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Intel Keeps Planning 450mm Wafer Fabrication Plants

Date: 2005-12-3

[Abstract]
   Intel Corp. at a meeting with analysts earlier this week said that its D1E fab set to be built in Hillsboro, Oregon, could either process 300mm or 450mm wafers. If the firm decides in fav...

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Intel Corp. at a meeting with analysts earlier this week said that its D1E fab set to be built in Hillsboro, Oregon, could either process 300mm or 450mm wafers. If the firm decides in favour of the second option, the D1E will become the world's first wafer plant that processes 450mm wafers.

Larger wafers provide lower per-device cost, however, they require special equipment and are generally more expensive to produce. For companies, whose volumes of sales are not giant, it does not make sense to use large wafers as they may not be able to sell all devices, which will increase the per-device cost. But for the world's largest maker of semiconductors ?Intel Corp. ?it may make sense to adopt larger and larger wafers in order to produce higher amount of chips. Earlier Intel anticipated that it would establish its first 450mm wafer processing facility in 2012.

“We think 2012 would be the year for the 450mm wafers, so we need to start discussing it pretty soon, in the next six months. We need to start planning,?said Paolo Gargini, the Intel Corp. director of technology strategy who serves as the chairman of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) at Semicon West in San Francisco, California, back in 2004.

Currently Intel is still planning whether the D1E should be a 300mm foundry or a 450mm facility. The company said it would consider turning D1E into a 450-mm fab ?depending on market requirements and if the appropriate tools are ready, EETimes web-site reported. The decision is expected to be made within two years from now.

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