March 23, 2005 – Oki Electric Industry Co. has retooled the semiconductor manufacturing lines at Miyazaki Oki Electric Co. so that its three fabrication lines can handle different wafer sizes, said the Nihon Keizai Shimbun.
Miyazaki Oki Electric has lines for 4-inch and 5-inch wafers to make MEMS and microprocessors for controlling car engines, while the 6-inch line is used to make chips that drive LCDs. Up until now, each of these three lines was dedicated to wafers of a specific size.
But now Oki has modified the work tables for the steppers, etchers, and other manufacturing equipment so wafers of different sizes can be processed on the same line. As a result, the 4-inch line can now also process 5-inch and 6-inch wafers, and the 5-inch line can also process 6-inch wafers.
The modifications give Oki the flexibility to adjust production to meet changes in demand without the need for a large investment in new manufacturing facilities.
Some 10% of the production capacity of the 4-inch and 5-inch lines can be allocated to the processing of 6-inch wafers when demand calls. The 4-inch line can process 15,000 wafers/month, while the 5-inch line can process 50,000 wafers and the 6-inch line 60,000 wafers/.