One more factor to consider in the discussion: many analog and mixed signal chip companies cited in the article above also have digital products and/or partnerships that are already in the 300mm wafer fab. With the evolving 3D stacked chip products & market opportunity, it is now a question of being compatible with the digital products in a stack, in particular wafer-to-wafer.
Even without the 3D stacking scenario, much of the wafer-level chip packaging now a days takes place in the 300mm processes. Cost is a major driver and as quoted in the article, higher gross margins are always welcome.
Dr. MP Divakar
Many analog IC are not as complex as digital IC in terms of number of transistors used. The silicon cost is only a very small portion but test cost and design cost (expertize as there is practically no good simulation and synthesis tools for analog design). So, moving to 300mm many only solve part of the delivery issue but may not really lower the overall cost too much. However, high performance analog market usually is not in huge volume. Companies including MAXIM enjoys great profit margin with low volume high performance sockets. When it comes to volume, people usually are willing to trade performance for price. I'm not sure if 300mm manufacturing process can help.
300mm will be mainly used for highly integrated mixed-signal power management products - in 180 and 130nm nodes - pure analog ICs will remain in 0.35 micron and older nodes.
Note that big foundries, e.g., TSMC and UMC can offer 300mm analog technology platforms, that is, 300mm is not a major barrier or differentiation.
The impact of 300mm is likely overstated and may be limited to large chips - a la MOSFETs (discretes). Maxim will use both 200 and 300mm outsourcing.
A bigger impact is the emergence of analog technology platforms - this megatrend benefits foundries and fabless start-ups. Unlike in Digital, start-up formation, hence also M&A activity, is high in Analog fabless space
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