January 30, 2006 – A new program launched by the International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative aims to establish an “incremental” approach toward improving 300mm production and ease the eventual migration to the 450mm new wafer size.
The program, 300mm Prime, will incorporate studies on how to improve equipment, automation, and factory integration to meet the challenges of high product mix, fast cycle time, and flexibility. Elements of the program will include: member-driven collaboration on development of industry guidance for both 300 Prime and 450mm manufacturing; use of ISMI’s Industry Economic Model (IEM) and other modeling tools to provide fiscal guidelines for 300mm Prime development and 450mm insertion; and assessment of industry readiness for wafer-size transition.
“Looking ahead at productivity assumptions, we realize that we must be very aggressive in pushing for improvements in manufacturing productivity,” said Scott Kramer, ISMI director. “Part of the productivity formula includes serious preparation for larger wafer sizes.” He added that goals for improving productivity are applicable at existing 300mm fabs and those coming in the future, as well as at next-wafer-size facilities — all fabs will need to incorporate e-manufacturing, for example. “We want to help make the wafer-size transition as efficient and cost-effective as possible, by involving a wide range of industry players-especially the equipment supplier community.”
“We view this transition as a multi-year effort that will involve a great deal of dialogue, compromise, and consensus-building” Kramer said. “Above all, it should be a gradual and economical process, well planned and well executed. This is a marathon, not a sprint.”
The International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) calls for implementation of 450mm manufacturing in 2012, Kramer noted. “If we are to have any chance of meeting that timeline, we must begin serious planning now and develop an industry consensus that will work for all committed parties,” he said.
ISMI will provide more data and seek supplier input on the 350 Prime program at upcoming events this year, including Semicon Europa’s Fab Managers Forum (April, in Germany); The Confab (May, Las Vegas); Semicon West (July, San Francisco); and ISMI Symposium (October, Austin TX).