Supports Chip Group Data Standards Effort
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
has launched a new effort with International
SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI), a subsidiary
of the global semiconductor consortium International
SEMATECH, to support e-manufacturing requirements of
data standards for improving microprocessor manufacturing.
ISMI and several task forces at the Semiconductor
Equipment Manufacturing International (SEMI) standards
organization are creating standards using the extensible
markup (XML) computer language. The new standards will
help chipmakers collect more data about their manufacturing
processes and further automate chip production.
XML is similar to HyperText Markup Language (HTML),
the set of standard, descriptive words and characters
or tags that are used to build Web pages. But where
HTML tags are static, XML allows users to define their
own tags to customize data to a greater degree.
Semiconductor manufacturers would like a standard
set of industry XML tags for collecting data about
critical manufacturing processes.
That’s where NIST comes in. NIST is well positioned
to help develop tools that will be used to improve
the quality of the standards and also to accelerate
adoption of these new standards. SEMATECH sought NIST
help because of NIST’s reputation for expertise
both in semiconductor manufacturing processes and computer
programming. Additionally, NIST is seen as a neutral
third party within the industry.
overall goal of the new project is to create a well-defined
set of XML tags for collecting semiconductor-processing
data that fully describe the key parameters affecting
quality control, while avoiding redundancy. Chipmakers
would like to be alerted to defects earlier in manufacturing
and someday be able to exert real-time control to correct
the defects, preventing waste. This requires receiving
more data from the manufacturing equipment during operation.
The XML standards will help in the collection and presentation
of that data.
researchers also are developing a new tool that will
data from chip manufacturing machines
and provide a visual “diagnosis” of the
process during operation.
Group Studies 3D Reference Scaffolds
task force is seeking members to help jump-start development
of new three-dimensional reference
materials for tissue engineering.
by the ASTM International, the task force is co-chaired
by biomaterials researchers
John Tesk of the National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST) and Michael Yaszemski and Esmaiel
Jabbari of the Mayo Clinic. The reference materials
needed are carefully characterized scaffolds—artificial
structures like those on which biological tissue is
grown to replace diseased or damaged tissue.
A call for participation in the task force was just
published in the current edition of Biomaterials
engineering is an emerging field that involves creating
conditions to grow living structures
such as skin and, potentially, whole organs, such as
livers. Scaffolds are used as templates that are seeded
with living cells. As the cells grow and multiply,
on the shape of the underlying scaffold. The success
or failure of a specific scaffold material depends
on a variety of factors, including its physical dimensions,
the scaffold’s porosity, and how well-tolerated
the material is by the surrounding healthy tissue.
Polymers are expected to be the most-used materials
for the fabrication of scaffolds.
The task force will conduct measurements for characterization
of test scaffolds.
use the task force’s recommendations
to develop the first reference scaffolds, which will
be made of polymers, for distribution to researchers
and developers of scaffolds for tissue engineering
Nance, (301) 975-5226
Formulas Featured on Baldrige CDs, Videos
large and small, in service or manufacturing; schools;
and health care organizations can learn about
management excellence from the six winners of the
2003 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. A
new set of audiovisual materials is available showcasing
the successful strategies that earned these organizations
the 2003 Baldrige Award, the nation's highest honor
in performance excellence.
The Baldrige program is managed by the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in conjunction
with the private sector.
2003 winners are: Medrad, Inc.; Boeing
Support; Caterpillar Financial Services
Corporation; U.S.; Stoner, Inc.; Community Consolidated
School District 15; Baptist Hospital, Inc.; and Saint
Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City.
set of three CDs contains an in-depth look
at the outstanding management practices of these
six organizations as well as extensive interviews
with their chief executives and others. Also included
are PowerPoint presentations by the 2003 award recipients
at The Quest for Excellence conference, March 28-31,
2004, and summaries of their applications for the
Baldrige Award. A videocassette package with this
information also is available.
The audiovisual materials are available from the
American Society for Quality, P.O. Box 3066, Milwaukee,
Wis. 53201-3066, (800) 248-1946. Item T1207 is the
CD-ROM for $35. Item TA1126 is the videocassette
for $20. Other Baldrige Award materials also are