Cites development of infrastructure for 450mm wafers as a main reason

TSMC (NYSE:TSM) last week announced that it will join SEMATECH in order to further research in sub 22nm process technology as well as implementation of 450mm wafer infrastructure.

The membership comes a few years after TSMC also joined rival research consortium Imec of Belgium. The semiconductor industry is currently contemplating how to implement a complete shift ro 450mm wafer infrastructure – a move that will require major investments.

The move from 300mm to 450mm wafers shows that Moore’s Unknown Law is not completely dead. Gordon Moore formulated his 2nd law just after the famous 1st law, The infamous 2nd law states that wafer size will double every 24 moths – something that is far from happening.  During a speech at ISSCC in 2005 Gordon Moore showed up with a 6’ mock up wafer indicating the current size of wafers – if his 2nd law had come true.

In its press release TSMC also stagtes 3D interconnects, new materials and new device structures as reason to join SEMATECH.

New device structures include FinFET transistors that are expected to debut at the 14nm node level. Intel has already announced their 3D transistor at 22nm and Intel Fellow Mark Bohr indicated that he did not expect other companies to be able to implement the transistor until the following process generation.

SEMATECH also counts members as GlobalFoundries, HP, IBM, Intel, Samsung, UMC, and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE).S|A

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