June 20, 2014

450mm transition toward sustainability: Facility and infrastructure requirements

By: Adrian Maynes and Frank Robertson

Source: Solid State Technology

Hard data and strong collaboration are proving effective in solving the challenges inherent in building 450mm semiconductor fabs. In the past year, the Facilities 450mm Consortium (F450C) — the facilities-focused off-shoot of the Global 450mm Consortium — has provided the unified forum to test and analyze utility requirements, overhead conveyance systems and energy-efficiency strategies. The Global 450mm Consortium (G450C), a New York-based public/private program with leadership from GLOBALFOUNDRIES, IBM, Intel, Samsung, TSMC and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering is housed on SUNY’s University at Albany campus and maintains focus on 450mm process and equipment development (FIGURE 1). Combined, preliminary results from the seconsortiaare building the framework for this next-generation fab.

The F450C came into existence in 2013 facing a series of significant technical hurdles. The purpose of the 450mm fab is to manufacture more advanced integrated circuits at lower cost with a lighter environmental footprint. However, the initial 450mm tool guidelines point to a greater cost per square foot (meter) of cleanroom space, much heavier structural loads and significantly larger tool sizes, which can detract from the manufacturing flexibility the industry seeks. The potential for competing visions among industry leaders and the cyclicality of semiconductor demand in the marketplace add head winds on the path toward widespread 450mm adoption. These factors pose challenges that will need to be managed to ensure 450mm program objectives are achieved.

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