MOS 12–Swift to Come On-line

MOS 12–Swift to Come On-line

By Meredith Lawrie

Chandler, AZ–Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector`s (Chandler, AZ) largest and most-advanced fab recently came on-line with the completion of a 40,000 ft.2 cleanroom for its MOS 12 technology products. In an effort to speed construction and save in production and ultimately manufacturing costs, the new facility will be located in the shell of a pre-existing building, and is employing ultra-clean mini-environments and training techniques. Ultimately, the total cleanroom area in the fab will be in excess of 80,000 ft.2, utilizing state-of-the-art Class 1 mini-environments in Class 100 work areas.

The facility has also begun manufacture of 0.65- to 0.5-micron technology microcontrollers for use in a variety of electronics products such as camcorders and automotive engine control units. According to Motorola, this production is two to three weeks ahead of schedule.

Construction of the project originally began in 1989 by another Motorola group, but was halted in 1990 due to a lack of market demand for microchips at the beginning of the recession.

“There`s currently an electronics explosion taking place,” says Brett Richmond, Motorola`s vice president and director of operation for the MOS 12 facility. “Our customers are crying for more and more microcontrollers and digital signal processors, which has allowed us to really accelerate production.”

The MOS 12 building is roughly 460,000 ft.2 and Motorola reportedly saved about $90 million in construction costs because the shell of the building already existed. It also allowed the company to bring the facility to capacity much quicker.

During construction, the company is adhering to a clean build protocol. Richmond believes there are financial benefits to following such a protocol because contamination is kept to a minimum at all times. All contractors and tool suppliers were required to receive certified cleanroom training before they were allowed into the facility.

In another attempt to save manufacturing costs, the company decided to use mini-environments. Richmond believes that using the Class 1 mini-environments in Class 100 work areas was the most cost-effective path for Motorola to take, observing that the ballroom type Class 1 cleanrooms take up too much space to adhere to the strict specifications. “If a process requires more space, you`ll have to keep that space clean, and you`ll need more and more equipment to do that,” says Richmond.

Richmond sees Motorola`s use of mini-environments ultimately paving the way for other cleanroom users. “Mini-environments really are the future of contamination control technology, providing a low-cost solution with quicker returns on investments. What we do often sets standards,” he says.

The first two phases of MOS 12 are currently in execution mode in the part of the factory referred to as North Fab, and are expected to be completed in June, 1995. Phases III and IV of the project in South Fab will include another 40,000 ft.2 of cleanroom space and is estimated to be complete in 1998. n


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