ASIC North’s Supply Chain Success — Through Best Practices

At ASIC North, we pride ourselves on being process oriented and apply best practices in all we do. We use documented processes to execute a supply chain sequence that is efficient, cost effective and insures repeatable successful results.

Each supply chain is unique. It must be created by carefully considering the many factors that influence the final form of the product as well as the path it will take in production.

Some of the influential factors are:

  • Unique customer needs
  • Technology requirements
  • Silicon type and generation
  • Package type
  • IP requirements
  • Cost considerations
  • Total production volumes
  • Production lot sizes
  • Production lot frequency
  • Supplier capacity
  • ITAR restrictions
  • Vendor hardware infrastructure
  • Vendor locations
    • Manufacturing
    • Assembly
    • Test
  • Test requirements
  • Product staging along the supply chain

We only select a supplier once we fully understand the unique component requirements. Subsequently, the best manufacturer / technology solution is identified which meet our customers’ price, performance, geographic preferences, and risk reduction priorities

ASIC North forms close working relationships with the manufacturing engineering teams. We pre-release design data in advance of the production release to avoid handoff errors or misunderstandings that can occur during the scheduled release. All stages of the design are tracked through manufacturing to take advantage of any available in-line manufacturing measurement data to identify potential issues. We request deliberately skewed processing samples (splits) to explore component performance at process corners during characterization activities. Based on our experience, we try not to use custom packaging solutions (if possible) to avoid unique package elements (such as leadframes), unique manufacturing hardware and possible unique qualification efforts by our supplier.

In Characterization, we follow a predetermined sequence of testing at process, voltage and temperature corners. The characterized results to predicted corner and monte carlo simulation results are compared. We use manufacturing in-line test data when correlating simulated to measured performance.

Device Qualification is an area where we recognize that one size definitely does not fit all devices. A rational Qualification Plan must take into consideration the device type, its usage, package type and manufacturing volumes when establishing a strategy. We follow the JEDEC JESD47 “Stress-Test-Driven Qualification of Integrated Circuits” standard to qualify both the device and package. We understand how to apply acceleration factors and the number of components stressed to achieve Failure in Time (FIT) objectives. We always run “Hammer Checks” such as HAST (Highly Accelerated Temperature and Humidity Stress) and Temperature Cycling to look for packaging sensitivities.

Finally, we use very comprehensive device testing during the production ramp and early production of a new device. We closely monitor production yields over multiple production lots to see which manufacturing tests are finding failures. Design engineering is flagged if there is any indication of a design limited yield problem. Once we have sufficient production experience we can begin optimizing manufacturing test time by cutting out tests which are redundant. Our goal is always to find ways to increase yields and reduce product costs as the product matures. We look at each aspect of the supply chain, on an ongoing basis, to uncover and exploit opportunities to improve the product and save money. We’re always looking for ways to improve yields at all stages of production (fabrication, assembly, and test) and immunize our customers from supply interruptions. We correlate our device yield data to published defect densities to validate our production yields. Should we find a mismatch we will work with our supplier to investigate possible manufacturing or design sensitivities. We have an expectation of supplier cost reductions over time and once realized, we share those cost reductions with our customers

ASIC North is passionate about providing the highest quality supply chain management. We believe our customers deserve nothing less.

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Our Suppliers

Semiconductor Fabricators

ASIC North is “Fab Agnostic” which means we’re not beholden to any one company. We choose the Fab based on what is best for our customer. Their priorities are our priorities … whether it’s price, performance, device size or power. Below are the Fab’s we regularly quote.

  • GLOBALFOUNDRIES
  • ON Semiconductor
  • SMIC
  • TSMC
  • UMC
  • XFab

Package, Assembly and Test Suppliers

Below is a list of Outsourced Assemble and Test (OSAT) suppliers we regularly use.

  • Amkor
  • ASE
  • Quik-Pak
  • Unisem

Product Qualification Suppliers

  • Evans Analytical Group (EAG)
  • Integra Technologies
  • ISE Labs
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