Semiconductor Fabrication Plant

June 21, 2015, anysilicon

A semiconductor fabrication plant, which is also known as a foundry, is a factory where devices such as integrated circuits are manufactured. These semiconductor fabrication plants are found in the microelectronics industry. Any business that operates as a semiconductor fab for the sole purpose of producing designs for other companies is known as a foundry or a semiconductor fabrication plant. A foundry does not produce its own designs but rather produce designs of fabless semiconductor companies.


A comprehensive list of semiconductor foundries can be found here.


A semiconductor fabrication plant is an expensive operation and often requires high production volume (e.g. utilization) in order to function effectively. In fact, research shows that a new foundry costs several billion U.S. Dollars in building costs. The famous company TSMC invested a total of $9.3 billion in building its Fab15 300 mm wafer manufacturing facility located in Taiwan.


The central part of a semiconductor fabrication plant facility surprisingly is the clean room. This area is vital to the entire plant because this is where the environment is controlled to eliminate all dust. Just a single speck of dust an ruin microcircuit since the features of a microcircuit itself has features that are smaller than dust. The clean room must be made to fight vibration. There also must be strict temperature and humidity control. Making sure the temperature and humidity is steady is critical to minimizing static electricity.


The semiconductor fabrication contains instruments such as steppers, etching, cleaning, doping and dicing. All of these devices get the job done perfectly which is why they tend to be so expensive. The prices for each piece of equipment is astronomical. The most common pieces of equipment that are used for making the 300 mm wafer range from the prices of $700,000 to 4,000,000.


A comprehensive list of semiconductor foundries can be found here.