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About every ten years, the semiconductor industry has increased its wafer diameter size. This change, when coupled with device innovations such as transistor design improvements, new materials, and lithography feature size reductions, have enabled the semiconductor industry to reduce cost per function by ∼30% each year over the past 30 years, while enabling factories to be highly productive. This paper outlines key factory attributes and technology decisions required to make the next wafer size conversion from 300to 450-mm wafers and provides a detailed examination of the factors that should be considered by integrated circuit (IC) makers, equipment suppliers, and consortia members as a team. We show a subset of these attributes that can be decided quickly, a list of attributes that need more analysis and discussion, and conclude with a vision of the capabilities that a 450-mm factory will have.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2005