SOURCE: International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative

March 20, 2006 11:00 ET

ISMI Offering Product Assessment to Suppliers of Advanced Software Tester

AUSTIN, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 20, 2006 -- International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI) announced today that it is inviting suppliers to engage with it in developing an Advanced Software Tester (AST), an emerging industry utility designed to validate the integration and automation capabilities of advanced factory equipment.

The AST is envisioned as a commercial test product that can emulate semiconductor factory environments, allowing equipment makers to determine whether their tools comply with the hundreds of requirements and behaviors established by SEMI automation standards. To help promote development of the utility, ISMI engineers wrote and publicly distributed an AST specification that would meet the needs of ISMI member companies, who represent more than half of the world's semiconductor production capability.

Although several equipment suppliers have the expertise to build AST implementations, ISMI is the only organization equipped to evaluate such products for industry effectiveness -- much the way an independent laboratory tests consumer products for safety and functionality. ISMI will contract with interested suppliers to perform that function.

"The development of a robust and capable AST for standards conformance testing is a critical enabling technology for the industry," said Steve Fulton, ISMI equipment integration and automation manager. "ISMI's role is to contractually collaborate with companies that are developing the AST, and provide them with direction and technical expertise in a neutral environment that protects their intellectual property."

"Our experience places us in a unique position to understand the validation criteria and success factors in this area," Fulton added. "We will define the criteria and validate the capability, integrity, and standardized performance of AST products, and we will work with as many suppliers as our resources allow."

According to Fulton, suppliers who work with ISMI will benefit from lower developments costs, faster time to sales, and accelerated acceptance, quality, and production testing with customers. ISMI also is working with its member companies to define detailed consensus requirements to support AST testing. ISMI will make these reference lists commercially available.

Interested suppliers are invited to contact Fulton at 512-356-3611 or steve.fulton@ismi.sematech.org.

ISMI is a global alliance of the world's major semiconductor manufacturers, dedicated to reducing cost per wafer, and ultimately cost per die, through cooperative programs focused on manufacturing effectiveness. The consortium conducts programs in manufacturing infrastructure, methods, standards, and productivity, with the aim of reducing the costs of producing finished wafers and chips and driving solutions to major productivity challenges. ISMI is a wholly owned subsidiary of SEMATECH of Austin, TX. For more information, please visit http://ismi.sematech.org/corporate/index.htm.

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