LSI Logic’s Large Scale, Integrated PLM Success
Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Workflow solutions keep things on track for leading global specialty semiconductor designers
LSI Logic Corporation (NYSE: LSI) designs and fabricates specialty semiconductors that power a wide variety of consumer, communications and storage devices. LSI Logic’s complex integrated circuits include Application Specific Integrated Circuits or ASICs and standard products that combine microprocessor, memories and proprietary logic on a single silicon chip.
With headquarters in Milpitas, California, LSI Logic employs approximately 5,500 employees globally and boasts annual revenues of nearly $2 billion dollars. SofTech, Inc. delivers the ProductCenter™ PLM product lifecycle management (PLM) solution that contributes to LSI Logic’s success. SofTech helps the company to compress development cycle times and advance its technology offerings, packing more power onto smaller die sizes.
LSI Logic is also a pioneer in the product data management arena, being one of the earliest adopters of this technology. LSI Logic has been a SofTech customer since 1992. Today, LSI Logic’s implementation of ProductCenter supports the company’s fabrication facilities in Gresham, Oregon, and Tsukuba, Japan and design centers throughout the world. More than 1,300 LSI Logic employees in manufacturing, engineering, quality, purchasing, facilities management, and other disciplines use SofTech’s software every day to improve their productivity.
Before deploying SofTech’s products, documentation for LSI’s ASIC design and fabrication methods were driven by paper processes. To help solve this problem, LSI Logic initially implemented an earlier SofTech product data management system to store their documents electronically. Then in 1996, with the building of a new, highly modern fabrication center in Gresham, the company set out to implement a paperless release process that included electronic sign-off. The system, the crux of which is now built on SofTech’s ProductCenter and ProductCenter™ PLM Workflow, has made a major impact in helping LSI Logic automate product lifecycle processes, enabling the company to shorten development cycle times and to respond more readily to market demand.
Today, ProductCenter conveniently centralizes product related information for LSI Logic, while tracking changes and controlling revisions and versions. It enables authorized users to view documents from anywhere within the corporation in various formats, such as Adobe® PDF and FrameMaker™. Users can access other document formats, bitmaps, text files, and those created in Microsoft® Word, PowerPoint®, or Excel®. In addition, it helps standardize specifications, with templates available on-line for product, process, test wafer, and ISO specifications, saving the time it would take to create these documents from scratch each time.
ProductCenter Workflow manages electronic routing and signature approval, attaching necessary supporting documentation and notifying reviewers of the need for their approval. A closed loop engineering change notification (ECN) system alerts affected parties via e-mail when a document is released. LSI Logic has taken this system one step further at its Gresham facility. Fabrication operators affected by a critical ECN and who are on-shift at the time of its release can be notified of the ECN release via electronic pager as well.
ProductCenter has also been customized to provide extensive reporting capability. Today, up-to-the-minute status on in-process workflows and weekly ECN cycle time reports track how long each person has taken for sign-off. Immediate visibility into exactly where the ECN stands in the review process has helped LSI Logic to identify potential bottlenecks and prompts reviewers to respond more readily.
ProductCenter’s flexibility makes it easy for LSI Logic to customize its automated workflows. This flexibility allows workflows to be easily modified to ensure that manufacturing equipment changes are made in sync with specification releases. Basically, this system involves processing a change twice: first in preview mode and then in final release mode.
In preview mode, LSI Logic’s automated workflow routes the ECN and supporting documentation to appropriate departments for preliminary approval to proceed, giving these organizations ample time to address special tooling, testing, and other considerations before the actual change is processed during final release mode.
It is not uncommon for LSI Logic to process dozens of documents a week, a fair number of which are fairly extensive new specifications that could potentially run 100 pages or more. As a result of process automation and customized reporting with ProductCenter, LSI Logic has been able reduce ECN sign-off of these documents from what previously could have taken weeks to an average of just three days.
About LSI Logic Corp.:
LSI Logic Corporation is a leading designer and manufacturer of communications, consumer and storage semiconductors for applications that access, interconnect and store data, voice and video. In addition, the company supplies storage network solutions for the enterprise.
LSI Logic is headquartered at 1621 Barber Lane, Milpitas, CA 95035.