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Toshiba urges to reduce fab power consumption

Posted: 29 Oct 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:chip-equipment  fab costs  collaboration tends  reduce energy costs 

For years, industry executives have urged the IC and chip-equipment sectors to collaborate in an effort to reduce fab costs and bring new technologies to the market.

Much of the collaboration tends to fizzle out. IC and fab-tool makers have separate interests and ideas about sharing information and R&D funding.

Now, there is a new sense of urgency for collaboration, which can't fall on deaf ears. In fact, the semiconductor industry and IC-equipment vendors must step up and collaborate in an effort to reduce energy costs and power consumption in fabs, according to an executive from Toshiba Corp.

"It is necessary to collaborate to reduce utility margins and optimise the energy consumption in fabs,'' warned Masakazu Kakumu, corporate VP and VP of System LSI Division at Toshiba Semiconductor Co. in a presentation at 5th ISMI Symposium on Manufacturing Effectiveness, which is sponsored by Sematech.

Indeed, the power required to run a fab is moving towards a troubling trend. In a 200mm fab, some 53 per cent of the power consumption is attributed to the facility and the remaining 47 per cent by the fab equipment, he said.

In a 300mm fab, some 46 per cent of the power consumption is taken up by the facility and the remaining 54 per cent by the equipment, he said.

Like many chip makers, Toshiba is taking steps to reduce its fab and equipment power consumption. On the facilities front, for example, the chip giant is looking at solar panels and LED lighting.

The company is also working with equipment vendors to boost tool productivity, but simultaneously, it hopes to lower power consumption. Among those measures include a new system of humidification and improved heating systems.

Earlier this month, Toshiba announced ambitious targets for reducing total greenhouse gas emissions from its business activities. The company's CO2 emissions will peak in fiscal year 2012, ''when total emissions of greenhouse gas will measure 70 per cent versus (fiscal year) 1990,'' according to Toshiba.

Beyond that, Toshiba will target a reduction in all greenhouse gas, and work towards a 10 per cent cut in emissions by fiscal year 2025. The core target is to reduce projected CO2 emissions by a total equivalent to 11.77 crore tons a year by fiscal year 2025.

The company plans to invest in energy saving clean rooms and high efficiency equipment. It will also seek alternatives to the use of greenhouse gases in manufacturing equipment for products such as semiconductors and LCDs.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times





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