Mark LaPedus, EETimes
2/1/2011 8:38 PM EST
SAN JOSE, Calif. – There are an alarming lack of new, leading-edge fabs on the drawing board-a trend that could propel the IC industry into a nightmarish era of tight capacity, higher chip prices and shortages.
Capital spending is on the rise in 2011, but leading-edge fab capacity is expected to be tight for the foreseeable future for various reasons. Fab companies are reluctant to build new 300-mm plants and are only upgrading their existing facilities. And at least three fab companies-Intel, Samsung and TSMC-have suddenly become pre-occupied with 450-mm activity.
It’s unclear if fab companies will continue to build new 300-mm greenfield fabs in the future. Perhaps they will bypass 300-mm and simply take a quantum leap into the 450-mm era.
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