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5G mmWave Smart Factory

With the maturity of 4G networks, the development of mobile technology is now moving towards the next-generation 5G network. 5G technology will not only allow wider bandwidth transmissions, but also enable lower network latency and instantaneous connectivity to a lot of node devices. The advent of 5G will drive many potential applications in the field of smart manufacturing.

ASE’s planning for smart factories began in 2015, and by the end of 2019, we have already established eleven smart factories. We plan to increase the number to eighteen by the end of 2020, which will house manufacturing processes in wafer bumping, flip chip packaging, SiP packaging, wafer-level packaging and wafer probing. The ASE AIoT smart factory solution deploys AI, big data analytics, cloud computing infrastructure and digital transformation applications to strengthen real-time remote monitoring and factory management, and improve productivity. The introduction of 5G mmWave network technology will hugely reduce latency and increase reliability in wireless connectivity. It will also lay a firm foundation stone for an expanded scope and increased complexity of automation and smart factories in the future.

ASE will be the first in Taiwan to build a smart factory based on 5G mmWave private network. The ASE 5G mmWave smart factory will be a world class demonstration of enterprise-specific "true" 5G vertical application in the field, and accelerate ASE’s Industry 4.0 transformation. We are embracing the future now with 5G technology.


What is 5G mmWave?

5G is an abbreviation for 5th Generation mobile networks that uses the frequency spectrum for sub-6 GHz. 5G spans 450 MHz to 6 GHz as well as millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequencies spanning 24 GHz to 52 GHz. Taiwan’s 5G mmWave utilizes 28GHz frequencies. The total bandwidth available to the 28GHz mmWave is about 10 times that of traditional 5G, which is ideal for large-bandwidth, low-latency applications demanded by large enterprises.

Why use 5G mmWave technology?

Compared with wired communication or other wireless communication using unlicensed bands, the biggest advantage of introducing 5G technology in smart factories lies in enabling mobility as well as guaranteed network service quality, although the cost of network construction and the resources required are relatively high. In addition, 5G mmWave spectrum can support the necessary network conditions for the smart factory to realise the full potential of autonomous processes by providing high-speed and low-latency wireless connectivity, thereby achieving the goals of flexible manufacturing, predictive maintenance and higher production efficiency.

5G mmWave applications in semiconductor smart manufacturing

ASE is collaborating with the DOIT (Department of Industrial Technology, Ministry of Economic Affairs) 5G office, Chunghwa Telecom and Qualcomm to build Taiwan's first 5G mmWave smart factory. The 5G mmWave smart factory, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020, will focus on the following applications:

Automatic inspection of production lines via AI and Automated guided vehicle (AGV)

At present, most of the production lines are repetitively inspected manually. In the future, the introduction of 5G will help to implement automatic line inspection via smart unmanned vehicles installed with cameras, infrared rays sensors and microwave sensors. The approach also reduces manpower burden as well as mitigates workplace accidents caused by human errors.

The signal coverage of a Wi-Fi base station is usually not extensive enough to cover large ASE manufacturing areas. Transportation robots or autonomous guided vehicles (AGV) connected by Wi-Fi technology often encounter signal dead ends. The introduction of 5G mmWave will resolve the Wi-Fi transmission issues of high latency, unstable connection and signal interference.

Remote AR assistance for equipment troubleshooting, maintenance & repair

Our semiconductor equipment maintenance team often needs to connect to the machines from a remote location for machine diagnosis and maintenance. The introduction of 5G combined with augmented reality (AR) will significantly increase equipment maintenance efficiency and provide a safer work environment for employees through minimal equipment contact.

Immersive AR experience for visitors of Green Technology Education Center

The ASE Green Technology Education Center is situated in the largest reclaimed water recycling plant in Taiwan. The ASE recycling plant draws water from, processes and recycles the water back to the surrounding ASE factories. It applies ASE's management principles of ‘reduce, recycle and reuse’ of water resources, and its success has attracted many schools and enterprises to visit, learn and exchange information on water resources, environmental education and innovation. With the deployment of 5G mmWave and AR technology, visitors can now immerse themselves in an interactive experience at the center, that will transform their views of manufacturing and sustainability.

5G mmWave is enabling the ASE Green Technology Education Center to take the lead in promoting water conservation with innovative methods.

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