Athinia sets up secure Micron collaboration net

Flash and DRAM chipmaker Micron is setting up a collaboration and data-sharing network with its critical suppliers using Athinia data analytics software to improve chip production.

The Athinia business, launched in December 2021, is a partnership between Merck and Palantir Technologies. Palantir is a big data analytics company whose products, which can link separate data silos, are used in sensitive government applications by the US intelligence community and Department of Defense. Its Foundry product is used by business customers such as Airbus, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Merck, NHS England, and others. The German chemical and pharmaceutical company Merck makes healthcare, life sciences, and electronics products, where the largest sector is semiconductor solutions.

Laura Matz, Athinia CEO and chief science and technology officer of Merck, said: “The secure architecture provided by Athinia will allow Micron and its suppliers to share a single source of real-time data without compromising data ownership, governance, privacy and security. Through data sharing and collaboration, the platform leverages machine learning-driven analytics to solve critical challenges.”

From left: Laura Matz, chief science & technology officer of Merck and CEO of Athinia, Manish Bhatia, EVP of global operations at Micron Technology, Kai Beckmann, member of the executive board of Merck and CEO Electronics, Ryan Taylor, chief legal and business affairs officer at Palantir

Athinia says it has state-of-the-art, AI-driven quality control methodology which can improve process and device yield, reduce costs and accelerate product development using select data and insights from Micron’s supply chain. It will provide a central data platform through which Micron and its suppliers will be able to share their process and manufacturing data and key parameters. This central facility will enable improved data analytics because it will work on larger data sets, combining information from different suppliers.

Manish Bhatia, Micron’s EVP for global operations, said: “As leading-edge technologies become more challenging, solutions like Athinia provide the kind of multi-party collaboration and data insights that make new leading generations of memory possible.”

The Athinia software will help to improve material quality and supply chain resilience as well as sustainability elements such as carbon emissions and energy use.

Athinia graphic

Alex Karp, Palantir co-founder and CEO, added his two cents: “The production and delivery of semiconductors is absolutely vital to our collective welfare and security. We are committed to ensuring that Micron and Athinia have the software they need to address the supply chain challenges involved in the distribution of one of the world’s most essential and important products.”

In other words, this Micron-Athinia deal will help to ensure that DRAM and NAND production technology secrets stay secret in the light of the USA’s need to be self-sufficient in semiconductor chip technology, and not be dependent on supply chains strangled by issues such as China’s pandemic restrictions or affected by industrial espionage.