Last Tuesday at SEMICON West, the Facilities 450mm Consortium hosted a panel of representatives from F450C and G450C member companies to provide an update on fab facilities and infrastructure progress in preparing for the transition from 300mm substrates to 450mm. As the F450C Program Manager, I was honored to moderate the panel which included David Skilbred, Director of Program Coordination/Management, G450C (Intel assignee); Ben Peek, F450C Project Architect from Haws; Lothar Till, Managing Director for Ovivo Switzerland; Paul Alers, Head of Product Management for Busch Vacuum; and Joe Guerin, Head of Sales and Marketing for CS CLEAN SYSTEMS.
With 51 tools currently in the Albany 450mm fab, and first patterned wafers expected in September 2015, the panelists’ comments centered around a few operational characteristics that they felt will be needed when the first 450mm fabs enter high volume manufacturing, expected to occur as early as the 10nm geometry node for some manufacturers. Two dominant themes emerged: access to manufacturing information, and manufacturing sustainability and resource conservation. David Skilbred opened the panel by directly addressing the industry’s question: what’s the outlook for 450mm and where does the value of G450C/F450C fall? He noted that while the 450mm roadmap has seen some delays, there is still great value in investing in R&D for this technology, much of which can be applicable to today’s technology.
In regards to the former theme of access to information, Ben Peek spoke to efforts by Haws, M+W, and G450C to build remote tool monitoring capabilities into the Albany research fab, thus providing an industry-first ability to remotely assess manufacturing resource usage and manufacturing process anomalies via a secure, Internet network. Next, Lothar Till and Paul Alers talked about the efforts by Ovivo and Busch, respectively, to address the needs for resource conservation and environmental mitigation in areas such as power usage, water consumption, and waste stream management, both in today’s state-of-the-art 300 mm facilities as well as the upcoming 450mm facilities. Joe Guerin spoke to the different factors that come into play when choosing an abatement system, stressing the need to strike a balance for each process technology and wafer size.
Collectively, the panelists’ remarks reflected an overall spirit of collaboration that is emerging from the F450C and G450C efforts, aimed at sharing information and ultimately reducing the industry’s costs associated with the next wafer size transition. Additionally, many of the “lessons learned” by F450C member companies are finding their way into best-practices applications in today’s 300mm fabs.
Author: Todd Fosler
Program Manager – F450C
Project Development Director – M+W Group