SEMI Members and Industry Partners Discuss EHS Challenges for the 450mm Wafer Transition

SEMI Members and Industry Partners Discuss EHS Challenges for the 450mm Wafer Transition

By Sanjay Baliga, SEMI  

SEMI members and industry partners came together at an information seminar held in conjunction with SEMICON Japan 2013 on December 5 to discuss environment, health and safety (EHS) considerations, implications, challenges and opportunities for semiconductor manufacturers and their supply chains as they transition to 450mm wafer technologies. The “450mm Manufacturing EHS and Facilities Seminar” included representatives from the Global 450 Consortia (G450C), the Facilities 450 Consortia (F450C), and tool makers.

During the seminar, Frank Robertson, general manager at G450C, introduced critical elements of the Consortia’s EHS activities. The G450C has had safety and ergonomic requirements in place since 2009.  According to G450C guidance, “all equipment must be safe to operate and maintain at any stage of maturity” and “equipment spare parts and modules must either be small and light enough to handle safely during maintenance, and clearances adequate, or ergonomic handling aids must be provide.”  Suppliers must ensure compliance with certain safety standards including SEMI S2 and S8. Robertson also emphasized recent G405C EHS guidance that encourages suppliers to minimize use of water, energy, chemicals and the generation of effluent waste / exhaust in the design of tools. Future G450C EHS activities will focus on characterizing tool utility use and effluent rates, as well as providing a platform for pump and abatement suppliers to demonstrate green modes. Robertson emphasized that the 450mm wafer transition represents a critical one-time opportunity for significant EHS improvements for fab operators and their supply chains.

Next in the seminar, Allen Ware and Adrian Maynes of the M+W Group addressed EHS issues on behalf of the F450C, whose vision is to lead the global effort to design and build the facilities to support the development of the next-generation 450mm computer chip. The F450C has a number of key focal areas including utility right sizing, green mode system usage, AMC improvement, tool install point of connection (POC) reduction, and helium recovery. The goal of the utility right sizing is to better predict utility consumption rates for 450mm HVM facilities. Ware and Maynes emphasized the importance of industry collaboration to optimize facility requirements with respect to the environmental footprint, facility interfacing, cost and duration, and safety and sustainability.

Addressing the equipment supplier perspective, Hisato Tanaka and George Hoshi of Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL), discussed environmental impact reduction approaches for 450mm tool design. According to Tanaka and Hoshi, several existing SEMI Standards provide key guidance that tool makers can use in complying with G450C requirements. In particular, SEMI S23 (for Energy and Utility Consumption) and S29 (for Green House Gas Emissions) can be used to measure energy and CO2 use in 450mm fabs. The speakers provided several intricate models based on these standards for assessing energy reduction approaches. In summary, Tanaka and Hoshi emphasized that the standards allow for measurement and subsequent reduction in resource use in 450mm fabs.

During the roundtable discussion at the end of the seminar, the five speakers, as well as the session moderators, Toshiaki Nishihara of Dainippon Screen Manufacturing and Toshi Matsuda of TEL addressed future EHS activities. All agreed that coordination between G450C, F450C and SEMI is a necessary for all EHS improvement in the next-generation 450mm fab.

For more information about EHS activities, visit or contact me (Sanjay Baliga) at

For more information on the 450mm transition (events, articles, presentations), visit 450 Central at

January 8, 2014