SEMI Equipment Suppliers form special interest group

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SEMI Equipment Suppliers Form Special Interest Group.

First priority: Improve manufacturing productivity for 300 mm wafer processing.

The Global Equipment Suppliers Group (GESG) has been formed to address critical technology and business issues that affect the semiconductor industry. The mission of this new special interest group is to maintain a forum for equipment suppliers to address issues facing the industry and to develop an organized global voice to influence technology roadmaps, device maker and foundry planning, supply chain collaboration, and related issues. The GESG will have a voting position on the Manufacturing Technology Forum (MTF) and help develop recommendations on proposed industry standards.

The GESG is organized by Market Regions with current chapters representing Japan (ESG-J) and North America (ESG-NA). Each chapter is led by two Vice Chairs. Pat Lamey from Applied Materials and Pati Boucard from KLA-Tencor chair ESG NA while Terry Asakawa , from Tokyo Electron and Makoto Yamamoto from Murata Machinery chair ESG-J.

The chairs of the regional groups form an Executive Committee that reviews issues facing the industry and refers them to a regional committee or to the GESG as appropriate.

The initial focus of the GESG will be on productivity improvements in 300 mm wafer fabs in support of the industry-wide effort called “300 mm Prime.” The question of whether a new silicon wafer size specification is needed, and when a transition could cost-effectively be implemented, has become one of the most controversial issues facing the semiconductor industry today. According to Semiconductor International, “… there have been few instances where our industry has found itself as sharply polarized about a technology transition as it is over the perceived need to migrate from a 300 mm wafer to a 450 mm wafer.” It has been estimated that the cost of the 300 mm wafer transition was $12 billion and has yet to show a return. Concerning 450 mm, the cost could exceed $20 billion and the transition could take as long as eight years to bring to market. Such a financial impact could lead to further industry consolidation in the industry, resulting in a reduction in the number of both device makers and equipment suppliers.

The first general meeting of the GESG was at SEMICON West in San Francisco where they prepared a position statement on "300 mm Prime" for presentation to the MTF. The position statement addressed concerns about the methodology used to justify the need for a rapid transition to 450 mm wafers and offered alternative analyses and options for substantial productivity improvements.

Voting membership to GESG is open to SEMI members who supply equipment to the industry. If you would like to learn more about the ESG or would like to join the group, please contact Ralph Kirk at or Junko Washino at

A panel of industry executives discusses how 300 mm Prime can significantly improve fab efficiency at SEMICON West