November 21, 2011 — Blogger Terry Behrens recently presented at the SEMATECH Symposium Taiwan 2011 on planning for migration to 450mm semiconductor manufacturing.
Talking to some industry leaders at this event and others in recent months brings back memories of prior migrations to larger wafer sizes. Some of us have been around long enough to have experienced these milestone wafer transitions — from 4" to 6", 6" to 8", and 8" to 12". Now, as we look forward to moving from 12" to 18" or 450mm wafers, the approach-avoidance behaviors with which the industry welcomes each new processing generation are once again evident.
There is still the usual uncertainty about the costs and arrival dates of next-generation processing tools. But even with all the unanswered questions, we are starting to see more manufacturers moving from simply speculating about 450mm to actually planning for it.
As has been the case in past jumps to larger wafers, manufacturers will organize into two categories of presumption: those who feel they can step up to the wider diameter and those who feel they can