SANTA CLARA, Calif.--As predicted earlier this year, Intel Corp. today announced it has completed first production of microprocessors on 300-mm diameter wafers using a 0.13-micron process technology.
Intel claimed it is the first chip maker to produce and ship "production level processors" on 0.13-micron technology using 300-mm (12-inch) silicon substrates. Last month, Intel's chief financial officer told financial analysts that the company expected to begin shipping its first products made on 300-mm wafers in the first quarter of 2002 (see Jan. 16 story).
Intel said the first 300-mm production wafers were fabricated at its Fab D1C facility in Hillsboro, Ore. That facility is also Intel's fifth wafer fab to begin processing ICs with 0.13-micron technology--the other four are using 200-mm (8-inch) wafers.
Less than a handful of chip companies have been in early production with 300-mm wafers, but those applications have been in memories or logic-based ICs made with 0.18- or 0.15-micron design rules. Several other chip makers have been planning 300-mm production but cutbacks in investments during the current downturn have postponed new fabs.
"Intel is the first manufacturer to ramp up production of 0.13-micron technology on 300 mm wafers," stated Sunlin Chou, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group. "Microprocessors produced on 300-mm wafers cost 30% less than those made using the smaller 200-mm wafers, and by combining the larger wafers with our advanced 0.13-micron process, we are able to quadruple the output per wafer compared to that of the prior process generation," he said.
In addition to packing more chips on a larger diameter wafer, 300-mm manufacturing will use 40% less energy and water per IC than a 200-mm wafer factory, according to Intel.
Intel did not release information on the performance of the first central processors produced on 300-mm.