SEMI Standards--Simplifying the FPD Manufacturing Process

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SEMI Standards—Simplifying the FPD Manufacturing Process

    In a complex world, how does an industry meet and maintain required levels of compatibility while controlling manufacturing cost and improving productivity? SEMI knows the answer comes down to a single word—Standards. Industries worldwide use standards to meet and maintain required levels of compatibility both inter- and intra-organization. Since the early days of semiconductor manufacturing, standards have played a critical role in ensuring the ongoing progress of the industry as a whole as well as the growth and prosperity of the equipment sector. SEMI has developed international standards for semiconductor manufacturing for the past 35 years. With the strong emergence of flat panel display manufacturing in the 1990’s, SEMI expanded its International Standards Program activities into this new realm, aided by key similarities between chip making and display fabrication technologies.

    The current roster of SEMI Standards for the FPD industry includes over 50 specifications, with new ones continuously being developed. In February 2008, SEMI announced the publication of two new FPD-focused standards—SEMI D51, Specification for Handshake Method of Single Substrate for Handling Off/On Tool in FPD Production; and SEMI S26—Environmental, Health, and Safety Guideline for FPD Manufacturing System.

    “These new FPD-focused standards represent new ground the volunteers in the SEMI International Standards Program have broken over the years,” said Bettina Weiss, SEMI director of International Standards. “As the FPD industry continues to grow, and technical requirements are defined earlier and in concert with suppliers and panel makers, these new Standards provide critical solutions to FPD manufacturing challenges.”

SEMI D51 Makes the Handshake Easier

    As the FPD market experiences increasing commoditization, and panel sizes become larger, there is a growing need for additional cost-cutting measures. Currently, substrates in the FPD fab are transferred between AMHS/robots and equipment, using a wide range of handshake protocols. Due to the use of multiple protocols (many times within the same fab), both equipment suppliers and panel makers are forced to spend significant amounts of time to ensure new equipment interoperability.

    The SEMI D51 specification aims at simplifying this process by providing a standardized approach to handshake protocols. It is expected that by implementing this standard, fabs will improve efficiency in design, production and installation of equipment, and will realize significant cost reductions as a result. In addition, use of this standard is expected to improve overall operating efficiency and delivery. “This specification seeks to standardize the handshake methods for transferring single substrates, which are at this point, different at each FPD fab,” said Weiss. “Implementation of this standard should help ensure a faster and more seamless equipment ramp-up.” [I think this has already been stated… can you insert a different quote?]

SEMI S26 Addresses EHS Issues in FPD

    While environmental health and safety (EHS) concerns have gained visibility in recent years, the display industry has not had any formal EHS guideline for FPD manufacturing systems—despite rapid generational changes of substrate sizes. The semiconductor manufacturing industry has embraced SEMI S2 Safety Guideline for Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment, but due to the differences in semiconductor and FPD manufacturing, as well as the nature of safety challenges in an FPD fab, this safety guideline is not entirely applicable to FPD equipment. With SEMI S26 now in place, this void has been filled.

    To address these differences, SEMI has developed S26, which is targeted specifically at the environmental, health and safety of FPD manufacturing systems.

    “The creation of SEMI S26 represents the FPD industry’s growing commitment to defining existing environmental, health and safety issues in the fab,” said Weiss. “This common framework is expected to help adopters standardize safety designs, and significantly reduce FPD manufacturing system costs and development times.”

Current SEMI Standards for FPD

    In addition to the two new SEMI FPD Standards, SEMI has developed over 50 standards for the FPD industry. These standards fall into five main categories:

    1. Terminology: FPD Masks, Mask Defects, and Mask Pattern Accuracy; FPD Polarizing Films; FPD Substrates and Substrate Deflection; and LCD Backlight Units.

    2. Test Methods: Chemical Durability of FPD Glass Substrates; Chemical Resistance of FPD Color Filters; Heat Resistance in FPD Color Filters; Color, Transmittance of FPD Color Filter Assemblies; FPD Polarizing Films and Surface Hardness of FPD Polarizing Film; CCFL Characteristics; Bent Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps; and Mechanical Vibration in AMHS for FPD Manufacturing

    3. Measurement Methods: FPD Glass Substrate Surface Roughness; SEMI MURA in FPD Image Quality Inspection; Resistance of Resin Black Matrix with High Resistance for FPD Color Filter; Measuring Method of Optical Characteristics for Backlight Unit; Definition of Measurement Index (Semu) for Luminance Mura in FPD Image Quality Inspection; and Guide for Quality Area of LCD Masks

    4. FPD Specifications for Substrates: Glass Substrates Used to Manufacture FPD; Edge Condition of FPD Substrates; LCD Mask Substrates; Edge Length and Thickness for LCD Mask Substrates; Marking of Glass FPD Substrates with a Two-Dimensional Matrix Code Symbol; Improved Information Management for Glass FPD Substrates Through Orientation Corner Unification; Quality Area Specification for FPD Substrates; Standard Size for FPD Substrates; and Provisional Specification for Large Area Masks for FPDs (North America).

    5. FPD Specifications for Handling, Transport, Shipping: FPD Glass Substrate Cassettes; Cassettes Used for Horizontal Transport and Storage of FPD Substrates; Mechanical Interface Between FPD Material Handling System and Tool Port; Mechanical Interface between FPD Material Handling Equipment and Tool Port, Using AGV, RGV, and MGV; FPD Substrate Shipping Case; Ultra-Large Size Mask Substrate Case; Reference Position of Single Substrate for Handling Off/On Tool; Single Substrate Orientation for Loading/Unloading Into/From Equipment to Specify ID Reader Position; Reference Position of Substrate ID to Specify Datum Line for ID Reader for Handling Off/On Tool.

    Other SEMI FPD Standards include a Guide for Cost of Equipment Ownership (CEO) Calculation for FPD Equipment, LCD Pellicles, and Markers on FPD Polarizing Films.

International Standards

As one of the key services offered by SEMI for the worldwide semiconductor, FPD, MEMS and related industries, SEMI International Standards help companies increase productivity, while enabling compatible business processes and technological interoperability on a global scale. SEMI Standards are published three times a year, and SEMI S26 and D51 join a roster of more than 770 standards and safety guidelines published by the association over the past 35 years.

For more information about SEMI Standards, visit