updated 09:20 pm EST, Wed December 8, 2010
Method expected to reduce production costs
Intel has confirmed that it is ready to equip factories to produce 450mm chip wafers. The company's upcoming D1X fabrication plant in Oregon, which will focus on research and development, will reportedly be constructed for compatibility with 450mm tooling. The machines will likely sit alongside tools designed for current 300mm technology.
The larger wafers are expected to produce a greater number of chips in a single run, helping to reduce costs, or enable facilities to produce larger chips without a significant jump in cost from current technology.
As many companies are said to be still affected by their investments in 300mm technology, some manufacturers have resisted an immediate move to 450mm wafers, according to an EETimes report. VLSI research executive G. Dan Hutcheson suggests the majority of players in the equipment supply industry are working on 450mm development, however, despite holding public positions to the contrary.
"Intel is very interested in 450mm," said Intel's director of process architecture and integration, Mark Bohr. ''D1X is being (contructed) to be compatible with 450mm. I sense that some of the equipment vendors are interested in 450mm."