10/18/2012 9:25:59 AM
Times Union: $7B bet on next chip
ALBANY — The stars continue to align for efforts by New York state to
become the epicenter for the next-generation of computer chip
A majority of the members of the Global 450 Consortium, an Albany-based semiconductor research and development group unveiled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo
a year ago, have taken large equity stakes in ASML, one of the world's
most important makers of computer chip manufacturing equipment.
the creation G450C — and nearly $7 billion in commitments to ASML by
three of its members, Intel, Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor
Manufacturing Co. — are part of an inevitable move by the chip industry
to shift production to factories that make chips out of larger silicon
wafers, drastically reducing costs.
Today's chip fabrication facilities — or "fabs" — process 12-inch, or 300 millimeter, silicon wafers. The GlobalFoundries fab in Malta, considered the most advanced in the world, is a 300mm facility.
in an effort to keep reducing costs — fueling the extraordinary growth
that allows it to keep investing in new innovations such as mobile
computing — the industry wants to move to using 18-inch, or 450mm