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Fujitsu 90nm LSI Pilot Production, Akiruno, Japan

Key Data

Fujitsu is ramping up a prototype 90nm LSI device production line at its Akiruno Technology Center outside Tokyo. The line will involve an investment of $720 million over five years and it will be used for limited production until 2006. Fujitsu will be transferring its 90nm process technology to other fabs as the need arises.

The Akiruno Technology Center consolidates all aspects of Fujitsu's 90nm chip development activities, including basic research to product planning, design and pilot production. The company has opted for 200mm wafers, which it remarks are sufficient for logic devices. Some of the first devices to come off the line will be Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) for Fujitsu's mainframe servers, probably followed by high-volume flash memories.


The center uses a modular contamination controlled clean room to cut operating costs while allowing the flexibility to quickly modify existing production lines. Existing equipment can be used while new equipment is being added, which allowed Fujitsu to shave two months off construction time (which took four instead of six months).

The line uses next-generation 193nm wavelength argon fluoride lithography. This shorter wavelength DUV (Deep Ultra Violet) light is taking over from 248nm (the industry has standardized on 193nm and 248nm because the lasers happen to be readily available for those wavelengths).

Fujitsu is developing ICs to drive high-performance servers, network and broadband Internet equipment, mobile phones, PDAs and digital A/V equipment. Markets concentrate on electronic government, medicine, education and communications.


Fujitsu is also involved in the pilot line being built by Asuka, an eleven-member consortium (Fujitsu, Hitachi, Matsushita, Mitsubishi, NEC, Oki, Rohm, Sanyo, Sharp, Sony, and Toshiba).

The group is spending nearly $250 million on 300mm fab equipment, installing it in an existing fab to save costs and speed production. Members will then transfer the 90nm process to their respective fabs, and may also expand the pilot line for volume manufacturing, or build a separate 300mm fab to serve as a foundry for member companies.


CMOS LSI logic is a critical component for high-speed servers and memories and Fujitsu's recent 10Gbit/s CMOS interface circuit must be a prime contender for eventual production at Akiruno.

The spread of broadband Internet access is demanding that communication networks be upgraded to handle the increasing data volumes at higher speeds. It is also means upgrades for servers and storage devices. Today's equipment handles up to 2.5Gbit/s per channel, but this will soon increase to 6.4Gbit/s and even 10Gbit/s.

Gigabit transmissions have previously needed special high-speed devices like SiGe and III-V semiconductors, but both cost and energy consumption are high. CMOS based interfaces use much less energy and can easily be integrated with system-on-chip devices and ASICs.

Fujitsu's interface circuit will give standard logic LSI devices high-speed, multi-channel transmissions at speeds up to 10Gbit/s. The circuit's architecture is highly expandable to multiple high capacity parallel channels. This will increase data processing speeds of servers, storage devices, networks and communications equipment while reducing power consumption. Currently, the device uses the company's 0.11 micron low voltage CMOS process.


Established in 1986, Fujitsu Microelectronics Asia Pte Ltd (FMAL) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, microelectronics and flat panel (TFT LCD) displays manufacturer. It has locations in Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia. ASIC Design Centers are in Singapore and Shenzhen, China, Application Labs are in Singapore and Shanghai and an MCU/Flash/System Design Center is in Hong Kong.