October 2019 Edition

Digital Twins and Comprehensive Supply Chain Collaboration Headline 2019 U.S. APC Conference



By Nanochip Staff


This year’s Advanced Process Control (APC) conference moves to San Antonio, Texas, where attendees from across the country will consider two of the most important topics facing the semiconductor industry: how to use digital twins of its tools and processes to create an effective smart manufacturing approach; and how to improve cooperation up and down the supply chain, including finding ways to protect data that needs to be shared to solve problems.

The conference opens with two half-day tutorials, the first on Monday morning with an introduction to advanced process control by Christopher Bode, a semiconductor application engineer at the Austin, TX facility of Inficon Inc., (Bad Ragaz, Switzerland). In that role, he supports APC application development and customer solution implementations. Previously, Bode was a charter member of the Advanced Process Control group at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), and spent 18 years developing and implementing various process control applications at AMD, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, and their manufacturing partners.

Monday afternoon, a tutorial well-described by its title, "Learning to Share: Securing Data Access in a Paranoid Industry," will be presented by Doug Suerich, product evangelist at the PEER Group Inc., (Kitchener, Canada). Doug focuses on big data and remote connectivity solutions that help manufacturers collaborate securely on tools and data in production environments. A passionate advocate for smart manufacturing, Doug serves as an active member of the SEMI® Smart Manufacturing Advisory Council and SEMI SMART Manufacturing Technology Community, Americas Chapter.

Securing What is Shared

Dr. James Moyne, University of Michigan engineering associate research scientist and technology consultant to Applied Materials, who also serves on the APC organizing committee, said the "biggest change in the industry over the last ten years is that companies have taken a more collaborative approach, which has enabled many aspects of smart manufacturing, but also created the need for much-improved security."

Data security, and crafting the standards needed to share data, are themes running throughout the conference. Following the technical programs on Tuesday and Wednesday, the International Measurement Association (IMA), the umbrella organization which produces the APC Conference, will host a half-day IMA-APC Council on Thursday, focused for a second year on security issues.

With its theme, "Security and the Cloud: Considering Data Partitioning and IP Security," the council meeting is aimed at allowing a less structured, more wide-ranging technical forum.

The description of the Thursday morning IMA-APC council meeting frames the challenge well: "The increased reliance on analytical solutions, combined with subject matter expertise, has necessitated increased cooperation between users, OEMs and analytical solution providers."

Cloud vendors are becoming more proficient, with an ability to conduct round-trip data analysis nearly fast enough for consideration by the semiconductor industry for on-line APC monitoring, detection and control. However, the Council noted, "a key hinderance to the acceptance of cloud-based solutions are concerns with data partitioning and IP security."

The 2019 APC features two keynote addresses, the first on Tuesday by Steve Frezon, senior vice president of Front-End Operations at the Austin facility of Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors. Frezon will speak on "Automotive Semiconductor Zero Defect Enablement."

The Wednesday morning keynote will be presented by Ben Rathsack, a vice president of Tokyo Electron America, describing "Smart Tools: Intelligent Controls in Semiconductor Manufacturing."

Also, a presentation by Inna Skvortsova, senior coordinator of international standards at SEMI, will discuss the SEMI standards efforts relating to security and APC.

Applied Materials is proud to again support the APC Conference as a Platinum Sponsor.

Who, What, When, and Where?

The 2019 APC Conference will be held October 28-31 at the Embassy Suites Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. The conference is underwritten by the Integrated Measurement Association (IMA), which has organized the event for the past seven years. Conference registration is still open, and can be found at along with the latest updates on the conference agenda, hotel information and more.

San Antonio in October:

Now one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., San Antonio is home to the historic Alamo, the beautiful and lively Riverwalk that winds through downtown, the San Antonio Spurs, and a thriving art, culinary and entertainment scene steeped in diverse multi-cultural traditions. Join us in October, when the weather is mild and festive Dia de las Muertos celebrations will be in full swing throughout the city.

For additional information contact