• Published by: Anna Robson

Flexciton moves scheduling optimisation to next level thanks to funding by Innovate UK

Thanks to recent funding by Innovate UK, Flexciton is about to trigger a revolution in semiconductor wafer manufacturing operations, with its state-of-the-art, patented scheduling optimisation technology. Now already deployed and working in Seagate Technology fab, the solution demonstrates significant improvements can be achieved, i.e. cutting back cycle times compared to previously used solutions.

Our scheduling optimisation technology can be configured to the specific needs of any fab. However, thanks to Innovate UK’s funding, we are now moving forward to turning this revolutionary solution into a proposition that offers ultimate scalability and seamless adoption. By making the system fit for quick deployment, we’re enabling UK semiconductor manufacturers to be at the very forefront of innovation.

The urgent need of semiconductor fabs

Semiconductors form the basis of all electronics. They enable everything from the cell phones that run our daily lives, to communications, healthcare, transportation and, essentially, our entire digital world.

Nevertheless, as semiconductor manufacturers look to capitalise on emerging technology applications, they face major challenges such as:

  • Generating consistent profit: competition is fierce

  • Manufacturing increasingly complex next-generation products, with anything of up to 2000 process steps being required

  • Achieving further efficiencies by shrinking the chip size because the pace of miniaturisation has slowed.

Unparalleled scheduling optimisation

One way to overcome such challenges is by reducing end-to-end manufacturing time. This can be achieved by optimising production scheduling: a process of arranging, controlling and allocating work and machines in the manufacturing operation. However, optimal scheduling is impossible for a human to do since there are over 2^20000 possible scheduling scenarios to consider in a complex factory.

At the end of the 9-month project, funded by Innovate UK, Flexciton aims to bring to market a fully automated semiconductor fab scheduling optimisation solution. The standardised product will dramatically reduce solution implementation time and enable rapid deployment across the semiconductor fab industry.

About Innovate UK

Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas.

They fund businesses and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment in R&D.

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation