Three major players in the semiconductor industry have agreed on the need for industry-wide collaboration to target a transition from 300-mm wafers to 450-mm wafers by 2012. Intel Corp., Samsung Electronics, and TSMC said they will cooperate with the industry to help ensure that all of the required components, infrastructure, and capability are developed and tested for a pilot line by the target date.
The total silicon surface area of a 450-mm wafer and the number of printed die is more than twice that of a 300-mm wafer, reducing the production cost per chip. Additionally, through more efficient use of energy, water, and other resources, bigger wafers can help diminish overall use of resources per chip.
The three companies said that the semiconductor industry can improve its return on investment and substantially 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 companies also noted that a cooperative approach will help minimize risk and transition costs. They said they will continue to work with International Sematech (ISMI), as it plays a critical role in coordinating industry efforts on 450-mm wafer supply, standards setting, and development of equipment test bed capabilities.