7/25/2012 9:11:25 AM
Times Union: Chip power opens gates
ALBANY — It's not just the big computer chip companies like Intel and Samsung that are going to benefit from the new Global 450 Consortium based in Albany.
The high-powered group — which will develop the next generation of computer chip manufacturing at the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in a five-year, $1 billion program — is planning to make the global construction firm M+W Group an associate member.
The move to invite M+W into the exclusive club — also known as the G450C — would have a huge impact on the Capital Region and New York state's construction and manufacturing supply industry.
The G450C — whose five founding members are Intel, Samsung, IBM, GlobalFoundries and Taiwan Semiconductor Corp. — is working on developing a new manufacturing process for the industry that would use 18-inch, or 450-millimeter, silicon wafers to make chips. The cutting-edge factory today uses 12-inch, or 300 mm, wafers. Companies like IBM and GlobalFoundries also still operate factories that use a previous technology which uses 200 mm wafers.
The larger wafers will not only double output while slashing operating costs by as much as 40 percent; the typical factory would double in price to $10 billion — providing a windfall for companies that build them.