The 300 mm jump start
Lisa A. Karter
In July, the International 300 mm Initiative (I300I) will be released. It will set standards requirements and equipment designs for 300 mm factories throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. The evolution to 300 mm wafers means more equipment, new equipment, and a big opportunity for the contamination control industry.
A consortium of international companies will be evaluating equipment to coincide with 0.25-micron beta tool delivery in mid-1997. But, in 1998 things get more exciting. The switch from 0.25- to 0.18-micron technology will be evaluated for delivery of beta tools in mid-1998. The move to a smaller processing technology means more contamination control is needed.
According to I300I Chairman Frank Robertson, equipment purchasing is projected to begin in 1998, production ramp in 1999, and 300 mm is expected to be the dominant wafer size by 2005. Robertson estimates the cost for developing the equipment and materials, characterizing performance and integrating the 300 mm manufacturing performance is in excess of $10 billion, and that doesn`t include manufacturing fab investment. The investment in 300 mm technology will give the contamination control industry a needed boost by 2000 especially after the recent slump in the semiconductor industry.
For more information on the I300I, check out its web site at http://www.i300i.org.