SHERMAN, Tex. -- GlobiTech Inc. today announced shipments of its first epitaxial wafers to semiconductor manufacturers, which will use the epi-silicon substrates to fabrication CMOS chips with design rules under 0.18-micron feature sizes.
Texas startup claims to be the world's first dedicated CMOS epi-wafer foundry (see Feb. 18, 2000, story). GlobiTech said the first of two Class-1 cleanrooms is now fully operational in the company's new plant here. Each of those initial cleanrooms has 8,000 square feet of space.
GlobiTech said it achieved first silicon production in the plant on March 31, less than a year after breaking ground on the facility, which is located about 90 miles north of Dallas. Fab I is designed for 150- and 200-mm diameter wafers. Fab II in the plant is scheduled to become operational in later this year for 300-mm diameter epi substrates.
After final phase of the facility is completed and equipped at the end of 2002, the Sherman site will have an annual capacity of 6 million eight-inch (200-mm) wafer equivalents, GlobiTech said.
Epi wafers have a thin, single-crystal layer of silicon deposited on the surface of the substrate, which is used to fabricate active elements of devices. The epi layer provides higher levels of electrical characteristics compared to standard polished silicon substrates. Epi has fewer defects in the crystals than the bulk wafer material. Many major chip makers produce their own epi wafers for internal use, but more are opting to procure epitaxial substrates from outside sources to lower costs.
"A natural distinction exists between polished wafer and epi wafer processes, leading to a logical evolution of the epi foundry model," said Jerry Smith, president and chief executive officer of the Sherman-based startup. GlobiTech's epi service for IC houses allows them to free up valuable internal fab resources while focusing on other critical processes," he added.