by Debra Vogler, senior technical editor
May 18, 2011 – Thomas Jefferson, ISMI 450mm Program Manager, presented results to date on the consortium’s progress in ushering in the next wafer transition. The consortia has made its case for collaboration in previous writings. Essentially, collaboration is mandatory if this next wafer transition is to make it to high-volume manufacturing. In addition to the still-debated cost reductions of making the switch to 450mm, Jefferson cited environmental benefits: manufacturing uses 45% less water vs. 300mm, and 45%-60% fewer resources (on a per-wafer basis) vs. 300mm. Baseline, targets are based on 200mm-300mm actuals.
Approximately 35 companies are engaged with ISMI’s 450mm program, providing equipment, materials, or services, Jefferson reported. Providing a boost to the efforts are SEMI’s 450mm Standards for Loadport/FOUP/Wafers (most of the 450mm standards were completed in 2010). In 2011, funding has been provided by the state of New York. Also supporting the efforts are the European Commission, which has provided funding for 450mm; and imec announced its 450mm cleanroom. The Interoperability Test Group in Japan (ITG-J) is doing wafer-handling evaluations. To further save development costs, ISMI’s 450mm wafer "bank" has loaned more than 700 wafers (see Figure).
Test wafer operations have also been expanded, with six different tool sets already confirmed (supplier names are not available for public disclosure). According to Jefferson, more tools will be added along with new capabilities anticipated at supplier sites.
The IC manufacturers are doing their part to keep the momentum going. TSMC announced its plans (2/11/11) to invest in a 450mm wafer fab, which will come on line in 2015 (pilot line in 2013). And Intel confirmed its 450mm plans (12/8/10) by announcing that a new fab it is building in the US will be 450mm-compatible.
|450mm wafer bank loans. (Source: ISMI)|
Here, Jefferson summarizes the state of 450mm in a video interview with senior technical editor Debra Vogler at The ConFab