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December 21, 2015 Issue

The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information


Test Data and Semiconductor Yield Management Solution



Omar Malik






Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – December 21, 2015


CEOCFO: Mr. Malik, what is yieldWerx?

Mr. Malik: yieldWerx Enterprise is one of the leading semiconductor yield management solutions in the market. We have a global market presence and are used by a wide variety of customers ranging from fabless design houses, test equipment manufacturers to outsourced assembly and test suppliers. The focus of yieldWerx, our company is to impact the bottom line of our customers by improving their operational Intelligence. The yieldWerx team has become an integral part of the operations team of our customers, and we strive to help them achieve higher operational efficiency, quality and yield by providing them an end-to-end operations and yield management solution that improves supply chain visibility. We have a long history of quality software for engineering/analytics as an experienced Microsoft development team, and have deep domain expertise from the Texas Instruments background among our founders. This combination makes us an ideal partner to stay ahead in our industry.


CEOCFO: How does a company make use of your application and what can they do with it that other applications do not allow?

Mr. Malik: yieldWerx is a state of the art platform that enables a semiconductor company to monitor and control Multi-stage test floor operations, quality and yield. The platform is a flexible system that comes with core modules necessary for basic yield, quality and operations management with options to scale up with additional modules. yieldWerx Enterprise automatically captures data from hundreds of formats including STDF, ATDF, CSV and proprietary formats. It uses advanced analytics to find root causes, and automatically generates reports to assist in production monitoring. When a customer has a unique data format, we have the ability to develop custom loaders for them as well. The platform and our business model are flexible if a customer wants to customize an analysis module or report and this allows us to add capabilities quickly to support emerging trends in the market.


CEOCFO: Are there many companies in your space?

Mr. Malik: The industry has recently seen some consolidations through mergers and acquisitions, leaving 4-5 major players in the industry. This means tougher competition between a few consolidated companies and a fewer more nimble ones like ours. yieldWerx’s strong product platform, experienced support and flexibility gives us a unique ability to help fabless companies improve their product yields, up their engineering productivity and streamline operations all because of the efficiencies they get using yieldWerx Enterprise and leveraging our expertise.


CEOCFO: Are most semiconductor companies using a solution today, or are there still companies that do not understand the value?

Mr. Malik: That is a good question. In the market, we see large semiconductor companies who have been using yield management solutions for many years, although requirements and support needs are constantly changing. We demonstrate to such companies how yieldWerx can perform the job better and more efficiently compared to a legacy system they might be using. We also see many midsized fabless companies that have been around for a while and here usage is mixed. Sometimes we find that they are using a homegrown tool or using add-ons with Excel to analyze their data; and this has not really kept up with the times. Then we have the third category, which are new fabless companies that do not analyze their production data much at all, so they are always looking for better ways to do things. yieldWerx prides itself on its ability to not just provide software to perform data analysis, but also to train our users on the best practices when it comes to capturing, understanding and analyzing data. yieldWerx has some of the best minds in the industry who understand how to analyze test data using best practice techniques, these statistical models are not offered by typical off-the-shelf analysis products.


CEOCFO: Are you surprised that the industry has not been looking for better solutions such as yieldWerx?

Mr. Malik: Most fabless semiconductor companies spend large amounts on the design of their products but they often do not allocate enough for the test and operations side of their business. However, more and more companies have started to realize the importance of good test and operations data analysis tools and that the ability to have a better insight into the semiconductor manufacturing process can save on design cost as well. That is something that larger companies have realized and they have reaped the benefit by using more sophisticated yield management solutions.


CEOCFO: How do you reach out to potential customers?

