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First wafer delay (FWD) has been identified as a barrier to reduced fab cycle time and increased equipment productivity. As such, initiatives to reduce first wafer delay have been proposed as a focal point for next generation semiconductor fabs, including both 450 mm fabs as well as ldquo300 mm Primerdquo factories. FWD and setup time are major detractors for cycle time reduction, in particular for small lot manufacturing. The definition of FWD, causes, as well as methods for improving FWD are discussed, in addition to recommendations for future equipment and factory design.