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The Semiconductor manufacturing process for computer chips is a complex sequence of many hundreds of processing steps on silicon wafers.  At a few points in the process, sample wafers are inspected by inspection equipment and defect images reviewed by technicians.  While the basic findings from the inspection tool and technician are fed automatically into a database, other general observations are recorded simply as a comment of several sentences capturing key interpretations of the data. Because of various uses of the information, the comments are entered into multiple databases.

Lean mapping efforts highlighted several improvement opportunities related to these comments: they should be recorded only once and the format of the comment should be standardized. By applying TRIZ functional analysis to the problem, a radically different and innovative improvement was developed.  This improvement demonstrates Altshuller’s key premise that correctly reformulating the problem is vital to an inventive solution. A semantic analysis of all the words of typical comments revealed that these comments had specific functions with certain values to customers of the information.  So the recommended improvement was to eliminate the comment altogether and replace it with a set of categorical choices.  These new fixed field categories are much higher in value to the customers due the new analytic possibilities associated with categorical data.  This paper will show the benefit of this work to the specific semiconductor application as well how the improvements could be applied to any general situation where observations are recorded in sentence structures such as the medical clinical environment.

Bryan Pollard is a Staff Process Engineer at Intel focused on Innovative Problem Solving.  He has been solving problems in the Semiconductor Industry for 22 years.  While Bryan first learned TRIZ at Digital Semiconductor, his core TRIZ capabilities were developed at Intel.  Bryan recently received his Level 3 certification from the International TRIZ Association.  Bryan holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University.

Inside TRIZ

Quantifying the TRIZ Levels of Invention

Inside TRIZ


navneet bhushanQuantifying the TRIZ Levels of Invention

A tool to estimate the strength and life of a Patent

TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) classifies inventions into five novelty levels. At level 1 are slight modifications of the existing systems.  At level 2 are those inventions that resolve a system conflict or contradiction using usually inventive solution or inventive principle used to solve similar problems in other systems.    At level 3, the inventions change one subsystem or resolve the system conflicts in a fundamental way. At level 4, the invention gives birth to new systems using interdisciplinary approaches. The level 5 inventions are closer to a recently discovered scientific phenomenon. See article for a complete discussion.



TRIZ Features

Alexander Selutsky

TRIZ Feature

Alexander Selyutsky - a key figure in the history of TRIZ!

Alexander Selyutsky

Selyutsky Alexander Borisovich was born April 6, 1933 to an intelligent Jewish family residing in Leningrad. During the World War II the plant where his father was working was evacuated to the Urals, and the family (the parents and Alexander) moved to Chelyabinsk. Here, Alexander graduated from high school. He wanted to go to a military school, but didn’t pass vision test and entered the Chelyabinsk Polytechnic Institute. In his first year he was forced to learn boxing (because of frequent anti-Semitic attacks) and became a Komsomol activist.

After graduation, he was sent to Petrozavodsk Onega tractor plant, where he worked as a designer. He continued leading a very active social life, organized and led voluntary militia patrolling the streets of the city because the situation was very criminal. In the search for more satisfying work he became interested in patenting, completed appropriate courses and became a patent agent.

In 1960, Alexander married Dolly Naumovna Audleys, and had a daughter Alla in 1961. The same year G.S Altshuller published a book " “Learn how to invent"[1] . After reading this book in 1965 Selyutsky wrote a letter to Altshuller. This letter started their acquaintance by correspondence. Since then, Alexander became one of the most dedicated Altshuller’s disciples and an active promoter of the emerging new science.

They finally met in 1968 in Dzintary (near Riga), at the seminar organized by the Central Board of VOIR (state leading inventors’ and innovators’ society) that invited Altshuller and several of his associates. It was the first time that Alexander and others got a chance to work under the direct guidance of Altshuller and to learn from him. Later, in 1983, Alexander participated as one of the instructors in the seminar conducted by G.S. Altshuller in Moscow at the Institute for continuous education for chemical and petroleum industries.

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