Cleanrooms in semiconductor manufacturing plants – what you need to know

The semiconductor manufacturing industry is currently one of the leading industries with the strictest standards and procedures. Factors such as dust levels, temperature, lighting, etc., in semiconductor cleanrooms need to be controlled multiple times more rigorously than in regular cleanrooms. Let’s delve deeper into the information about cleanrooms in semiconductor manufacturing in the following article with INTECH Group.

What is a semiconductor cleanroom?

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A semiconductor cleanroom is a space designed and maintained to ensure the best control of particle size and concentration during the production of electronic products, especially semiconductor components and devices. In the semiconductor manufacturing industry, controlling dust, bacteria, and other small particles that could cause product defects is extremely important, as these are crucial connection points that require high precision. Even the slightest impact can affect their safety and efficiency.

The importance of cleanrooms in semiconductor manufacturing

In semiconductor manufacturing, cleanrooms play a crucial role in ensuring product quality and performance.

Semiconductor manufacturing equipment and technology are highly sensitive to dust and small particles. Cleanrooms are designed to eliminate or minimize the presence of dust particles, bacteria, and other contaminants in the air and on the surfaces of equipment, helping prevent contamination and minimize production errors.

Cleanrooms provide a controlled environment for temperature and humidity, which is especially important for semiconductor manufacturing processes, where environmental conditions stability can affect product quality. The cleanroom environment also helps prevent the growth of bacteria and microorganisms, thereby ensuring cleanliness and product quality.

In particular, cleanrooms not only protect the semiconductor manufacturing process but also protect the final products from contamination during transportation from the production process to packaging and shipping.

Essential standards in semiconductor cleanrooms

Cleanliness standards

This is the most important standard in semiconductor cleanroom manufacturing to ensure that semiconductor cleanrooms are always controlled and that the chips produced from them are of the highest stable quality.

Cleanliness levels are classified according to the number of dust particles of certain sizes per unit volume of air. Cleanliness standards commonly used in semiconductor manufacturing include:

ISO 14644-1: International standard for air cleanliness in cleanrooms.

Federal Standard 209E (FED STD 209E): Standard issued by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

Depending on specific applications, semiconductor cleanrooms may need to meet specific industry requirements, such as ASTM standards for automotive applications and NASA standards for aerospace applications. Each type of product requires different standards. For example, a FAB producing electronic chips on semiconductor wafers requires a very clean room, ranging from class 1 (ISO 3) to Class 10 (ISO 4), while chip packaging only requires a class 10,000 cleanroom.

Temperature and humidity standards

Temperature and humidity in semiconductor cleanrooms need to be tightly controlled to ensure product quality and equipment efficiency.

Temperature: Typically maintained between 20°C to 24°C.
Humidity: Typically maintained between 40% to 50%.

Pressure standards

Pressure in cleanrooms needs to be adjusted higher than the outside pressure to prevent dust ingress. Pressure differentials are usually maintained at 5Pa to 15Pa.

Lighting standards

Lighting in cleanrooms needs to be strictly controlled to avoid affecting product quality.

Light type: White or yellow light is preferred.
Light intensity: Maintained at 500 lux to 1000 lux, depending on the equipment and products being manufactured.

Noise standards

Noise in cleanrooms needs to be controlled to minimize the impact on human health and equipment operation. Noise levels should be maintained below 65 dB.

Construction material standards

Construction materials used for semiconductor cleanrooms need to meet the following requirements:

  • Smooth and easy-to-clean surfaces: Help minimize dust accumulation.
  • Waterproof, mold-resistant: Ensure a clean environment.
  • Anti-static: Protect electronic devices from damage, minimizing sharp corners in the room.
  • Additionally, other standards may be applied depending on the specific requirements of each semiconductor manufacturing plant.
  • Considerations when designing and constructing semiconductor cleanrooms
  • Choose suitable equipment and facilities: Select equipment and facilities appropriate for the cleanroom working environment, including UV lights, hand wash sinks, material storage racks, etc.
  • Ensure occupational safety: When constructing cleanrooms, attention should be paid to compliance with occupational safety regulations to avoid risks.
  • Ensure dimensions from design to construction: Ensure that the dimensions and details in the design match the actual construction to avoid discrepancies that could lead to deviations in the structure.

INTECH Group specializes in consulting, designing, and constructing turnkey semiconductor cleanrooms.

In addition to the above considerations, an important aspect of designing and constructing semiconductor cleanrooms is selecting a reputable and professional construction unit. INTECH Group confidently brings professional value and satisfaction to customers by providing comprehensive services from consulting, design to construction of cleanrooms. INTECH has completed projects for many customers and investors from Japan, South Korea, the United States, Europe, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, etc.

Contact INTECH Group now to receive advice from experienced and professional engineers and experts in the field of semiconductor cleanrooms.

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