ISMI has released their latest progress report on 450mm. They are doing tests on “silicon test wafers”. What does that mean? Just so there is no confusion, their current silicon wafers are actually sintered (mockup) wafers made from powdered silicon, as single crystal wafers are not expected until the end of the year. By “test wafers”, they mean that they are testing form, fit, and function for material handling. All important steps as 450mm wafers can’t be transported (even for testing) by staff, but nowhere near the “silicon test wafers” that one would expect the name to imply. You can’t create semiconductor devices on these mockup wafers though you can test handling concepts.
Rumors are that some testing in the future may be done on 300mm single crystal wafers, centered and embedded (pressed) into the mockup 450mm wafers. Not sure how they will reference that testing, but make sure you see “monolithic, single crystal 450mm test wafers” all in the same phrase before believing that real wafers are truly being used in ISMI’s testing.