450mm Gaining Momentum


Despite many unanswered questions, including the big ones of cost and timing, the transition to 450mm received a substantial boost recently with the formation of a "Global 450mm Consortium" by Intel, GlobalFoundries, IBM, TSMC and Samsung. Through a partnership with New York state, the companies will spend $4.4 billion in investments over the next 5 years.

A big chunk of this sizable investment will go toward proving out 450mm manufacturing work, that ultimately "may facilitate the possibility of building a 450mm plant in New York state." The rest of the money will go toward 20nm/14nnm development work for IBM and partners. Research and development facilities will be located in Albany, Canandaigua, Utica, East Fishkill and Yorktown Heights. Intel also separately agreed to establish its 450mm East Coast Headquarters to support the overall project management in Albany.

As reported by our news editor Jim Montgomery, no details were provided about how the $4.4B is being split up: 1) between the 450mm work and IBM et al.'s 20nm/14nm development, or 2) among individual 450mm participants. All of the stated destinations in NY State for the investments are facilities owned by CNSE (Albany Nanotech, Canandaigua), IBM (Yorktown Heights and East Fishkill), or SUNY (Utica). CNSE will get $400M from the state over five years, including $100M for "energy efficiency and low-cost energy allowance."

Slides from CNSE execs over the past few months show a new "Nanofab" complex (dubbed "X" or "West") on the drawing board, with proposed 450K sq. ft. footprint including 45K sq. ft for cleanrooms. That's almost twice the size of CNSE's two major sites across the street: two-year-old Nanofab East, and six-year-old Nanofab North (home to CNSE's EUV alpha tool).

Earlier this year, TSMC's Morris Chang was very clear about the foundry's 450mm plans: a pilot line at Fab 12 Phase VI starting with 20nm process technology, timed around 2013/2014, and a production line following around 2015/2016.

Big 450mm happenings in any case, and there's certainly more to come.

Solid State Technology | Volume 54 | Issue 10 | November 2011

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