Products for 300 mm manufacturing cropping up
San Francisco, CA — With the advent of 300 mm technology, semiconductor product suppliers are not sitting still. Semiconductor manufacturers are beginning to see a new series of products and joint ventures to help them make the transition to the 12-inch wafer.
This month at Semicon, several products are being announced as well as more information on the 300 mm transition as provided by the 300 mm diameter wafer specification task force that was scheduled for a workshop at Semicon West in San Francisco, Monday, July 14.
At the end of June, Fluoroware (Chaska, MN) announced that it would enter the 300 mm pod market with a front-opening unified pod called F300. A week later, the company announced a long-term 300 mm joint development program with Daifuku (Tokyo, Japan), a supplier of automation systems to the semiconductor and other industries. Both companies will develop an integrated 300 mm solution that consists of Fluoroware`s front-opening unified pod and a tool load-port interface. Fluoroware plans on manufacturing the pod and it will be integrated with the tool load-port interface that will be manufactured by Daifuku.
Says Stan Geyer, Fluoroware president and CEO: “Our objective is to provide 300 mm pods and identification technologies capable of integrating with all of the leading automation schemes on the market today.”
The Fluoroware-Daifuku agreement ensures that both companies work closely together and exchange design input. Each company will be responsible for manufacturing its own components and will support an open architecture strategy. Both companies have also committed to having a beta system available for customers this month.
In other 300 mm news, PRI Automation (Billerica, MA) was awarded a patent for the technical capability of its Intra Tool Buffer (ITB). The patented technology — the wafer transfer system having rotational capability — is a feature of the ITB. “Efficient batch wafer transfer capability is crucial for the use of front opening unified pods and open cassettes, which are the top priority carriers for 300 mm wafers,” explains Frank Robertson, vice president and general manager of the International 300 mm Initiative (I300I).
July also marks another 300 mm milestone. American and Japanese consortia are slated to issue a document containing guidelines published by the I300I. The document will set standards requirements and equipment designs for 300 mm wafer factories in the United States and Japan. The I300I document will include guidelines for carriers and interfaces for tool loading, definitions of equipment performance metrics targeting 0.25-micron technology for manufacturing and test methods for member companies.
Members of I300I include: AMD, Hyundai, IBM, Intel, LG Semicon, Lucent Technologies, Philips, Samsung, Siemens, SGS Thomson, Texas Instruments and TSMC.