Kulicke and Soffa Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: KLIC) and PDF Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: PDFS) today announced their existing relationship is expanding to address the challenges of production system control and variability reduction in semiconductor assembly and packaging. As more companies adopt innovative packaging and assembly technologies to bring new products to market, it has become essential to apply smart manufacturing methods to identify the root cause of packaging and assembly issues that impact product yield, quality, and cost.
Fast-growing advanced packaging methodologies such as System-in-Package (SiP) and Multi-Chip Modules (MCM), are providing performance, power, form-factor and cost improvements, without relying on traditional device-scaling techniques. However, the shift from a transistor focus to a packaging and assembly focus has brought new engineering challenges. The increased demands placed on tool control in assembly will require big-data collection and analytical techniques to optimize these emerging packaging solutions.
The Kulicke & Soffa (K&S) and PDF Solutions collaboration is intended to combine assembly Fault Detection and Classification (FDC) data, collected by K&S’ RPM™ (Real-time Process Monitoring) data-enabled tools, with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities from PDF Solutions’ Exensio platform. The unification of RPM and Exensio analytic capabilities is being designed to enable insights to directly enhance advanced assembly issue dispositioning and containment, driving yield and efficiency gains for customers. In addition to these production benefits, this collaboration is also intended to help alleviate the ongoing chip shortage. These combined capabilities are being architected to also identify out-of-control process and equipment issues before they require unanticipated downtime, enhancing system throughput and delivering more chips to market from existing manufacturing capacity.
“It is Kulicke & Soffa’s mission to be our customer’s ally in technological discovery, accelerated via strategic partnerships across the value chain,” said Shawn Sarbacker, Vice President and Head of Ball Bonder Business Unit at K&S. “The extension of our partnership with PDF Solutions immediately increases the breadth and value of our data-enabled equipment offerings, including RPM, to address the growing enterprise challenges faced by our customers across our broadening end-markets.”
“Through our Cimetrix equipment connectivity solutions and Exensio Assembly Operations (formerly ALPS), K&S and PDF have been delivering advanced analytics to mutual customers for over a decade,” said Bill Lee, Head of Global Corporate Partnerships at PDF Solutions. “Moving forward, our partnership will encompass additional Exensio products and includes full support for the SEMI E142 standard. By integrating the analytics and E142 traceability capabilities of Exensio with K&S FDC, customers will be able to seamlessly connect their test results to back-end manufacturing. We expect this collaboration to benefit OSATs and chip companies by accelerating root-cause analysis, and providing data-driven insights across the assembly and packaging process that can identify the best combination of performance, quality, and cost for our customers.”
K&S and PDF Solutions will support early adopters through an Early Access Program.