August 17, 2015, anysilicon
Semiconductor foundry is a factory that manufactures semiconductor (silicon). We often think of the word foundry is something associated with steel or metal construction but it can also be used to classify a fabrication plant for semiconductors as well. Semiconductor foundries type are capable of producing a number of different integrated circuits utilizing semiconductor materials. Often these materials are fabricated out of silicon-based products and the company is capable of producing a wide range of different chips based both designs that they may create as well as the designs of their customers.
One of the most important aspects about a semiconductor foundries is its fabrication environment. The central element to any one of these facilities is there clean room. These clean facilities eliminate all the dust in the environment, they are dampened against various vibrations and temperature and humidity controlled. It’s the control of all of these elements that ensures proper construction as microelectronics can be damaged as a result of humidity, dust and static electricity.
The equipment at semiconductor foundry uses is also relatively expensive to purchase. Processing equipment for 300 mm wafers generally cost around $700,000 up to $4 million each. One typical chip may take several hundreds of pieces of equipment for cleaning, dicing, steppers, etching, doping and more. Although the process is very expensive from a startup perspective you semiconductor fabrication plants are important to keeping the cost of integrated circuits at an affordable level.