Shift in wafer manufacturing carries weight of environmental and energy concerns

By Hank Hogan

A focus on environmental responsibility and energy efficiency at this year’s semiconductor manufacturing week, hosted in late October by the Sematech subsidiary ISMI (Austin, TX), could have far-reaching consequences, as the demand for greenness percolates through the supply chain.

The transition to a greener mode of operation may benefit from another topic discussed at the meeting. “We see the transition to 450-mm wafers as a real opportunity for a shift to more eco-friendly manufacturing,” said Tom Jefferson, ISMI 450-mm program manager.

He added that ISMI is working with equipment suppliers, with the goal of having pilot-line 450-mm tools available in 2012. A number of companies are involved in factory integration efforts, with the scope of the testbed having doubled since July.

The processing of these larger wafers is supposed to be done without an increase in the unit energy consumption. That goal mandates a 55 percent reduction from the 300-mm baseline.

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