Santa Clara, CA--Semiconductor 300--the industry's first 300-mm fab--has begun receiving next-generation semiconductor manufacturing systems from Applied Materials.
A joint venture between Siemens and Motorola, the Dresden, Germany-based fab is slated to demonstrate the new manufacturing technology by producing 64-megabit DRAM (dynamic random-access memory) chips with 0.25-micron design rules beginning in early 1999. Plans call for manufacturing 256-megabit chips at a later date.
Most of today's DRAM devices are made with 0.35-micron technology, meaning that the transistors have gates measuring 0.35 micron wide. The smaller the feature size, the faster and more compact the chip. Also, 2.5 times as many devices can be manufactured on 300-mm-wide wafers as on 200-mm wafers. Thus 300-mm fabs will be able to offer lower-cost devices due to economy of scale.
The Applied Materials systems headed for Germany include equipment for plasma etching, chemical vapor deposition (CVD), physical vapor deposition (PVD); high-temperature film products; and state-of-the-art wafer-inspection equipment.
"The start-up of the world's first 300-mm fab is a milestone for the semiconductor industry," says Dr. Peter Kuecher, general manager of Semiconductor 300. "With our target of reducing DRAM die cost by 30 percent, this fab is the first of a new generation of chip manufacturing facilities that will set the standard for the future of the semiconductor industry."