Bill McClean, President of IC Insights Inc.
(10/24/2007 8:03 AM EDT) -- EE Times
IC industry equipment and material suppliers have recently voiced concern regarding the potential move from 300mm wafers to 450mm wafers for the production of ICs.
Some have even stated that this transition is unlikely to ever happen! IC Insights strongly disagrees with this outlook. Although movement to 450mm wafers is not ''just around the corner,'' IC Insights believes that it is only a matter of when, not if, it takes place. IC equipment and materials suppliers may be reluctant participants in 450mm wafer production, but it will happen!
One of the main arguments for moving to 450mm wafers is the reduction of processing cost on a per-square-inch basis. Since the beginning of the IC industry, increasing the wafer size has been an important element in reducing the processing cost per square inch of silicon.
Currently, no IC supplier is even close to optimizing the high-volume manufacturing cost structure for the relatively new 300mm wafer size. However, the idea/dream that 450mm wafers will ultimately be even more cost efficient is one that will not go away.