editor's blog
Subscribe Now

And the Ecosystem Starts

In today’s discussion of the move to 450-mm wafers, we looked at one of the first pieces of equipment that will initiate the entire development cascade necessary for handling these new behemoths. That’s what makes a wafer change so different from other transitions.

When we move from one silicon node to another, we typically have to replace a few pieces of equipment in the line, add some more for any new steps, and maybe swap out some parts of an existing tool. Not to minimize those things – they can be critical and expensive things to do.

But when the wafer size changes, you end up throwing everything out unless you’re really lucky (dual-size equipment can help soften the blow, but it still replaces the older single-size unit). It’s not just the fact that the size changes, but, more specifically, the fact that it’s getting bigger. Handlers and clearances and reaction chambers set up for older, smaller wafers will not likely be able to handle the new ones – even if the chemistry hasn’t changed.

That’s not to suggest that a wafer size change is only about making more room; as we saw, the size of the wafers brings new challenges of its own in addition to the simple fact of a new, bigger elephant in the fab.

The details that this involves were brought clearly home to me as I was writing the other piece. A press release came in announcing that Hine Automation had released its new STAR SL-450 automated load locks for 450-mm wafers. One of many, many such details that will need to be sorted to get an entire line outfitted for 450 mm.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Dec 1, 2020
If you'€™d asked me at the beginning of 2020 as to the chances of my replicating an 1820 Welsh dresser, I would have said '€œzero,'€ which just goes to show how little I know....
Dec 1, 2020
More package designers these days, with the increasing component counts and more complicated electrical constraints, are shifting to using a front-end schematic capture tool. As with IC and PCB... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community site. ]...
Dec 1, 2020
UCLA’s Maxx Tepper gives us a brief overview of the Ocean High-Throughput processor to be used in the upgrade of the real-time event selection system of the CMS experiment at the CERN LHC (Large Hadron Collider). The board incorporates Samtec FireFly'„¢ optical cable ...
Nov 25, 2020
[From the last episode: We looked at what it takes to generate data that can be used to train machine-learning .] We take a break from learning how IoT technology works for one of our occasional posts on how IoT technology is used. In this case, we look at trucking fleet mana...

featured video

Available DesignWare MIPI D-PHY IP for 22-nm Process

Sponsored by Synopsys

This video describes the advantages of Synopsys' MIPI D-PHY IP for 22-nm process, available in RX, TX, bidirectional mode, 2 and 4 lanes, operating at 10 Gbps. The IP is ideal for IoT, automotive, and AI Edge applications.

Click here for more information about DesignWare MIPI IP Solutions

featured paper

Streamlining functional safety certification in automotive and industrial

Sponsored by Texas Instruments

Functional safety design takes rigor, documentation and time to get it right. Whether you’re designing for the factory floor or cars on the highway, this white paper explains how TI is making it easier for you to find and use its integrated circuits (ICs) in your functional safety designs.

Click here to download the whitepaper

featured chalk talk

The Wireless Member of the DARWIN Family

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Maxim Integrated

MCUs continue to evolve based on increasing demands from designers. We expect our microcontrollers to do more than ever - better security, more performance, lower power consumption - and we want it all for less money, of course. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Kris Ardis from Maxim Integrated about the new DARWIN line of low-power MCUs.

Click here for more information about Maxim Integrated MAX32665-MAX32668 UB Class Microcontroller