Semiconductor manufacturing facilities or wafer “fabs” are huge affairs costing billions of dollars. Most of the action takes place in the cleanroom which houses the manufacturing equipment, such as lithography, chemical vapor deposition, etch, ion implant, photoresist track systems, sputtering, annealing tools and many others. Large fabs have upward of 600 different tools, often multiple tools fo the same type to meet overall throughput targets (tens of thousands of wafers per month for large fabs).

In 2015, Samsung announced what is said to be the world’s most expensive semiconductor fabrication plant, at over $14 billion. The new plant will be finished in 2017, according to Samsung, and is reported to almost as big–at 31 million square feet plant–as Samsung’s next two biggest fabs put together at Giheung and Hwaseong South Korea. The new plant is reported to employ about 150,000 people and to produce about $40 billion dollars per year in chip revenue
Wafers are typically transported through the fab with an automated rail system (although hand transportation and loading is not uncommon). Most fabs transport the wafers in a FOUP (front opening unified pod), which is essentially an expensive plastic box.

Fabs require an intricate infrastructure to supply chemicals, materials and gases to the process tool. Air handlers, ionization systems and HEPA filters are used to clean the air in the cleanroom. Support equipment, such as vacuum pumps and gas abatement tools (used to remove process byproducts before the air is released into the atmosphere, for example) are typically housed in a sub-floor beneath the tools.

Fabs also require sophisticated MES (Manufacturing Execution Software) systems to keep track of the “recipes” for the process tools, track lots of wafers through the fab (and manage “hot” lots of wafers that need to be expedited) and keep track of materials.

Another concern is power. A typical wafer fab uses as much energy as 10,000 homes. Energy bills run as high as $25 million annually. New fabs use LEED principles to reduce costs.

SUBCATEGORIES:


SUPPLIERS


Composites USA: http://www.compositesusa.com



CONSCI: http://www.consci.com



Critical Process System Group: http://www.cpsgrp.com



Fab-Tech, Inc.: http://www.fabtechinc.com



ARTICLES



New laser-based sample prep solution

07/12/2018  3D-Micromac AG (booth #1645 in the South Hall) this week introduced the microPREP 2.0 laser ablation system for high-volume sample preparation of metals, semiconductors, ceramics and compound materials for microstructure diagnostics and failure analysis (FA).

Subfab data growing in importance

07/11/2018  The importance of data gathered and analysed in the subfab – the place where vacuum pumps, abatements systems and other supporting equipment operates – is growing. Increasingly, manufacturers are finding that these systems have a direct impact on yield, safety, cost-of-ownership and ultimately capacity and cycle time.

3D-Micromac introduces selective laser annealing system for semiconductor and MEMS manufacturing

06/25/2018  microPRO RTP leverages optics, line scan and step-and-repeat spot options, and multiple wavelengths to provide highly versatile laser platform.

Kinetics acquires Mega Fluid Systems

03/30/2018  According to the details of the agreement, Mega Fluid Systems will operate as a Kinetics company, but will maintain its brand and product line.

Understanding ALD, MLD and SAMs as they enter the fab

03/01/2018  As the world of advanced manufacturing enters the sub-nanometer scale era, it is clear that ALD, MLD and SAM represent viable options for delivering the required few-atoms-thick layers required with uniformity, conformality, and purity.

US demand for semiconductor machinery to total $7.4B in 2021

02/16/2018  Growth in demand for wafer processing equipment will account for the majority of value growth.

CSTIC and SEMICON CHINA 2018: Brooks Instrument to present new mass flow controller with self-diagnostics​

02/09/2018  Brooks Instrument will showcase its newly enhanced GF125 mass flow controller (MFC) with high-speed EtherCAT connectivity and embedded self-diagnostics at the China Semiconductor Technology International Conference (CSTIC) in conjunction with SEMICON China 2018 in Shanghai.

Leak check semiconductor process chambers quickly and reliably

02/08/2018  INFICON,a manufacturer of leak test equipment, introduced the UL3000 Fab leak detector for semiconductor manufacturing maintenance teams to easily check the tightness of vacuum chambers for wafer production.

Boston Semi Equipment develops custom automation modules for strip handling equipment

01/31/2018  Boston Semi Equipment (BSE) today announced that it has started shipping units of its new strip load/unload module to a top 10 semiconductor manufacturer.

Turbulent times ahead for trade

01/25/2018  International trade is one of the best tools to spur growth and create high-skill and high-paying jobs. Over 40 million American jobs rely on trade, and this is particularly true in the semiconductor supply chain. Over the past three decades, the semiconductor industry has averaged nearly double-digit growth rates in revenue and, by 2030, the semiconductor supply chain is forecast to reach $1 trillion.

NAURA Akrion Inc. acquired Akrion’s surface preparation business

01/18/2018  Beijing NAURA Microelectronics Equipment Co.,Ltd. and Akrion Systems LLC today jointly announced that the previously announced acquisition by NAURA has been completed.

$55.9B semiconductor equipment forecast: New record with Korea at top

12/12/2017  Today, SEMI, the global industry association representing the electronics manufacturing supply chain, released its Year-end Forecast at the annual SEMICON Japan exposition.