The ASYST SMIF system, integrated with the Tencor Surfscan 7200
Back in the early eighties people dressed up in hot, humid and extremely uncomfortable Bunny Suits while wafers swept naked through the factory, picking up innumerable yield-killing particles. Talk began to turn upon how topsy-turvy this method was. IBM was the first to place wafers in portable enclosures and allow people to work in street clothes in its famous QTAT facility (Quick Turn Around Time). In its inimitable engineering fashion, IBM named the enclosure as a SMIF for Standard Mechanical Interface. The name stuck but unfortunately the concept failed—portable enclosures proved to be no cleaner than the factory air, usually dirtier. The technology moved to Hewlett Packard, along with one of its inventors and its most vociferous proponent, Mihir Parikh. But HP didn’t view it as being in their mainstream technology so they released it to Mihir who founded ASYST and nursed the clean SMIF concept into reality. The rest is history.
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- Key Contributors: Mihir Parikh, founder and inventor, Tony Bonoro, engineering practitioner.
Both were recipients of the 1999 SEMI Award for their contribution of the SMIF System to the Industry.
- Industry code: 1484.61
- Copied with the implied permission of the Copyright Owner
- Mfr’s Code: ASYT