Toshiba's New R&D Facility for Ultra-LSIs Starts Operation|
3 April, 1996
TOKYO -- Toshiba Corporation today announced the start of operations at a new facility in Yokohama dedicated to research and development of ultra large scale integrated circuits (ULSIs). The new Advanced Microelectronics Center will play a key role in realizing mass production of semiconductor LSIs beyond the 0.25 micron design rule area, including such advanced devices as gigabit class memories, flash memories and system LSIs.
Initial projects undertaken by the facility will include realization of smooth start-up of 256M DRAM mass production, through refining and enhancing prototype technologies co-developed with IBM and Siemens.
The Center will conduct R&D to refine and enhance ULSI technologies developed through basic research, and to support early realization of mass production. Its mission includes establishment of efficient and flexible mass production technologies that attain shorter lead times at all stages of production, from wafer input to output. The Center will transfer its results to Toshiba's production facilities, including Yokkaichi Works, and so support and assure smooth and efficient start up of mass-production of advanced LSIs.
The Advanced Microelectronics Center is located in a four-story building with a total floor area of 48,000 square meters. It is equipped with a class 10 clean room, in which dust particles of 0.03 micron meters or more in diameter are confined to less than one particle per 1 cubic foot of air. Development activities will start with 8-inch wafers and will migrate to 12-inch wafers in the future. The Center's facilities will include equipment capable of experimentation at below the 0.25 micron meter design rule, and computer-aided-design systems and automated equipment for circuit design and sample evaluation.
Total investment in the construction of the Center including equipment amounts to approximately 60 billion yen. The Center started operation today, with an initial staff of approximately 600.
The Center's testing line utilizes an innovative wafer control and management system under which processing of each wafer is individually monitored. This enables efficient development of different types of LSIs, such as memory and system LSIs, at the same time.
In addition, the facility is equipped with a sophisticated computer-integrated- manufacturing system (CIM) which supports smooth and efficient device development from processing technology, designing to engineering. The CIM will be refined and upgraded to meet challenges resulting from each new generation of advances in the design rule. The development results will be employed in Toshiba's mass production facilities as part of the production start-up process, to realize efficient volume production.
Recent progress in semiconductor technology has resulted in a development process that consumes more time and produces higher costs. The key to success is an early start to mass production, and establishment of flexible, efficient manufacturing, including development of optimized mass production technologies, manufacturing equipment and systems. The new facility will strengthen Toshiba's capabilities in these areas for the 0.25 micron design rule and beyond.
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