Intel, Samsung, TSMC push for 450-mm
| Intel, Samsung and TSMC have reached an agreement on the need for industry collaboration for 450-mm wafers starting in 2012.
Intel, Samsung and TSMC indicate that the semiconductor industry can improve its return on investment and reduce 450-mm research and development costs by applying aligned standards, rationalizing changes from 300-mm infrastructure and automation, and working toward a common timeline.
The three companies will continue to work with International Sematech (ISMI), which is coordinating industry efforts on 450-mm wafer supply, standards and developing equipment test bed capabilities.
As reported, ISMI has outlined a program in the arena. But most equipment makers are not pushing for 450-mm, saying it is too expensive.
On the other hand, the transition to larger wafers will enable continued growth of the semiconductor industry and helps maintain a reasonable cost structure for future integrated circuit manufacturing and applications, according to Intel, Samsung and TSMC.
''There is a long history of innovation and problem solving in our industry that has delivered wafer transitions resulting in lower costs per area of silicon processed and overall industry growth,'' said Bob Bruck, vice president and general manager of Technology Manufacturing Engineering in Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group, in a statement. ''We, along with Samsung and TSMC, agree that the transition to 450mm wafers will follow the same pattern of delivering increased value to our customers.''
''The transition to 450-mm wafers will benefit the entire ecosystem of the IC industry, and Intel, Samsung, TSMC will work together with suppliers and other semiconductor manufacturers to actively develop 450mm capability,'' said Cheong-Woo Byun, senior vice president of the Memory Manufacturing Operation Center at Samsung Electronics.
''Increasing cost due to the complexity of advanced technology is a concern for the future,'' said Mark Liu, TSMC's senior vice president of Advanced Technology Business. ''Intel, Samsung, and TSMC believe the transition to 450-mm wafers is a potential solution to maintain a reasonable cost structure for the industry.''