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Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test

New U.S. fabs from Micron, Intel, SK Siltron, TSMC; SMIC’s rapid 7nm rollout; SEMI’s Climate Consortium.

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New fab construction

At an event in Arizona, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo urged states to compete for funding made available for producing semiconductors by the U.S. federal government. Indeed, several companies are already doing just that. The latest developments include:

Micron plans to invest approximately $15 billion through 2030 for a new memory fab near its existing headquarters in Boise, Idaho. It will be the first memory fab built in the U.S. in two decades. Additionally, Micron will expand investment for K-12 STEM education programs and increase focus on reaching underrepresented and rural student populations. Long-term, Micron plans to invest more than $150 billion globally over the next decade in manufacturing and R&D, including investing $40 billion through the end of this decade to build leading-edge memory manufacturing in multiple phases in the U.S.

New York officials are still hoping Micron also will locate a facility near Syracuse, despite the Boise announcement and Micron filing for property tax exemptions in Lockhart, Texas last week. The company told Syracuse.com, “We have not made any final decisions regarding the location, timing or scope of any expansion plans.”

Intel now plans five fabs in Ohio, instead of the previously announced two. The company said its investment could reach $100 billion with the federal subsidies and tax credits from the CHIPS act. Groundbreaking is scheduled for Sept. 9.

Dagang Nexchange Bhd (Dnex) and Foxconn are looking to build a new 12-inch, 28nm fab in Malaysia.

In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a $300M semiconductor plant expansion in Bay County, the result of a $300 million investment by SK Siltron CSS, the U.S. subsidiary of South Korea’s SK Group.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, speaking at an investment conference during a visit to Taipei, said TSMC is making “excellent” progress building its new plant in Arizona.

Other news

Machine learning start-up SiMa.ai has started shipping test chips and systems to customers. Its board of directors includes TSMC’s Moshe Gavrielov and Intel’s Lip‑Bu Tan.

SEMI invites participation in a new Climate Consortium, aimed at accelerating the electronics industry’s movement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This move follows on from SEMI’s establishment of the Sustainability Advisory Council introduced at the Sustainability Summit during Semicon West in July. The SAC includes 35 companies including IC makers, equipment suppliers, materials suppliers, OSATs, and others. A working group will formalize climate commitments and present them at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in November.

China’s largest chip manufacturer, SMIC, has outpaced TSMC and Samsung by making the change from the 14nm to 7nm node in only two years, according to TechInsights. In its latest research note, analysts contend that SMIC is able to fabricate 7nm chips, possibly without using leading-edge fab equipment.

Metrology

NIST released a call for action to accelerate metrology advances in the semiconductor industry as part of the recent CHIPS Act, after receiving extensive feedback at metrology workshops across the industry.   More details can be found here.

Research

Researchers from Osaka University and collaborating partners have synthesized a novel class of nanostructured superlattices. They promise a high degree of control over the movement of electrons within metal semiconductors. The article, “Heterodimensional superlattice with room-temperature anomalous Hall effect,” was published in Nature.

Further reading

See the most recent Manufacturing, Packaging & Materials newsletter for a special report on Big Changes In Architectures, Transistors, Materials.

And check out the new Test, Measurement & Analytics newsletter for stories on how overlay keeps pace with EUV patterning; why nanosheets are driving changes in metrology and inspection; and how to leverage data lakes.

Upcoming events:

  • DVCon India, Sept. 5-6, 2022 (Bangalore, India)
  • 4th Panel Level Packaging Symposium, Sept. 8 (Berlin, Germany)
  • AI Hardware/Edge AI Summit, Sept. 13 – 15 (Santa Clara, CA)
  • Semicon Taiwan, Sept. 14 – 16 (Taipei, Taiwan)
  • SPIE Photonics Industry Summit, Sept. 21 (Washington, D.C.)
  • SPIE Photomask Technology/Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography, Sept. 25 – 29 (Monterey, CA)
  • International Test Conference, Sept. 25 – 30 (Anaheim, CA)
  • 55th International Symposium on Microelectronics, Oct. 3 – 6 (Boston, MA)


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