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Relation between the size of technology and wafer price

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Full Member level 3
Mar 1, 2022
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I have been studying about microelectronic technology that I faced with a question.
consider two technology size: 250nm and 180nm
why does 180nm wafer cost more than 250nm wafer?

why does 180nm wafer cost more than 250nm wafer?
One reason is that the 180nm wafer will generally have more chips that fail when the dice are tested due to manufacturing defects.
Smaller feature size means it is more likely that a small defect will cause the chip to fail.

Every new generation ("node") brings in new lithography equipment
or, if you don't, new lithography challenges as you push into new
process control and equipment limitations. In general you don't
want to live there, but set up for 99.99% yield buy buying the best
you can get. Because low yield is also low reliability and low
predictability, which makes you look clownish.

So that's fresh meat to amortize, on top of the development effort
(paid down at 250nm, maybe not fully at 180nm, short of payback
at 28nm and at 7nm, carrying a hell of a mortgage).

Do not hold onto a belief in rationality re semiconductor pricing in
any aspect - it is supply, demand, sex and fear all rolled up and you
don't get to know who's doing who.

There's also some chance that you are looking at two different
wafer diameters between those nodes or between foundries.
250nm was centered on 8" (200mm),180 /130nm can be found on
8" or 12", depending on foundry.

In scaled technologies, you have:

1. More masks
2. smaller geometries --> more capable (and more expensive) manufacturing tools
3. More metal layers
4. More chips on one wafer or - same number of chips, but more devices and functionalities per chip
5. More R&D cost (NRE).
6. Higher performance

All that cost more money than for older nodes.

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