairman of the APC Council.