Standards are voluntary technical agreements between
suppliers and customers, aimed at improving product quality and reliability at a
reasonable price and steady supply. Standards ensure compatibility and
inter-operability of goods and services.
SEMI standards are written documents in the form of
specifications, guides, test methods, terminology, practices, etc. These
documents are published in the 13 volume set of SEMI International Standards.
SEMI standards cover every aspect of semiconductor manufacturing: Equipment
Automation (Hardware and Software), Facilities, Gases, Materials,
Microlithography, Packaging, Process Chemicals, and Traceability. Guidelines are
also developed to cover safety related issues. In addition, standards are
published for Flat Panel Displays. The publication catalogue provides a listing
of the available standards and guidelines.
What are the benefits of participating?
The SEMI International Standards Program is first and
foremost an opportunity for industry representatives to participate in
state-of-the-art technical discussions, while also establishing the future
direction of the semiconductor, photovoltaic, and FPD industries. By
participating in standards, companies can influence important industry trends.
Companies utilizing standards can decrease
manufacturing costs, increase reliability and productivity, and access global
markets. On an individual basis, participation helps to reduce design work,
provides access to evolving technology and technical developments, and aides
How are standards developed?
The SEMI International Standards program provides the
framework and procedures for industry experts to meet, discuss, and develop
essential standards and guidelines. Once the need for a standard has been
identified with appropriate input from the user community, a task force is
assembled to carry out the development effort. The task force may be regional or
international. The result of the task force deliberations is a draft document
responsive to industry needs. The draft is reworked until the task force
develops consensus. After the task force is satisfied with its work, a wider
consensus is developed by reporting to the parent regional technical committee
or subcommittee to obtain comments from other members who did not participate
directly in the document development. Frequently, broader international
consensus is also obtained informally at this time.
When the regional technical committee agrees that a
reasonable consensus has been reached, it initiates the worldwide balloting
process to confirm that the document has global consensus. This process is
managed by the SEMI Headquarters office. Regional offices in Europe, Japan,
Korea, and Taiwan provide additional direct member interface. At least 60% of
the issued ballots must be returned, so it is very important for ALL voting
members to vote. All negative viewpoints must be considered, but unanimous
agreement is not required.
The culmination of this development effort is the
application of the new standard by the industry. Frequently, SEMI organizes
Standards Technical Educational Programs (STEPs) to communicate new standards to
the industry and show the advantages of using them. Users cite SEMI standards in
their purchase specifications or utilize them in equipment and materials
evaluations. Suppliers cite conformance of equipment, materials, or services to
SEMI standards in their advertising and product literature. Use of SEMI
standards is entirely voluntary, and so their usefulness to the industry can be
assessed by the frequency of use.
Management of the program is provided by industry
volunteers serving on administrative Regional Standards Committees in North
America, Europe, and Japan. These committees also consider the document history
to determine that all the mandated procedures have been followed, and that all
opinions have been properly considered. The International Standards Committee
has the overall responsibility for the conduct of the program. It establishes
the regulations governing the program procedures and maintains relationships
with other standard-setting organizations worldwide.
Standards are a form of technology that transcends
international boundaries. More importantly, SEMI Standards development conducted
on an international basis spurs the dialogue that results in joint ventures,
technology licenses, and outright sales. Standards are not just developed by and
for engineers; their use should be viewed as a management tool, and consequently
should be accompanied by high level support for standards-setting
Compliancy to Standards can:
Increase Supplier Profitability by:
- reducing product development cost and cycle
- increasing reliability
- allowing focus on unique value-added features
- enhancing market penetration/ensuring product
- remaining at the forefront of technological
- smoothing technology migration
Increase Customer Satisfaction by:
- reducing factory integration costs and production
- lowering manufacturing costs
- minimizing maintenance costs
- clarifying expectations for suppliers
- enabling incremental change at proportional cost
Increase Industry Efficiency by:
- reducing/eliminating duplication of efforts
- providing level of commonality
- defining new markets
- promoting competition by lowering barriers to
- enabling evolving technology trends
How can I join the SEMI Standards Program?
There are no fees to participate in the SEMI
International Standards Program; SEMI underwrites the costs of administering the
program as a service to the industry. Meetings are open and anyone may attend.
However, to participate as a member and receive information about the program,
you are required to submit a membership application. This ensures that your
address and interests are properly recorded in the data base and that you will
receive mailings relevant to your interests. If your company affiliation or
interests change, a new application should be submitted so that your records can
be updated and maintained accurately. The membership application form allows you
to specify your voting status for each committee in which you have an interest.
Members may join one or more technical committees as
voting or non-voting members by filling out a simple application form. Online,
printable versions of the SEMI International Standards Membership Application
Form are available to interested individuals. To receive a membership packet,
please contact your nearest regional office as found on the Standards
Contact Information page. Please remember to provide your name and mailing
when sending an e-mail message.
What are your benefits as a committee member?
As a registered member of a committee you will
- notification of minutes of all meetings of the
- announcements and agendas of committee meetings in
- general information on related technical programs
and STEPs (Standards Technical Education Program)
As a voting member you have additional obligations to
the program in that you are expected to vote on ALL letter ballots issued by the
committee. You will automatically receive notification of draft documents and
all letter ballots issued by the committee.
Global Technical Committees
At present, the Standards program operates the
following technical committees:
- Assembly & Packaging
- Automated Test Equipment
- Compound Semiconductor Materials
- Environmental, Health & Safety
- FPD - Equipment
- FPD - Material Handling
- FPD - Materials & Components
- FPD - Metrology
- Information & Control
- Liquid Chemicals
- Physical Interfaces & Carriers
- Silicon Wafer
Not all of the global committees are active in all
regions, and in some regions several committees are consolidated into a local
committee with broader scope.
Can I receive general program information without
belonging to a specific committee?
Yes. Most of the general information and all of the
current standards meeting schedule information may be found Standards section of
the SEMI website. For more information, please contact the appropriate person
Does my company need to be a SEMI corporate member
No. The program is available to the worldwide
semiconductor industry without a membership fee. Participation is independent of
whether your company is a SEMI corporate member or not.
Are SEMI activities subject to antitrust laws?
Yes. SEMI activities are subject to antitrust law as
SEMI activities are a coordinated effort among competitors in the semiconductor
equipment and materials