US chipmaker Micron Technology has teamed up with Singtel to deploy 5G millimetre wave (mmWave) applications at its 3D NAND flash memory fabrication plant in Singapore.
As the first in the city-state to pilot the use of mmWave in Industry 4.0, it will roll out a range of applications at its cleanroom, from automated visual inspections of individual chips to augmented reality (AR) for operations and maintenance.
The roll-out follows Micron’s trials of Singtel’s portable 5G technology kit, dubbed Genie, which validated the performance and operational benefits of mmWave applications in its cleanroom.
“This industry-first deployment proves that 5G networks can be used for high-precision quality control and manufacturing operations that were previously not possible with the limitations of Wi-Fi,” said Bill Chang, CEO of group enterprise at Singtel.
“Additionally, the implementation is a significant milestone in Singtel’s journey to accelerate enterprise 5G adoption and will serve as a case study to inspire other 5G-enabled manufacturing sites around the world,” he added.
Singtel’s 5G mmWave network supports bandwidth of up to 2 Gbps, with ultra-low latency to support applications, such as AR, which require high uplink bandwidth to perform image-based quality control.
With an on-premise 5G edge core that comes with the deployment, Micron can also use smaller and lighter internet-of-things (IoT) devices that require less computing power for cleanroom operations. Besides being more user-friendly, the devices can also last longer before requiring another charge.
Singtel’s Paragon, which is touted to ease deployments of edge computing applications on its multi-access edge computing platform, will analyse the performance of the devices and networks to provide Micron with real-time performance monitoring and feedback.
Koen De Backer, Micron’s vice-president of smart manufacturing and artificial intelligence (AI), said the company is committed to “leading in quality and staying at the cutting edge of using smart solutions and AI in its facilities”.
“Together with Singtel, we aim to bring performance to the next level by leveraging 5G technology,” he said. “This will propel us forward as a trailblazer in operational excellence and scaled implementation of Industry 4.0 technology.”