APRIL 4--Intel Corp. (Santa Clara, CA; www.intel.com), a leading semiconductor manufacturer, is making its first chips using 0.13-µm technology at its DC1 plant in Hillsboro, OR. These chips will be available commercially in the second half of this year. However, the chips will be made from smaller 200-mm-diameter wafers. Intel claims that the new technology can quadruple the output of chips from a standard fab facility operating today.
The 0.13-µm chips will also contain copper wires, rather than the aluminum Intel presently uses in its 0.18-µm technology. Copper helps the chips to operate faster, cooler, and cheaper. Moving to larger 300-mm-diameter wafers soon is expected to save Intel as much as 30% over the use of 200-mm wafers.
Despite the downward plunge in semiconductor sales this year, Intel still plans to spend $7.5 billion in 2001 to upgrade its factories with machines and equipment for manufacturing the larger wafers and smaller chips.