Intel Hits Key Milestone -- Yields First Silicon From Industry's Most Advanced 0.13 Micron, 300 MM Wafer Fab
HILLSBORO, Ore. - March 28, 2001 - Intel Corporation has completed production of its first silicon chips from its 0.13 micron technology, 300 millimeter (mm) wafer development fab located here. Named D1C, this factory is the first in the industry to produce fully functional computer chips built using advanced 0.13 micron process technology on the new, larger 300 mm wafers. This milestone keeps Intel on track to bring chips built on these advanced technologies into the marketplace at the beginning of next year.
"Intel is the first in the industry to complete silicon using advanced 0.13 micron technology on 300 mm wafers," said Sunlin Chou, Intel's senior vice president and general manager of its Technology and Manufacturing Group. "For Intel, this accomplishment represents the beginning of a new era in cost-effective, high-volume manufacturing. For our customers, it means great products, great technology and increased availability in the future."
"Intel expects chips produced on 300 mm wafers to cost 30 percent less than those made using the smaller wafers," said Tom Garrett, Intel's 300 mm Program manager. "By shrinking the circuit lines to 0.13 microns and increasing the wafer size to 300 mm, we are able to quadruple the output of a standard factory operating today."
Enlarging the wafers to 300 mm (about 12 inches in diameter) will have a dramatic impact on increased availability of computer chips at ever-lower costs. The larger wafers provide more than twice the surface area of 200 mm wafers (about eight inches in diameter) commonly used in the semiconductor manufacturing plants today. This advancement results in a 225 percent increase in total silicon surface area, or more than twice the surface area over a standard 200 mm wafer, and provides about 240 percent more area for printed die (individual computer chips) per wafer than 200 mm wafers. The bigger wafers lower the production cost per chip while diminishing overall use of resource and wasted materials. On a production unit basis, 300 mm wafer manufacturing will use 40 percent less energy and water per chip than a 200 mm wafer factory.
D1C Technology Development Fab
Intel's D1C Development Fab is located in Hillsboro, Ore. The facility features a 135,000 square foot clean room, which is larger than most production factories in the industry.
The D1C Development Fab was designed with automation as the baseline and everything else built around that. Because of the size and weight of the larger wafers, automation systems that transport wafers directly to and from each tool in the factory quickly and efficiently are even more critical.
Intel's D1C 300 mm Fab features the world's first automation system with multiple layers of interconnected transport tracks that support a fully automated handling system and integrated materials scheduling. Intel's D1C tool interconnection strategy is similar to the company's metal-layer interconnect strategy used to develop its microprocessors. The D1C Fab's decision support systems are Web-enabled, allowing for diagnostics to be controlled remotely anytime and from anywhere.
Intel's 0.13 Micron Process Technology
D1C will produce chips on 300 mm wafers utilizing Intel's new 0.13 micron process technology. This technology allows the company to manufacture chips with circuitry that is so small it would take almost 1000 of these "wires" placed side-by-side to equal the width of a human hair. This advanced process technology will enable high performance microprocessors that can contain more than 100 million transistors and run at multi-GHz clock speeds.
Intel's 0.13 micron process technology features the world's fastest transistor used in volume production. Intel transistors are the foundation of the industry's fastest microprocessors.
Intel uses the smallest transistor gate in production and the thinnest of thin films to make these ultra speedy transistors. Intel's transistor gate measures just 70 nanometers (0.07 microns in length). Intel's advanced 0.13 micron process technology also features a 1.5 nanometer gate oxide that is the thinnest in the industry for a manufacturing technology and provides industry-leading transistor performance at lower operating voltage.
In addition to the ultra-small transistor gate and thin oxides, Intel's 0.13 micron logic technology has high performance interconnect technology featuring six-layers of copper metalization.
The new 0.13 micron process technology will produce advanced microprocessors and other semiconductor products such as future versions of the company's Pentiumr 4 processor and other advanced processors, networking and communications products.
For more information on Intel Silicon Technology Research, please reference Intel's new Silicon Showcase at www.intel.com/research/silicon.