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AMD Pushing Out 450 mm Wafer Technology

Next-Generation Factory based on Lean manufacturing

October 24, 2007 - The chip industry should maximize utilization of existing 300 mm technologies and facilities before moving onto a larger, 450 mm wafer size. That is the key message of today's keynote at the fourth International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative Symposium (ISMI) by Douglas Grose, AMD's senior vice president of manufacturing, technology development, and supply chain.

He calls upon the industry to unite behind a common vision. The industry can adopt a vision here today to better meet customers' needs with accuracy, agility and efficiency, in addition to the more traditional route of making wafers larger and transistors smaller.

Next-Generation Factory

AMD Fab 30 in Dresden, Germany. [AMD]

AMD says it is developing new tools and processes for further streamlining both front-end and back-end production, based on Lean techniques and Automated Precision Manufacturing (APM). For example, current practice across the industry is to move wafers through the process steps in 25 wafer batches, but most of the tools can only process a few or even one wafer at a time. That greatly increasing the amount of time it takes to process an entire 25 wafers, slowing the delivery to the customer and extending time-to-revenue for the manufacturer.

Small Lot Manufacturing (SLM) and Single Wafer Tools (SWT) are proposed changes that would greatly improve manufacturing efficiency, but requires an industry-wide shift in thinking. Collaborating on addressing this issue and others magnifies the impact by distributing investments of time, talent and money across all the parties that ultimately benefit.

AMD states its operations have already benefited from these Next-Generation Factory (NGF) concepts. At AMD's Fab 30 in Dresden, Germany, AMD has realized significant cost and time savings, including a 26 percent reduction in monthly wafer costs, a 31 percent increase in wafer output and a 72 percent increase in labor productivity.

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