By Debra Vogler, Senior Technical Editor
The International Symposium on Semiconductor Manufacturing (ISSM), running from Oct. 15-17 in Santa Clara, CA, was full of spirited debate, as senior technical editor Debra Vogler reports in her two articles below.
Speaking at ISSM, Lam Research’s Nick Bright asked a point-blank question: why should equipment suppliers invest in 450mm when there are so many opportunities elsewhere (e.g. solar, FPDs, LEDs, and MEMS)? Perhaps the answer lies in whether or not enough equipment companies are able to find answers to IC manufacturers’ calls to improve fab agility at a reasonable rate of return on investment.
The spirited debate about whether or not the industry should migrate to 450mm wafers continued last week at the International Symposium on Semiconductor Manufacturing (ISSM, Oct. 15-17, Santa Clara, CA). Provocative questions and commentary from some of the presentations could make one pause and ask a question: what if the industry decided to transition to 450mm wafers, but no one showed up at the party? And it’s not just the equipment suppliers, but the IC manufacturers, that may have to take a second look at a transition.