Lau Fu Long
Engineer Integration and Yield Engineering
My company and my job
My role as a product engineer in GLOBALFOUNDRIES involves the monitoring of wafer yields and also finding ways to continuously improve the yields. Whenever we encounter low wafer yields, we need to analyse the inline data to find out what went wrong during the fabrication process.
If there is a fault during wafer fabrication, we will then work with the process engineers to find out the root cause that led to the low yield. From there, we then provide possible solutions and prevention methods. This minimises the risk of more wafers getting scrapped due to low yield, thus saving money for the company.
Product engineers also contribute to yield improvement activities in the fab. This can be either through defect reduction, or process parameters control in the wafer fabrication process. The continuous yield improving is critical as it allows our company to produce better wafer quality.
How I got my job
I had a round of interview with my company’s yield enhancement/product engineering hiring managers. They assessed me based on my technical skills, communication skills, and attitude. I think the most challenging part of the interview was answering questions on the wafer fabrication process as it involves both chemistry and physics knowledge – fields that are very wide and deep.
I was perhaps offered the job because of my positive attitude, passion towards the semiconductor field, and perseverance.
The highs and lows
What I enjoy most about my job is being able to bring up a product’s yield that meets the customer’s expectation. My happiest moment so far is probably when our team was complimented by our customer for our good product yield improvement during the quarterly engineering review.
In order to bring up a product’s yield, we typically start off by identifying the major factor which contributed to the yield loss, then work towards a yield improvement plan. Upon implementation, expected yield improvement usually range between 0.2% - 2%.
However, it can be quite demoralising when our plans don’t work well as we’ll have to re-do our analysis again.
Training and support
I think GLOBALFOUNDARIES provides a very intensive and extensive training for its graduate employees. The training helped me to bridge the gap between theory and industrial application. Furthermore, there is a mentor assigned to guide me during my first year in the company. He not only guided me in my course of work, but was also willing to share his knowledge with me. Over time, under his mentorship, I am now able to take up projects independently.
GLOBALFOUNDRIES has made the effort to promote work-life balance by funding every department with a sum of money to organise quarterly team-bonding activities. I have helped to organise a dragon boat event and a BBQ family day for our department.
During these events, we have fun and get to know our colleagues better. It also encourages cross-cultural exchanges between colleagues as GLOBALFOUNDRIES is a multinational company with staff members from around the globe.
Follow your passion and chase the rainbow in your life. If you are keen to be an engineer, note that the learning curve can be steep at first, but with determination and willingness to learn, you will eventually be able to master it.