SOURCE: International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative

May 22, 2006 11:00 ET

ISMI Members Approve Guiding Principles of 300 mm Wafer Transition Program

AUSTIN, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 22, 2006 -- Member companies of the International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI) have reached consensus on key concepts of a productivity improvement roadmap for moving the semiconductor industry toward 450 mm wafers.

ISMI's Guiding Principles for 300 mm Prime (300P), developed during several meetings this year and initially revealed at SEMICON Europa, are designed to minimize the cost and design challenges of 450 mm wafers, which ISMI's members see as inevitable for the industry.

"The Guiding Principles will be used as a foundation for gathering specifics on productivity designs, attributes and metrics to be pursued in today's 300 mm fabs, which will help pave the way to 450 mm implementations," said Scott Kramer, ISMI director.

Added Joe Draina, ISMI associate director: "300 Prime is a strategy for improving 300 mm productivity while bridging to eventual 450 mm manufacturing. This strategy draws on lessons learned from our industry's last conversion from 200 mm and recognizes the importance of collaboration, consensus-building, and compromise among chip-makers and equipment suppliers."

Noting that 300P has attracted wide attention since ISMI introduced the concept in January, Kramer elaborated on the program's key concepts. These include:

--  300P design and architecture must be forward-compatible with the 450
    mm factory. Specifically, 300P productivity enhancements must be scaleable
    to 450 mm, with minimal changes in design and architecture; be tested and
    proven within a 300 mm setting; and demonstrate an acceptable return on
    investment.
    
--  Scenarios for 300P and 450 mm must be subjected to business modeling.
    Multiple-use manufacturing models need to be addressed, including high- and
    low-volume product mixes; and multiple flexible lot sizes operating within
    acceptable cycle times.
    
--  300P developments will be an evolutionary process.  Furthermore, some
    current 300 mm productivity improvements will be coordinated and deployed
    in 300P or 450 mm fabs.
    
"The introduction of 300P is designed to be an iterative and self-testing process that will generate immediate, mid-term and long-term benefits for the industry," Kramer said. "We see it as a gradual and affordable transition that is responsive to its participants and adaptable to their needs. As I've said before, this process is a marathon, not a sprint."

ISMI is a global alliance of the world's major semiconductor manufacturers, dedicated to reducing cost per wafer, and ultimately cost per die, through cooperative programs focused on manufacturing effectiveness. The consortium conducts programs in manufacturing infrastructure, methods, standards, and productivity, with the aim of reducing the costs of producing finished wafers and chips and driving solutions to major productivity challenges. ISMI is a wholly owned subsidiary of SEMATECH of Austin, TX. http://ismi.sematech.org/corporate/index.htm.

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