Semiconductor manufacturing is a complex endeavor. It relies on the cooperation of globally distributed supply chain participants, including design houses, fabrication facilities, equipment manufacturers, material suppliers, and assembly and testing facilities. Together, they must work closely to produce chips that meet the performance, quality, and security requirements of myriad industries.
To produce high-quality, high-yielding chips, these companies often need to securely exchange data with the supply chain partners, including sub-tier partners. Moreover, there is a need to enable end-to-end traceability spanning all the participants in the supply chain:
- To ensure the safety of critical infrastructure
- To maintain compliance with government regulations
- To protect against counterfeiting, tampering, and intellectual property (IP) theft
To enable such traceability, semiconductor companies need a way to securely exchange data with each other so each participant can maintain control of the data they share. This allows them to protect their IP while enabling other partners inside and outside their four walls to collaborate and improve yield, raise quality, and ensure compliance.
The full data transparency between fab, fabless, and OSAT for traceability is challenging because of IP concerns. Almost every bit of information on the design, production, and testing process is protected intellectual property.
Today, there are scenarios where organizations do share information. But it’s messy and inefficient. Ad-hoc, offline, manual, and time-intensive arrangements use traditional methods (aka secure inbox).
While old methods will continue to exist for IP and sensitive information exchange between two organizations, for simple questions related to die traceability, there is a better way.
- Want to see the full journey of a die in case it’s reported faulty?
- Want to know the potential intersection points in the journey of multiple dies in case multiple dies are reported faulty?
- Need anonymized information about the die journey in a partner organization that your partner can interpret with precision to locate detailed information in their systems.
In the die traceability example,
- Fabless will share some pointers to design data (not the design) with fab and OSAT in read-only mode.
- Fab will share pointers to production data in the fabrication, input and output lot, batch, serial number (not the actual fab data) with fabless and OSAT in read-only mode.
- OSAT will share pointers to packing and testing data (not actual test results) with fab and fabless in read-only mode.
This approach will allow each partner to have all information from all partners; some data individual organizations will own and some data other partners will share. Partners need not and, with built-in compliance and easy governance contorl, partners will not share anything they consider IP.
Figure 1 – Traceability for Secure Supply Chain Solution Diagram
Vendia Share is a private (permissioned) blockchain supply chain partners use to set up a multi-party (external traceability) or single-party (internal traceability) network. Typically, partners already have some trust and agreement to collaborate on specific use cases, or one has the leverage to inspire other partners to join the network. Partners can scale Vendia Share into subsets of the partner network or leverage it for multiple use cases like traceability, sustainability reporting, etc.
NOTE: Vendia Share is not an open blockchain like what’s discussed in daily news or a blockchain used for crypto payments. Vendia Share is a collaboration tool built for enterprise customers so they can share data, as in the example of fabless, fab, and OSAT organizations coming together to share data for full external die traceability of a die.
Chip manufacturers don’t have to wait for days and months to get the traceability data they need. With Vendia Share, they can find answers in seconds. Vendia Share makes it possible to build a multi-party secure data exchange for internal and external die traceability without exposing the IP of the participating organizations.
Unlike legacy blockchain, Vendia Share is built on AWS Serverless that’s proven for scalability, security, performance, and operational excellence; plus, we’ve developed custom blockchain for trust.