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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

#274 Slow transition to 450 mm

I was recently looking at the numbers defining an increase in the diameter of Si wafers used in IC manufacturing over the years starting with 1 inch wafers in about 1964 all the way to the transition from 300 mm to 450 mm (~18 inch) wafers anticipated for 2014-16 time frame. What caught my eye was an uneven pace at which progression was actually occurring. From 1 inch in 1960 to 6 inch (150 mm), wafer standards were changing roughly every 4.5 years. Then the pace did slow down and it  took about 8 years to switch from 150 mm to 200 mm and then another 8 or so years to complete standard change from 200 mm to 300 mm in about 2000. Some full 15 years may go by before transition from 300 mm to 450 mm will actually take place. 

Obviously, currently observed delay have little to do with technical barriers and much to do with cost of the transition. To me it means that the chip makers may not be fully committed yet to the dramatic increase in wafer diameter with all its consequences. It may also be taken as yet another indication that in the future semiconductor industry will go about its businesses in the very different way than in the past., i.e. transistor scaling and wafer diameter increase may no longer be a lead key to the icreased profitability.

Posted by Jerzy Ruzyllo at 10:41 PM | Semiconductors | Link is the personal blog of Jerzy Ruzyllo. With over 35 years of experience in academic research and teaching in the area of semiconductor engineering (currently holding position of a Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State University), he has a unique perspective on the developments in this progress driving technical domain and enjoys blogging about it.

With over 2000 terms defined and explained, Semiconductor Glossary is the most complete reference in the field of semiconductors on the market today.

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