METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR EQUIPMENT DIAGNOSTICS AND RECOVERY WITH SELF-LEARNING
TECHNICAL FIELD  The present invention relates generally to a system and method semiconductor fabrication, and more particularly to a system and method for semiconductor fabrication equipment diagnostics and recovery with self-learning.
BACKGROUND  Generally, equipment used in the fabrication of semiconductor devices is very complex and expensive. In fact, the semiconductor fabrication equipment located at fabrication plants may cost in the excess of billions of dollars. Due to their complexity and cost, the fabrication equipment receives extensive maintenance and care. Additionally, the fabrication equipment may contain a sensor (or a series of sensors) to keep track on the performance of the equipment. The sensor(s) may be used to keep track on the performance of the equipment themselves, or the sensor(s) may monitor the output of the equipment.
 Should the sensor(s) report a piece of equipment not performing to specifications or an output of the equipment not meeting specifications, then necessary adjustments and/or repairs will be made to the equipment. While constant adjustments and/or repairs may be expensive, the constant maintenance may actually prevent a catastrophic failure that can be much more expensive in the long run.
 A typical adjustment or repair would begin with a sensor(s) detecting a piece of equipment that is not operating within specified parameters (or an output of a piece of equipment not meeting specifications), then the sensor would provide the information to an engineer (or process engineer) via an information display device. The information display device may be as simple as a simple light emitting diode (LED) or as complex as a window in a fully operational graphical user interface (GUI) on a computer display terminal. The engineer would then use the information provided by the display, perhaps apply some engineering knowledge, and make any necessary adjustments to the equipment.
 One disadvantage of the prior art is that an engineer would need to possibly decipher the information provided by the sensor(s) in order to determine what part of the fabrication equipment needs to be adjusted and/or fixed.
 A second disadvantage of the prior art is that an engineer would necessarily need to have a certain level of expertise in order to decipher the information provided by the sensor(s). This would imply that the engineer has a minimum level of knowledge or that the engineer has the capability to confer with other engineer(s) with suitable knowledge in order to process the sensor information.
 A third disadvantage of the prior art is that a single engineer may not be able to respond to information provided by each sensor located at the various fabrication equipments. Therefore, there may be a need for multiple engineers to be on duty to adequately respond to problems detected by sensors throughout the fabrication facility.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION  These and other problems are generally solved or circumvented, and technical advantages are generally
achieved, by preferred embodiments of the present invention which provide a system and method for diagnosing semiconductor fabrication equipment with an ability to self-learn from the use of feedback information provided by engineers.
 In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, a method for diagnosing an abnormality comprising receiving data from a trigger event, evaluating satisfaction of diagnostic rules using received data, determining a root cause if at least one diagnostic rule is satisfied, and displaying the root cause if at least one diagnostic rule is satisfied, else displaying the received data.
 In accordance with another preferred embodiment of the present invention, a method for self-learning diagnostics comprising receiving data from a trigger event, evaluating satisfaction of diagnostic rules using received data, if at least one diagnostic rule is satisfied, then determining a root cause, diagnosing a remedy for the root cause, displaying the remedy, receiving feedback information about the remedy, and modifying the satisfied diagnostic rule with the feedback information.
 In accordance with another preferred embodiment of the present invention, an equipment diagnosis system comprising a data source to provide information from sensors and measuring equipment, an inference engine coupled to the data source, the inference engine containing circuitry to evaluate the information provided by the data source and to diagnose a root cause from the information, a display coupled to the inference engine, the display to interface the inference engine with a user, and a database coupled to the inference engine, the database to store information provided by the data source and the diagnosis generated by the inference engine.
 An advantage of a preferred embodiment of the present invention is that a single engineer at a display terminal may be able to monitor the performance of fabrication equipment throughout a fabrication plant.
 A further advantage of a preferred embodiment of the present invention is that the engineer need not necessarily have to have a relatively high level of experience or expertise due to the fact that the problem with the fabrication equipment is clearly provided and little or no deciphering of provided information is needed.
 Yet another advantage of a preferred embodiment of the present invention is through feedback information provided by the engineer(s) on previously detected problems with the fabrication equipment and suggested fixes, the performance of problems detected and suggested fixes in the future may be improved.
 The foregoing has outlined rather broadly the features and technical advantages of the present invention in order that the detailed description of the invention that follows may be better understood. Additional features and advantages of the invention will be described hereinafter which form the subject of the claims of the invention. It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the conception and specific embodiment disclosed may be readily utilized as a basis for modifying or designing other structures or processes for carrying out the same purposes of the present invention. It should also be realized by those skilled in the art that such equivalent constructions do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.