Agreed. It seems ludicrous to think that you could build a multi-billion dollar to make analog parts, and compete with depreciated and well characterized 200mm fabs. TI's RFAB was built almost entirely with 2nd hand equipment, so it not a good bit of evidence for 450mm more than Moore. Maxim is not running their own 300mm fab, either - so they're agnostic at best.
@KB3001: I agree with your arument on More-than-Moore as the lead to 450mm. The industry is still grappling with handling of ultra-thin wafers in the assembly flow of W-to-W stacking. This problem gets exponentially amplified with 450mm wafers.
What I would like to see is a study by the proponents of 450mm on whether or not the 'have's can survive the transition to 450mm when many 'have-not's choose to stay with 300mm for multiple reasons, economics being the major one!
Would those who make just low margin products like analog or RF ID chips be able to afford a new Fab for 450 mm ?
Even if they had the resources would it not be a better use of their money to upgrade Fabs for high margin products like processors ?
The "analyst" quoted here needs to make a reality check.
This seems to be a case of where the "research" fits the hypothesis given to it by it's sponsors. I don't see the financial merit in the concept and at best an attempt at hand waving to get the conclusion to remotely fit. I went thru this type of thinking at a once proud and formidable semiconductor manufacturer and it ended in their ruin. There are three strategic ingredients to a wafer size change:
1) Capital leverage
2) Manufacturing scaling leverage
3) Performance leverage
It's utter lunacy to say any of those three are invalid and a "new" economic model has dawned.
Agreed. I don't see the cost justification at anything other than the leading nodes. You can't get the leverage you need. I wonder if instead of investing in larger wafers if more fabs will instead start investing in 3D-IC technology to get density scaling using the 3rd dimension. It would probably be lower cost.