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FABS21 Benchmarking Tool Helps Semiconductor Manufacturers Improve Energy Efficiency

Scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), in cooperation with the International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI), have released for beta testing a computer-based tool to help the world's semiconductor manufacturing facilities ("fabs") evaluate and improve their energy efficiency.

"We developed FABS21 to allow the operators of semiconductor manufacturing facilities to continuously benchmark and improve energy and water efficiency of semiconductor facilities," says Paul Mathew, a Staff Scientist in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD) of Berkeley Lab.

"Resource efficiency is not just an environmental initiative; it is also an important business process that can reduce costs for fabs," said James Beasley, Environment, Safety and Health (ESH) Technology Manager for ISMI. "ISMI is pleased to be partnering with Berkley Labs on this project. Finding ways to conserve resources is vital to the long-term growth of the semiconductor industry, and tools such as the FABS21 benchmark database help ISMI and the industry address the challenges of sustainable manufacturing."

Benchmarking is the process of comparing a building's or facility's energy and water use to those of its peers.

The tool draws on previous research at Berkeley Lab on benchmarking for high-technology facilities such as laboratories, data centers, and clean rooms. It also makes use of the survey methods and data collected through the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). Berkeley Lab researchers worked with ISMI's Green Fab working group to validate the benchmarking methodology. Development of FABS21 is sponsored by ISMI, the global consortium of the world's major semiconductor manufacturers.

Users can benchmark their facilities using up to 46 different building and system level metrics, which fall into two categories. They can benchmark the overall facility energy and water efficiency, as kilowatt-hours/square centimeter of wafer output, and gallons per square foot of manufacturing space. These metrics will help facility operators who are applying for certification in the LEED-EBOM (Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance) rating system.

Screenshot of the FABS21 generated chart illustrating the total production energy intensity.

FABS21 also gives users system-level metrics, which are used for "action-oriented benchmarking." That is, with this information, users can identify potential actions to improve specific system areas such as ventilation air flow efficiency (in watts per cubic feet per minute), and chiller plant efficiency (in kilowatts per ton). The tool has metrics for environmental conditions, ventilation, cooling and heating, process equipment, and lighting and electrical systems.

Users can benchmark a facility across a set of years, as well as compare it to a group of similar facilities. They can filter the peer facilities dataset based on climate zone, facility type, and cleanliness level.

Development team members include Paul Mathew, Martin Stoufer, of the Information Technology division, and Anthony Ma of EETD.

— Allan Chen

FABS21 Beta Tool website.

High technology buildings research at Berkeley Lab.

More about the International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative.

LEED for Existing Buildings.

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