Mr. Malik: That is also a very interesting question. We started out about 7 years ago with an engineering background, primarily software development. Our product development strategy was based on building modules that our clients needed and specified. There was a core group of clients and our product roadmap was built, working with them, to support their data analysis needs. After following this approach for the first 4 or 5 years, we slowly ramped up our sales and marketing activity, as our product matured, which broadened our presence in the market. We did this intentionally to grow the product until our functionality got to the point where we had everything most clients needed. This is important because it becomes very difficult to sustain if you have a product that is not mature and you start marketing it. We have recently brought on Jeff Teza, as our Vice President of Sales and Business Development. He is a seasoned professional of the semiconductor test industry with years of experience and is former CEO of Syntricity, one of our competitors. We have also brought in two other experienced people from this industry in our sales and marketing team, Paul Dennies and Jami Wong. With these new additions to our sales and marketing team, we now have a more aggressive growth strategy going out to new clients. ITC 2015 was our first trade show as an exhibitor, and our CTO presented at their Corporate Forum Track, which led to some very good follow-ups.


CEOCFO: Is it one product or several different products that you offer?

Mr. Malik: We have several modules within our application that we offer. It really depends on what our client is looking for. We also have the capability to modularize our application and break it down into smaller components if a client does not need the whole package. Therefore, we are very flexible in terms of how we package our modules and this is greatly valued by the clients because they can scale up with additional modules as their requirements change.


CEOCFO: What has changed in the product? What have you have learned that engineers want that you did not realize in the beginning?

Mr. Malik: One thing that has changed, or has become more critical, is managing Lot Genealogy. This is the ability for engineers to automatically track, link and analyze data across different stages of their operations such as WAT/PCM, Wafer Sort and Final Test. Fabless semiconductor companies are now focused on developing this capability so that they can have effective data management across the three stages even with multiple outsourced suppliers. That is something that historically we have not seen done well in any other products. This capability gives engineers the ability to automatically track and stitch together data along multiple process steps despite different vendors, naming conventions etc. We recently released our Lot Genealogy module and presented it at ITC, which got some rave reviews. With automation achieved through Lot Genealogy, engineering productivity can improve five or six times and result in substantial yield improvements. Automating 100% of Lot Genealogy across your supply chain will lead to very effective end-to-end big data management and will translate into substantial cost savings!


CEOCFO: Would you tell us about your recent selection by QuickLogic, and is that a typical client?

Mr. Malik: QuickLogic is a client that we have been working with for almost two years. We have a very close, mature relationship with them. QuickLogic reviewed our competitors before selecting yieldWerx as their yield management system. The factors that caused them to choose us included; the maturity of the product with the features and functionality that they wanted but, more importantly, our team gave them the comfort that we would be the best company to lead them through the deployment and training process to support their yield management goals. Like most fabless companies, QuickLogic needed a great deal of help in managing their data, especially with test data cleansing and mapping data across their outsourced supply chain. Our support team also helped them with developing and deploying Lot Genealogy tracking capabilities, which QuickLogic did not have. The powerful capabilities of yieldWerx and the expertise of our support team was why they selected yieldWerx above our competitors.


CEOCFO: Put it together for our readers. Why does yieldWerx stand over and above the competition?

Mr. Malik: We figured out that in the semiconductor industry ramping new products to market and minimizing yield loss are major concerns but many companies spend more time trying to capture and track data than analyzing root causes, solving problems and implementing fixes. yieldWerx is a true End-to-End solution that leverages cross-operational test data and leads to real yield boosting results, ramping your products to market faster and allowing engineers to do their jobs more efficiently. This is the value proposition that yieldWerx provides to its customers. The thing that sets us apart is the ease of use and maintenance of the tool, the functionally rich product suite at a very economical price, providing a lot more $ for $ value than our competitors do. We bring the wealth of knowledge and experience to the clients that help them efficiently solve their specific operational and business problems.


"The focus of yieldWerx, our company is to impact the bottom line of our customers by improving their operational Intelligence. The yieldWerx team has become an integral part of the operations team of our customers, and we strive to help them achieve higher operational efficiency, quality and yield by providing them an end-to-end operations and yield management solution that improves supply chain visibility."- Omar Malik





Muneed Rasheed









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