Detailed Scheduling Software suits semiconductor industry.

Press Release Summary:



Leveraging optimization, business rule, and visualization technologies, ILOG® Fab PowerOps(TM) addresses production scheduling for all essential front-end process areas within 300 mm semiconductor fabrication plant (fab). Software creates optimal production schedules for all tools within given fab process based on evaluation of WIP, tools, steps, and process timing constraints. Scheduling problems can be addressed based on real conditions, giving users control over unplanned events.



Original Press Release:



ILOG Unveils Industry-First Detailed Production Scheduling Product for Semiconductor Fabs



ILOG Fab PowerOps Delivers Higher Throughput, Faster Hot Lot Processing, Increased Tool Utilization and Reduced Capital Equipment Costs

SEMICON West, SAN FRANCISCO, July 10 -- ILOG(R) (Nasdaq: ILOG; Euronext: ILO, ISIN: FR0004042364) today unveiled ILOG Fab PowerOps(TM) -- the first software package to comprehensively address production scheduling for all essential front-end process areas within a 300 millimeter semiconductor fabrication plant (fab). Unlike other solutions, ILOG Fab PowerOps (FPO) can create optimal, forward-looking production schedules for all tools within a given fab process area, as well as create new schedules every five minutes. Available immediately and offered as a suite of modules, ILOG FPO enables detailed scheduling that allows users to automatically and continuously respond to the realities of the fab environment, resulting in improved throughput, shortened hot-lot cycle times, increased tool utilization, reduced capital equipment costs and faster response times to unplanned events. The announcement was made at SEMICON West, being held at the Moscone Convention Center, July 10-14.

Semiconductor scheduling is extremely specialized and complex. Each process flow in a wafer fab can contain 200-500 processing steps and utilize more than one hundred machines, each costing as much as tens of millions of dollars. Even small increases in efficiency yield enormous benefits, so semiconductor fabs need real-time detailed production scheduling software to shorten production lead times, reduce capital equipment costs and accelerate new product introductions.

Despite the significant impact of efficient fab scheduling, prior to the availability of ILOG FPO, semiconductor manufacturers had few choices for production scheduling. Generic scheduling modules within Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) packages address neither the unique requirements nor the complexities of the semiconductor fab environment. Other widely-used solutions from specialized vendors can sort lot lists for single process steps, but cannot assign and balance work in progress (WIP) across all tools in a process area.

Previously-available solutions also do not support tool dedication, which allow for WIP on one machine to return to the same machine later in the process, nor do existing solutions simultaneously schedule across all tools within a process area.

Leveraging ILOG's market-leading optimization, business rule and visualization technologies combined with detailed fab operational models, ILOG FPO addresses production scheduling issues across the following process areas: diffusion, photo, etch, thin films, chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) and implant. ILOG FPO delivers schedules based on the evaluation of the WIP, tools, steps and process timing constraints in multiple alternative schedules before recommending the optimal schedule for a process area. With ILOG FPO, a scheduling problem can be addressed based on the real conditions of the fab environment, giving users more control over unplanned events, such as tool interruptions, recipe qualifications and hot lots (urgent orders). The tool can also reduce capital equipment outlay by leveraging existing capacity. In addition, the custom configuration ability of FPO means that each process can be tailored to meet the requirements of each individual customer's fab facility.

ILOG FPO can also handle re-entrant flows. This support is essential for photolithography process scheduling and is also important for creating better yield and quality. And because it is based on the advances in ILOG's visualization technology, ILOG FPO not only provides superior operational visibility for FPO users, it is also the first product in semiconductor manufacturing to offer a Gantt chart display for scheduling. ILOG's business rule management technology in the product means that FPO is adaptable, and that as scheduling parameters change, users can easily write new rules without re-coding.

ILOG FPO has already been used to optimize production scheduling at a leading-edge 300 millimeter fab in the U.S. The implementation of ILOG FPO increased production throughput and reduced hot lot processing time in a target process area. ILOG's solution for real-time, detailed production scheduling in semiconductor manufacturing, also improved visibility over fab status.

ILOG FPO has three main parts:
-- Dedicated scheduling engines with detailed tool models for each process area -- Diffusion, Photo, Etch, Thin Films, CMP and Implant.
-- Analyzer: FPO's graphical user interface, which allows tool operators and industrial engineers to monitor schedules and key performance indicators, such as cycle times, queue time, process time and idle time by tool, tool type or for the entire process area.
-- Backbone: This is the middleware portion of ILOG FPO, which connects FPO to the manufacturing execution system (MES) or other data source. It also contains the Rule Builder for editing data processing rules and manufacturing logic.

The ILOG PowerOps Suite of applications leverages ILOG's decade-long track record of providing optimization-based planning and scheduling solutions to more than 1,000 commercial customers, including 160 members of the Global 500, such as Airbus, Coors, Dell, Hansol Paper, Michelin, Mitsubishi Chemicals, Nippon Steel, Nissan, Porsche, Saint Gobain, Thyssen Krupp, and Toyota. ILOG's planning and scheduling solutions, which comprise tools, engines and applications are also used by leading Supply Chain Management software vendors, including Infor, Manhattan Associates, JDA Software/Manugistics, Oracle, and SAP, as well as in research programs at over 1,000 universities around the world. For more information on ILOG Fab PowerOps please visit fpo.ilog.com/ . For more information on the ILOG PowerOps Suite, please visit applications.ilog.com/ .

About ILOG

ILOG delivers software and services that empower customers to make better decisions faster and manage change and complexity. Over 2,500 global corporations and more than 465 leading software vendors rely on ILOG's market-leading business rule management system (BRMS), optimization and visualization software components, to achieve dramatic returns on investment, create market-defining products and services, and sharpen their competitive edge. ILOG was founded in 1987 and employs more than 730 people worldwide. For more information, please visit www.ilog.com.

NOTE: ILOG is a registered trademark, and ILOG Fab PowerOps is a trademark, of ILOG. All other trademarks are the properties of their respective owners.

CONTACT: Monika Raj, PR Manager, US of ILOG, +1-650-567-8128

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