Semiconductors have regularly made headlines this summer as congress deliberated on several bills in efforts to bolster the U.S. semiconductor manufacturing industry. Congress passed HB 4346, referred to as the “Chips-plus” and the “chips and science” bill, volleying it to the Executive Branch for signing which the President did on August 9th. The initiative behind the Chips and Science Act is to make America more competitive globally, create good-paying jobs, streamline supply chains, in turn lowering costs, and strengthen national security. This is quite a tall order for such thin components.
A2LA, an accreditation leader in the semiconductor industry, has been providing accreditation to testing laboratories in this technical sector for close to two decades. We offer ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation to laboratories performing chemical, electrical, and mechanical testing on semiconductor materials and products and to calibration laboratories providing specialized support to the industry. Testing is performed to determine characteristics such as contamination, composition, and surface analysis. A2LA also accredits organizations providing inspections on semiconductor fabrication equipment. This is based on ISO/IEC 17020.
Accreditation can be applied to captive “in-house” laboratories performing quality control testing on incoming raw materials and on the finished products. Many of the accredited testing laboratories in this sector that are commercial testing laboratories offer testing services to manufacturers and other clients.
A2LA Accreditation Benefits
Benefits of A2LA Accreditation to the accredited organizations include the experience of our technical experts and our assessors to provide a value-added assessment. Accreditation provides a regular, impartial, objective check on processes the organizations use routinely. It requires the organization to implement a quality management framework that when effectively implemented, establishes measures to mitigate risk. Accreditation provides a competitive advantage and provides a marketing benchmark. It raises quality thus reducing errors and costly retesting.
Manufacturers can benefit from relying on accredited organizations as the laboratories and inspection bodies have processes in place to assure contract and resource review before committing to new work. Measuring equipment and testing facilities must meet relevant calibration and maintenance programs and environmental conditions. Personnel shall be trained, technically competent, and authorized for their responsibilities. A system must be in place to address work that is non-conforming to the specification and adopt corrective action processes. Reports must contain adequate information that is clear and includes traceable data. These systems enable consistent, repeatable analyses that will promote reliable results for the clients.