On regression methods for virtual metrology in semiconductor manufacturing

Jian Wan, Simone Pampuri, Paul G. O'Hara, Adrian B. Johnston, Seán McLoone

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Virtual metrology (VM) aims to predict metrology values using sensor data from production equipment and physical metrology values of preceding samples. VM is a promising technology for the semiconductor manufacturing industry as it can reduce the frequency of in-line metrology operations and provide supportive information for other operations such as fault detection, predictive maintenance and run-to-run control. The prediction models for VM can be from a large variety of linear and nonlinear regression methods and the selection of a proper regression method for a specific VM problem is not straightforward, especially when the candidate predictor set is of high dimension, correlated and noisy. Using process data from a benchmark semiconductor manufacturing process, this paper evaluates the performance of four typical regression methods for VM: multiple linear regression (MLR), least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO), neural networks (NN) and Gaussian process regression (GPR). It is observed that GPR performs the best among the four methods and that, remarkably, the performance of linear regression approaches that of GPR as the subset of selected input variables is increased. The observed competitiveness of high-dimensional linear regression models, which does not hold true in general, is explained in the context of extreme learning machines and functional link neural networks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication25th IET Irish Signals & Systems Conference 2014 and 2014 China-Ireland International Conference on Information and Communications Technologies (ISSC 2014/CIICT 2014)
ISBN (Electronic)9781849199247
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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