Athinia to Accelerate the Use of AI and Big Data to Solve Critical Semiconductor Challenges


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Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, and Palantir Technologies Inc., a leading builder of operating systems for the modern enterprise, announced a new partnership to deliver a secure collaborative data analytics platform for the semiconductor industry. The Athinia platform will leverage AI and big data to solve critical challenges such as chip shortages, improve quality and supply chain transparency, and time to market. Laura Matz, Chief Science and Technology Officer of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will lead the partnership as CEO of Athinia.

Athinia will bring semiconductor manufacturers and materials suppliers together to share, aggregate, and analyze data to unlock efficiencies. The platform will also enable industry actors to understand on a deeper level the interaction between materials and processes at semiconductor fabrication plants.

“The semiconductor industry is facing unprecedented disruption. This has created a critical need for a secure data collaboration platform that can provide the transparency and data intelligence companies need to solve challenges such as chip shortages and supply chain issues,” said Kai Beckmann, Member of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and CEO Electronics. “Partnering with Palantir, we’ve combined our collective expertise in materials science, data analytics and security to increase our customers’ efficiencies and time to innovation.”

“We are excited to partner with market leaders in this space to create an ecosystem that will enable semiconductor companies and their suppliers to collaborate to make better decisions, combatting simultaneous demand and supply shocks,” said Palantir COO Shyam Sankar.  “Athinia will help companies across the value chain bring new products to market faster and accelerate their product differentiation and growth.”

By harnessing Palantir’s unique experience in building inter-organization ecosystems, Athinia will enable advanced data analytics, in turn limiting the costly impact of quality or performance excursions across the value chain, from supplier to semiconductor fabrication plants. It will also help fabs manage faster innovation in manufacturing processes in a single, secure platform that will support improved incoming material quality and increase supplier engagement. Suppliers will benefit from internal efficiency gains through smart data integration and can be a better partner for the fabs they serve. The partnership will help solve such challenges by creating a platform to analyze previously siloed data in a holistic way.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Palantir have already proven to be successful in using collaborative data analytics to help common customers minimize quality deviations and increase efficiencies. Athinia will build upon this experience and leverage Palantir’s expertise to help customers improve their decision-making in optimizing semiconductor materials.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has recently worked with leading semiconductor companies to leverage AI and data analytics for solving key challenges. “We worked with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to create a data sharing platform that enabled advanced predictive manufacturing for chemical mechanical polishing (CMP), a critical step in the semiconductor manufacturing process. Through this collaborative partnership, we implemented an AI-driven methodology to enable smart data collaboration that drove process and quality improvements. By extending this approach to the broader supply chain and enabling a data ecosystem, we believe advanced predictive manufacturing can be accelerated for the broader semiconductor industry,” said Raj Narasimhan, Corporate Vice President, Global Quality, Micron Technology, Inc.

The Athinia platform is powered by Palantir Foundry, which enables users to structure and analyze data from disparate sources, generate powerful insights and support operational decisions, all while helping to ensure that sensitive data is processed in accordance with applicable data privacy rules, regulations, and norms. Palantir Foundry is designed to provide world-class security, access controls, partitioning, auditing, and accountability functions to support responsible data use. Athinia acts independent from the Electronics business sector of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and enables data sharing only on codified and anonymized data and customers will retain full control of their data, including intelligent purpose-based access control management. The secure data collaboration environment will provide continuous feedback through a holistic view and a common operating picture of in-fab performance that can help solve quality deviations.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Palantir already started collaborating in 2017. Through the partnership “Syntropy” both companies are determined to unleash the power of biomedical data and revolutionize cancer therapy and accelerate research. Syntropy’s aim is to provide researchers with intuitive analytics techniques to enable them to aggregate, analyze and then also share data from disparate sources.

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