Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

In a report by Tom’s Hardware, Samsung Electronics is said to be working towards eliminating humans from its chip fabs by 2030. The company has started the development of its “Smart Sensing System” which aims to improve yields and transform the way its semiconductor fabs operate. The system is designed to monitor and analyze the production process in real time and can currently automatically handle plasma uniformity. Samsung’s ultimate goal is to have fully automated semiconductor production facilities by 2030, which will require the development of systems that can manage large amounts of data and optimize equipment performance automatically.

The Smart Sensing System is an important part of Samsung’s plan to achieve fully automated fabs. The company is investing heavily in projects like smart sensors, hoping that these investments will pay off in the long run. The smart sensors currently under development are designed to measure the uniformity of plasma on wafers, which is crucial for processes such as etching, deposition, and cleaning in semiconductor manufacturing. The development of this system involved collaboration with partners and academic institutions. The sensors are designed to be small enough to fit into existing fabs without needing extra space.

It is worth noting that the sensors were designed and manufactured in South Korea. Samsung and other South Korean chipmakers have traditionally relied heavily on foreign tools for advanced processes. Developing its own smart sensing systems marks a significant change for Samsung as it reduces its reliance on foreign tools, although the majority of tools used by Samsung are still produced outside of the country.

This move towards full automation in chip fabs could have significant implications for the industry and the workforce. While it promises improved yields and efficiency, it also raises concerns about job loss and the need for human oversight in case of failures or emergencies. However, Samsung’s push for full automation aligns with broader trends in the tech industry, as companies continue to invest in artificial intelligence and automation technologies to enhance productivity and reduce costs.