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Intel using IoT to improve efficiency of its chip fab facilities

Matthew Finnegan | Sept. 15, 2014
Intel has begun deploying internet of things sensors to improve the efficiency of its own chip manufacturing plants, part of a project to encourage its own staff to innovate with its low-cost computing boards.

"This goes back to the big data concept — instead of having one data point to correlate to the quality of the chips, I can now correlate every single rack to its individual characteristics and performance. You get better data, and better results."

Moving from proof of concept

The 150 projects are currently at prototype stage, but Intel is planning to roll out the most successful technologies more widely across its business.

McCulley said that for large scale use of IoT sensors across is business, it is likely that Intel would switch from using the Galileo boards to an industrial gateway controller — essentially offering more reliability with extra compute power and redundancy — but would only require a day to convert the systems.

It is could also replace Galileo boards with Intel's smaller Edison device for certain use cases when moving to mass production.

One of the main benefits of using the development computer board is the ability to address organisational inertia by exhibiting the improvements that are possible for a low cost, McCulley said.

"What we have found is that you only have to do a couple of these and management gets it. The Galileo allows me to quickly prototype and solve a problem before."

"You can show it works — it is so much easier to have that conversation with someone about spending $300 when I have already shown them I can save $35,000."


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