FEB. 14 Singapore–Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing today detailed its plans for Singapore’s first 300mm fab. Pilot production on Fab 7, Chartered’s largest wafer fab project, is now scheduled to begin in 2002 at an estimated cost of $3.5 billion.
Chartered, which has five fabs in Singapore, has revised its original plans to ramp Fab 7 by foregoing an interim step to bring it up as a 200mm facility. Instead, the company will accelerate the cost and utilization benefits of 300mm wafers qualified on its most advanced processes. To meet its customers’ 200mm demands, Chartered plans to maximize its existing capacity, including the scheduled expansion of the operational capabilities of Fab 6, which was brought online last year.
The more advanced configuration of Fab 7 is an important part of Chartered’s plan to double its capacity in the next 3 years. It also reflects a significant portion of the company’s 2001 plans for capital equipment spending, an increase of 30% over 2000.
“Clearly, 300mm is the manufacturing option of choice for the future, and we are excited to be moving forward with our strategy for capitalizing on the 300mm market opportunity forecasted to ramp up in mid-2002,” says John Docherty, Chartered’s senior vice president of manufacturing operations and technology. “Our decision to move forward on a 300mm strategy for Fab 7 will result in a longer lifespan and will substantially increase the value to our customers over an expanded period of time. We remain confident in our long-term vision and our business fundamentals, and we believe semiconductor inventory corrections that are occurring in the first half of 2001 will pass by the time our Fab 7 is in production mode next year.”
The new 300mm fab will be fitted with state-of-the-art manufacturing technology, optimized for volume production of Chartered’s leading-edge process technologies down to 0.10-micron. The fab’s 170,000-sq-ft of cleanroom space will be capable of producing in excess of 30,000 300mm wafers per month, once full production is reached.