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March 5, 2012

Space Shuttle Spittle Video

Space Shuttle Spittle Video
Thomas J Green, Technical Director, TJ Green Associates LLC
Human contamination in IC manufacturing is a serious concern. The industry has come a long way in thirty years. In 1985 Dr Bob Thomas from USAF Rome Air Development Center gave a talk on the negative effects of human contamination on the reliability of ICs. In his twenty minute technical presentation Bob details the problems associated with human contamination in semiconductor processing and chronicles the abort of a Space Shuttle launch at the Cape that was traced to human contamination of an IC.

One of the main computers on board the Shuttle failed to operate and respond during the countdown cycle just a few milliseconds before liftoff, fortunately the launch was aborted in time. The computer failure was later analyzed and isolated to a single IC chip failure caused by human contamination during manufacturing. 

This pioneering talk spawned an industry. In today's modern IC fab there is a heightened awareness concerning the deleterious effects of human contamination in IC manufacturing. As a tribute to the late Bob Thomas and his scientific spirit here is the original technical presentation. Relive this classic educational presentation and industry tutorial.

Identification and Elimination of Human Contamination in the Manufacture of ICs

Thomas J Green , Technical Director
TJ Green Associates LLC