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Texas Instruments DMOS6 300mm Expansion, United States of America




Key Data


A second phase in Texas Instruments' 300mm DMOS6 expansion at Dallas has installed additional tool sets to increase capacity to 10,000 wafers per month. The installation was part of TI's $800 million capital spending budget for 2002, which included upgrading three analog fabs from 150mm to 200mm wafer production. The company is considering adding a third foundry for 0.13 micron CMOS logic ICs.

DMOS6 uses 130nm processes with copper interconnects. The DMOS6 300mm cleanroom takes over 15,000m² of the building, making it physically the largest fab at Texas Instruments. The main fab floor alone covers over a hectare.

200mm TO 300mm FAB UPGRADE

TI took an evolutionary rather than revolutionary approach to the 200mm to 300mm upgrade. They found that as long as the original fab had been carefully designed (vibration resistance, utility layout, etc.), the transition could be relatively painless.

The original layout had a large, single room, ballroom fab with modular partition. The Class .03 bays had open cassette processing, transport and storage. Interbay automated material transport used distributed bay stockers with manual intrabay material handling and loading/unloading.

The building, utility systems and fab layout design concept did not change. Despite needing a completely different toolset, the major processes and production flows could be retained in their existing locations. The only exceptions were technology driven like copper processing and additional CMP. So, none of the main utility systems needed to be upgraded or greatly altered which itself avoided considerable expense. The most significant changes came from physical differences between 200mm and 300mm tools, their load ports and the upgraded 300mm AMHS (Automated Material Handling Systems) material handling automation system.

The ceiling was raised to 4.4m (14ft 4in) for 300mm with 'stacked' or 'crossed' automation tracks and extra ceiling structural supports. The fab raised floor system was reinforced with custom built steel support bases for many tools. An intrabay overhead transport (OHT) improved space management while allowing unobstructed floor access to operators and maintenance.

300mm AND THE 'FOUP' EFFECT

The most pervasive changes were driven by AMHS strategy, particularly FOUP (Front Opening Unified Pod) units. The engineers came to this call it the 'FOUP Effect'. FOUP gives greater protection for the large and fragile wafers than the open cassettes of 200mm systems. It however affected tool design and operation, layout, manufacturing protocol and even the structure of the fab area.

First, with 25 300mm wafers, FOUP weight is above recommended ergonomic guidelines for repeated manual handling. This demanded AMHS for intrabay transport from the FOUP stocker to and from tool load port.

TI found some tool 'sprawl', with the size of 300mm process tools being higher than early estimates. This was particularly true of minienvironments (multiple FOUP load ports on each tool and with some tools having internal FOUP stockers) and on metrology tools. Wider aisles, larger tools and FOUP loaders together reduced the number of tool bays by a third.

INCREASED DSP AND ANALOG SHARE

TI gained market share for 2002 in both DSP and Analog.

The company aims to outsource up to 50% of it's most advanced ICs from 3rd party wafer fabs. It has strategic foundry pacts with Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, United Microelectronics Corp and South Korean Anam Semiconductor. Foundry targets have been set for 0.13 micron, which will be adjusted for 90nm depending on availability and economic conditions.

DSP PLATFORMS

The high volume processes at DMOS6 are needed for circuits like digital signal processors, a traditional strength at TI. The TMS320C6000 DSP platform for example gives from 1,200 to 5,760 MIPS for fixed point and 600 to 1,350 MFLOPS for floating point. Memory, peripherals and co-processor combinations are tailored to applications in broadband infrastructure, and performance audio and imaging. Platform specific libraries have high level, optimized DSP function modules.

The low power TMS320C5000 platform is aimed at portable Internet and wireless communications markets. With power consumption as low as 0.33mA/MHz and performance up to 600 MIPS, the C5000™ DSP platform is optimized for portable media and communication products like digital music players, GPS receivers, portable medical equipment, feature phones, modems, 3G cell phones and portable imaging.

The OMAP5910 integrates a TMS320C55x™ DSP core with an ARM925. This combines the DSP's low power real time signal processing capabilities with ARM's command and control functions. It aims at networked embedded applications like Internet appliances, web pads, telematics and medical devices.

SEMICONDUCTOR DESIGN AND SUPPLY

Texas Instruments designs and supplies semiconductors like real time signal processing, sensors and controls and educational and productivity solutions. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the company has more than 38,500 employees worldwide.

TI specializes on markets like digital wireless handsets, home and office broadband access, Internet audio players and other digital audio devices, high resolution imaging and digital motor control.