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The Art of Computer Modeling for Business Analytics by Gerald Feigin

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CHAPTER 3

Scheduling Semiconductor Fabs

The mass production of computer chips in commercial semiconductor fabrication facilities is one of the most impressive engineering feats of modern times. In a fab, silicon wafers undergo a series of etching operations to imprint circuits on the silicon. A single wafer typically contains hundreds or thousands of individual chips, often, but not always, identical. Each chip is composed of millions of individual transistors. After processing in the fab, the wafers are cut into individual chips and each chip packaged into a finished product.

When I was starting out my career in the research division at IBM, I focused on scheduling of semiconductor fabs. Wafers circulate in a fab in lots, each of which contains ...

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