Goh Sze Huat
My company and my job
GLOBALFOUNDRIES is the world’s first full-service semiconductor fabrication plant with a truly global footprint- based in Silicon Valley with manufacturing operations in New York, Vermont, Germany and Singapore
Technology Development plays an important role as part of an integrated advanced manufacturing ecosystem. It has to stay abreast of global trends and constantly seek to develop leading edge, niche and differentiated technologies to grow the company portfolio.
The semiconductor industry is highly competitive and in order to meet demands for faster product time-to-market, when an integrated circuit (IC) fails after evaluation, it is imperative that the failure mode be replicated, diagnosed and the root cause resolved in a timely and effective manner. In the face of complex issues that cannot be resolved using conventional means of failure analysis, my role in product diagnostic engineering is to couple knowledge from manufacturing, test, design and custom failure analysis methods to institute new ways and approaches to overcome the challenge. This troubleshooting process in the IC value chain is critical.
How I got my job
I was accepted into a Globalfoundries (then known as Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing) -NUS co-sponsored PhD program. To better prepare the students for transition into the wafer fabrication industry, Globalfoundries has a comprehensive training program that comprises of classroom sessions on semiconductor manufacturing process and hands-on site tours. This learning opportunity provides me a solid technical foundation and head-start to discover my career direction. With a decisive and equipped mind, I am able to land on the job of my choice. I strongly encourage aspiring post-graduate students to leverage such industrial programs.
The highs and lows
For me, motivation at work revolves around one thing – the people. I am fortunate to be working among a group of energetic and like-minded engineers. I take pride in solving challenging problems together as a team and growing with them. We celebrate success together and over time, developed a sense of professional identity, and confidence. This helps to fuel the momentum to get us through difficult roadblocks.
My happiest moment at work
After 3 years into my first role in yield engineering, I proposed a pioneering approach to resolve complex device failures leveraging a combined effort from semiconductor test and electrical failure analysis. My department head was very supportive of the idea and offered me the opportunity to establish a small team to implement the idea. We collaborated with a local SME to co-develop a dynamic fault localization tool and became the first foundry in the world to adopt this debug method for complex circuit failures. The success resonated with the other fabs in Globalfoundries as well as competitor foundries and the methodology has since been adopted as an industry standard. It is certainly rewarding to be able to contribute to the industry.
Training and support
The learning and development (L&OD) department in Globalfoundries manages a training calendar which is published online for employees to sign up. It encompasses a wide spectrum of topics relating to microelectronics at intermediate and advanced levels. The trainers comprise experienced technical staff from the company and hence, the content are highly relevant. Besides such on-site trainings, other programs to fulfil higher level learning needs include the industrial postgraduate and education assistance programs.
I believe that each of us should work to exceed the expectations of our customers. While the work may be tough but as engineers, there is nothing more satisfying that solving problems, overcoming challenges! Of course, we don’t just work hard, we also enjoy time together with colleagues through social activities as well as sports events organized by our HR department!
Stay hungry for knowledge. Be prepared to work extremely hard for the first few years to discover your strengths and build your career around it.