Building services design for a semiconductor fabrication plant can take months, due to the sheer amount of calculations and considerations required. Using algorithms known as “optimizers” to determine the best design for your fab could reduce errors, improve efficiency, and vastly speed up your delivery times.

Semiconductor fabrication plant design is a complex and painstaking process, for a very good reason.

A fab is home to a wide variety of vital tools, performing various essential functions. These tools can be the size of a family car and cost up to $500million. Making sure that all of these tools are connected in the optimal way is a challenge in itself. And that’s even before you take into account factors such as voltage, capacity, and the ability to adjust to potential disruption.

It’s an extremely complicated puzzle for even the most experienced professionals to solve, which is why it can take several months to settle on a design.

Luckily, a solution exists which can produce results without sacrificing accuracy. And it could shave months off your schedule.

It’s time to use optimizers in your next project.

The power of optimizers

Consider all the calculations that go into a fab design.

Every tool needs to be connected up properly. Depending on the tool, it may need to be supplied with gas, electricity, or water for cooling. It may need to be linked with other tools, or to a method of waste disposal.

During the design process, engineers need to consider the distance of the tool from the connection panel, which means it’s important to have the tools and the panels in the right place for the layout you’re working with.

But that’s not all. Engineers should also be aware of the voltage requirements of these tools, and whether any of the panels at any point in the network are being overloaded.

Shutdowns are costly. So they must also consider which tools are critical and should be supported by a battery backup. And tools must be split between different supplies, so that at least some of them will remain operational if one power supply goes down.

Furthermore, if the panels aren’t all expected to be in place when installation first takes place, the design must take that into account. Otherwise, tools get connected to the nearest panel, and it has a knock-on effect on the validity of the entire plan.

It’s no wonder that this process can take a human months to complete. Even then, it is possible that a change or unexpected event could throw this manual plan out of sync in an instant. AllAnd all of these important calculations are stored on spreadsheets, files and CAD drawings, frequently drawn up by multiple contractors from different companies.

However, this doesn’t just need to be a “human problem”.

These calculations may be complex, but they’re based on rules, connections and mathematics. Which makes them a perfect puzzle for “optimizers”.

Optimizers are algorithms designed to calculate your optimum layout and design, based on your parameters. The right algorithms can consider all of the variables mentioned above, filter which panels are suitable for each tool, and pinpoint the best layout for your entire fab in a fraction of the time.

How optimizers can transform your process

Our optimization algorithms are part of Basesite’s Design Automation Software, which is built for semiconductor owners and EPCs in the Basebuild and Tool-Install phases.

These algorithms crunch your data to deliver the optimal layout for your fab, whether it’s an existing brownfield development, or a completely new one.

Introducing optimizers into your build process can be a gamechanger in more ways than one.

  1. Saving time and money
    Our optimization algorithms can produce a Sub Fab Utility Design in as little as three hours, while POC designs, Bills of Materials and GAP assessments can be available in one week instead of 12. This can reduce design costs by up to 15%.
  2. More efficient use of materials
    This approach can save you as much as 30% on cabling and panels, by delivering a design that minimizes waste and underused panels. This reduces waste, and potential supply chain delays.
  3. Added peace of mind at every point
    An optimized design can consider what panels you have available at each stage of the build process. This ensures that you have a layout you can trust, and you won’t suffer the knock-on effects of having to adjust on the fly.
  4. Plan a more resilient fab
    Our optimizers can help you withstand disruptions and avoid shutdowns. By calculating the best way to split tools between different supplies, you can be confident that your fab can still operate in some form if an issue occurs.
  5. Get ahead of the competition
    Introducing optimizers into your design process can take months off your build process. This can put you at the front of the queue for materials and talent, and free up your engineers to work on more high-level tasks. This means your fab will be operational sooner, serving clients and delivering top-quality products.

Talk to us about optimizing your build today

Optimizers could transform the semicon fab build process, replacing processes that are time-consuming, taxing, and often carried out manually on spreadsheets.

By using this approach, you can reduce Gap Assessment costs by as much as 75%, and save millions by refocusing your engineering talent onto other critical tasks.

The first step is to talk to us about your needs. We can restructure your data into a machine-readable format, and deliver reliable results in a matter of days. And with better structured data, what else can you achieve in future?

In an industry where precision, accuracy and speed are crucial, isn’t it time to consider what better data can do for your company?
To find out more about how optimization could transform your fab construction process, get in touch with one of Basesite’s engineers today.