The internet is undoubtedly one of the most crucial innovations of the past century and has become an integral part of the developed world’s existence today. The proliferation of internet enabled devices around the globe has caused a surge in the flow of data which is constantly growing at an alarming rate. Processing this data is no simple task and the complexities that come with data explosion have complicated the prospective processes further. Intensive researches toward this end in the past decade have given birth to the concept of Big Data which became the panacea to the mind boggling issues posed by the data explosion. Today Big Data has become an integral part of almost every aspect of the business world as it provides deep insights that can heavily affect the bottom-line of any business irrespective of its industry. Every sector of the business world has changed considerably since its ascent, including the semiconductor industry which laid down the roots for all things IT over five decades ago. The growing amount of data generated in this sector dictates a need for companies to strategize their data analysis process and how they turn the information received into actionable insights that can considerably increase their yield potential by huge margins.
Founded in 2005, Optimal Plus is a forerunner in the Big Data game in the semi-conductor sector. The brain-child of a former Intel Testing Manager- Dan Glotter, Optimal Plus is an established brand in the semi-conductor market as the provider of Big Data solutions. Through the years that led to Optimal Plus’ inception, Dan was looking into the work process involved in the wafer manufacturing department of Intel which he was managing. He identified that the level of technology implemented in the process was far superior from the ones used in the test operations which he later moved to. During his tenure as the testing manager, Dan attended several conferences related to the subject and found that this lack of technology (especially automation) in the test operations was not just localized to Intel, but also to the entire semi-conductor industry. Dan decided to capitalize on this deficiency in the semi-conductor industry and start his own innovation to deliver these technologies to the companies within. Thus Optimal Plus was born, with the goal of bringing about a paradigm shift in the test operations sector and helps the client companies achieve results beyond their regular yield through the implementation of adaptive testing to reduce the testing time and by leveraging test data to increase yield recovery and utilize cross-operational data analytics to drive higher quality.
Creating a New Edge in a Traditional Market
Optimal Plus was born, with the goal of bringing about a paradigm shift in the test operations sector and helps the client companies achieve results
The semiconductor industry with its half a century old history is quiet comfortable with the traditions it has come to follow in its work process despite the various technological advancements that it has accommodated to replace some of the very crude aspects of the industry. Dan through Optimal Plus first wanted to introduce the latest data into the industry. To accomplish this, the company needed access to the source of the data from the suppliers. Dan achieved this task by allying with two of the most influential players in the industry at the time. These companies helped Optimal Plus merge their data infrastructure with the semi-conductor supply chain.
The combined footprint of the two companies in the semi-conductor foundries and Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test (OSATs) enabled Optimal Plus to deliver their vision of collecting data and detecting problems to guide the customers to action regardless of the origin of the data. The authenticity and depth of data rendered through this network renders a fluent and efficient analysis process which delivers highly effective results to the clients.
“If your data is fragmented in any way because it is “pushed” to you (this is how it works for most companies) you don’t really have control of your data.
You get what you get and the quality of that data can be all over the map,” says Dan Glotter on the subject. Over the years Optimal Plus has established itself well in the market and has been successful in gaining the support of all major foundries and OSATs in the semi-conductor vertical. The company has also managed to develop the most complete Big Data infrastructure in the global semi-conductor supply chain.
In the past decade another core objective of Optimal Plus was to displace the industrial tools and solutions which the semi-conductor companies have been in the habit of developing in-house for decades.Dan wanted to introduce the commercially produced factor which functionally superior to the ones created by the companies themselves and possessed the potential to produce results of a higher calibre. Initially this was a hard task as most companies did not find any reason to part with their existing processes which they had gotten quiet accustomed to. So Optimal Plus got thought leaders from the various commercial manufacturers with the motive of educating the semi-conductors management boards on the various advantages of adopting commercial solutions. The success of this tactic paid off for Optimal Plus in the form of the 20 billion units that the company processes every year which according to IC Insights makes up for about 10 percent of the global semi conductor manufacturing.
Effective Implementation of Assorted Data
Data mining is a key aspect of Big Data analysis. The focus here is to abstract as much information from the data so it can be turned into actionable insight and they put into motion. Optimal Plus has a battle tested rules based analytics engine at its disposal that enables companies to dig deep into the data and absorb every last drop of information the data is capable of mirroring. In Dan’s words “Optimal Plus has a rules-based analytics engine that is customizable so we can leverage all the experience and expertise within our customers to data-mine for every key nugget of information that they care about.” The company makes available to its customer every bit of resource at their disposal with respect to data analysis 24/7 allowing them to multiply their output potential while minimizing the chances of drop in productivity by looking for signatures within the data that signal these issues.
Actionable insight mined from the data cluster is just a pile of knowledge if not implemented properly. For most companies taking actionable insight into action is the most challenging part of the data analysis process. Optimal Plus accomplishes this task through the end to end approach to the services that they provide, where they are able to monitor all stages of Data analysis process from extraction to implementation. Even with an end to end service there are so many things that could go awry with the entire process like extraction of incomplete data and untimely data and data beyond the engine’s processing ability could all cause roadblocks in the data analysis as well as manufacturing processes. “It is the combination of data accuracy/completeness, combined with the timely access to that data and a powerful/customizable 24/7 rules-driven analytic engine that allow us to provide the value we are delivering to our customers,” says Dan.
Aided by a highly qualified team of engineers Optimal Plus is constantly able to deliver its end to end solutions while working side by side with the manufacturing process and extract the maximum Return on Investments (ROI) from their operations. The engineers are sorted out from the huge ocean of talent the entire world has to offer in each individual field composing the semi-conductor industry. These professionals along with the resource infrastructure of the company aid heavily in presenting a transparent outlook of the semi- conductor supply chain to the companies with the industry enabling them to gain valuable insights and strategize accordingly.
The Road Ahead
In its decade long existence Optimal Plus has been the recipient of a multitude of awards, among which the most noteworthy would be the AMD “Supplier Day Award”, Frost & Sullivan “Best Practices Award” and Test and Measurement World “Best in Test” Award. Along with these accolades Optimal Plus has also gained an entire contingent of semi-conductor companies that are under its clientele including 6 of the top 10 Fabless companies and multiple top 20 IDMs along with Broadcom and AMD. Through its wide clientele Optimal Plus has managed to establish itself as a global organization catering to the Big Data needs of the semi-conductor industries. The company’s unhindered full life cycle support to its clients worldwide truly enhances their core capabilities and helps them make the best of the data at their disposal. This has been a driving force in its growth and will help the company rise up from the start up stature despite its global success for nearly a decade. This highlights the company’s affinity towards growth and the standards its sets for itself to compete in the market. Dan intends to improve the company’s analytics infrastructure and further its data analytics potency. Optimal Plus also seeks to further expand its business into the various semiconductor hotspots around the world, where it has already established itself and spread its vision of revolutionizing the semi-conductor industry.