Panel reveals concerns over 450-mm wafers
March 07, 2011 // Peter Clarke
Whether Europe should try to contribute to 450-mm wafer technology research and deployment was revealed as a source of tension amongst Europe's leading chip makers at the Industry Strategy Symposium held in Grenoble, France.
Many of the panelists seemed to suggest that spending European tax-payers' money on 450-mm wafer research was not in their interest and risked diminishing support for mixed-signal, RF, MEMS and other CMOS derivatives below critical levels.
Elsewhere at the conference general approval had been shown for the European Commission's new-found interest in advanced manufacturing. This has partly been driven by campaigning by SEMI Europe in 2008 through 2010 and the European Commission has recently commissioned a study on the desirability of 450-mm pilot line in Europe.
Hans-Jurgen Straub, CEO of mixed-signal foundry X-Fab (Erfurt, Germany), set the tone for the panel when he said Europe could not live by services and that somebody has to manufacture something here. "We should do everything we can to keep it [semiconductor manufacturing] in Europe. We all have the same opinion, but then what do we do?"
Panelist Rutger Wijburg, vice president of front-end operations for NXP Semiconductors BV (Eindhoven, The Nethelands) asked: "450-mm; is it a curse or a blessing?" He suggested that a transition to manufacturing on 450-mm wafer could result in the chip industry collapsing to just three manufacturers, one in microprocessors, one in foundry and one in memory. "That may not be a great step-forward for consumers."
Jean-Marc Chery, chief technology officer of STMicroelectronics, said there are many strategic decisions to be made before considering 450-mm wafers. ST has a research and pilot fab in nearby Crolles, which could be a candidate to run 450-mm wafers at some point. "Today the challenge is the next CMOS platform and do we want to compete in the mobile Internet. If 'yes' then down to 10-nm node 300-mm wafers are competitive. FinFET [fin-shaped transistors] or FDSOI [fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator] is the first challenge. Then the choice of lithography and lithography is half the capex. Before we go to 450-mm we have to answer these fundamental questions."All news
Europe leads world in chip market growth
September 02, 2014
In July the European region showed the strongest year-on-year growth of all regions tracked by the World Semiconductor Trade ...
Radar-based blind spot assist to eliminate collisions during turning
German company wins bid to crash cars in China
European semiconductors sales up 14.9% this year
EE Times' annual salary & opinion survey report
Toshiba announces image sensor strategy
September 01, 2014
Toshiba Corp. has issued a press release detailing its strategy for the image sensor market.
DelfMEMS promotes CFO to CEO
Sensata to pay $1-bn for tire pressure sensor leader
ADCs for high dynamic range – successive-approximation or sigma-delta?
- Power Modules: The New Super Power
- Flexible Performance for Network Security Appliances
- Digital Power Management Reduces Energy Costs While Improving System Performance
- Using RF Recording Techniques to Resolve Interference Problems
InterviewA question of Europe
Sir Peter Bonfield sits on the board and has advisory roles in many international companies and universities. With more than 45 years of experience in electronics, computers and communications, here he ...
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, Trinamic Motion Control is offering you to win one of four TMCM-1043 development kits for its highly integrated, NEMA 17-compatible TMCM-1043 stepDancer stepper motor module.
Offering designers an easy-to-use PC-based GUI that allows one-click modification of motor drive current, micro-stepping and other key parameters, the intuitive kits are custom designed and developed for...MORE INFO AND LAST MONTH' WINNERS...
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.