Every year at SEMICON West, ISMI provides a closed-door progress update on their 450mm program. This year was no exception. On Wednesday, July 14th, shortly before the yearly SEMATECH reception, SEMATECH and ISMI staff provided updates on their six project areas: supplier engagement, test wafer operations, vacuum platform development, factory integration readiness, starting materials, and equipment test methods and metrics. ISMI claims that there are no technical “show stoppers”.
Key highlights include:
- Advances in silicon readiness: scratches eliminated and particle count dramatically reduced
- Inspection equipment slowly coming online
- Wet clean tool from SSEC
- Particle, edge and thin film measurements capabilities
- FOUP washer expected operational in Q4 of 2010
- Cost sharing program offered to tool suppliers
- Sharing financial/resource risk between IDMs and suppliers
- Alpha Prototype, Alpha Prototype + Demo tool, Alpha Prototype, Beta Tool & Demo Tool
- Program on the ISMI website
- Greatly reduced 450mm standards development time vs. 300mm
- Load ports from Brooks, Sinfonia, and TDK
- FOUPS and MACS (for transport) available
A key update is the attempt to develop a common vacuum platform for suppliers. So far, no major OEMs are listed as participants, which will be required at some point if much further progress is to be expected. As before, the demonstration half-pitch is targeted at 32nm, with potential high volume manufacturing at 22nm. Many in the industry expect this to slip to a finer dimension sometime soon so as to be consistent with other published targets and analysts expectations.