Semiconductor Fundamentals


The semiconductor chip is well recognised today for the fundamental revolution it has brought to the advancement of electronics technology. Since the first integrated circuit was created by Jack Kilby in Texas Instruments’ labs more than 50 years ago, the idea of transistors on silicon becoming the building blocks for intelligent processors has transformed almost every facet of daily life. Even though chips are widely used, how simple sand (silicon) is transformed into a highly complex chip is still less widely known.

  • Do you know where silicon comes from?
  • Do you know how silicon ingots are made?
  • Do you what are the processes involved to make the tiny circuits on the wafers?
  • Do you know how quality control is done in a wafer fab?

Likewise, do you know how these little chips look like inside your daily appliances such as mobile phone, TVs and even your car?

If your answer is ‘no’ to these questions, this is the course for you. In this course, you will find out the basic processes of making a chip from sand grain to the end product. You will also learn about the importance of metrology steps and quality control in each process step. It is a complete beginner guide for everyone in the semiconductor fabrication industry. 


The objective of this course is to equip all the participants with the basic knowledge to bring everyone to the same starting point in the electronics industry. There are many personnel who are working in part of the processes or supply chain, or even supporting roles, and do not understand the full picture of the electronics eco system. By attending this course, they will have a better understanding on the different roles they play in this industry.


For all engineers or personnel who works in the electronics sector but has no prior background in microelectronics. For every one who want to know the whole manufacturing eco system in the electronics industry.


Day 1

1. We pay more for technology  

    • Definition of chip size
    • Number of chip per/wafer
    • Size of wafer
    • Number of transistors per die

2. Silicon to IC chips

    • Si substrate preparation
    • Crystal growth
    • Crystal trimming
    • Wafer slicing

3. Must know facts about wafer fabrication

    • What is clean room
    • Clean room protocols
    • Technology
    • Cycle time
    • Wafer stocker / SMIF Pod/ FOUP/ OHT (AMHS)
    • Wafer identification
    • Scribe line
    • Wafer alignment

4. Wafer fabrication processes

    • Diffusion
    • Thin Film
    • CMP
    • Lithography


Day 2

1. Wafer fabrication process (cont’d)  

    • Etch
    • Implant
    • Clean Tech

2. Generic Process Flow       

    • Process steps across different technologies (Example of 0.18um vs 0.13um vs 45nm)
    • Progression and differences across different technologies

3. How does metrology affect quality control   

    • Extremely defect sensitive
    • Different types of in-line measurement
    • What is yield
    • What is defect density
    • Concept of Cost of Non-Conformance (CoNC)  

4. Electrical testing of wafer and packaging

    • Wafer sorting          
    • Assembly and different types of packaging (SMT vs traditional packaging) 
    • Chip final testing
    • On-site testing
    • How to sustain yield           


Group discussion and question-answers on understanding of semiconductor process flow course

*The course will be conducted through:

(a) Coach-led lessons

(b) Practical application of techniques through individual and group activities

(c) Discussion and reflection of participants’ real-life experiences




Consultant, Impact Volution

Sandeep is an accomplished professional with 22 years of progressive experience working with blue chip companies in the electronics and semiconductor industries such as GlobalFoundries and National Semiconductor.

He was the Director for Yield Improvement, Defect Management and Metrology at GlobalFoundries Singapore. He joined GlobalFoundries in 1996 for the start up of Fab3. During his 15 years of stay with GlobalFoundries, he was in-charge of Defect Management and Metrology group and significantly contributed for product defect limited yield improvement by effective use of metrology tools, smart and dynamic tools sampling and continuous improvement with modules. He led various cross functional project teams to achieve Operational Excellence by first time prototype success, process improvement, scrap reduction & automation. Sandeep was also the champion for Cost of Non-conformance (CoNc) across the Singapore fabs.

He is currently heading a consultancy firm specializing in Operational Excellence, Project Management overview, Communication Skills and programmes on Project Management. He is also part of the training panel for Impact Volution Consultation in Malaysia.