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Making the most of energy conservation

01 June 2005 | By Mark Osborne | White Papers > Edition 26, EHS

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Mark Osborne, Editor-in-Chief, Semiconductor Fabtech

ABSTRACT

Energy-consumption-reduction strategies are nothing new, however, such energy-saving efforts have not been successful in reducing the overall energy consumption of the semiconductor industry. The total number of operational fabs continues to increase due to the continued growth of the industry. The number of “Mega” 300-mm fabs (50 by the end of 2005) [1] that have significantly higher energy consumption levels is also rising. The world is also coming to terms with the realisation that energy costs will continue to rise as consumption of fossil fuels (regarded as the cheapest energy source) is under sustained supply/demand pressure. Significant efforts are now underway to raise the priority of energy conservation within fabs of all wafer sizes. Indeed, energy conservation is fast becoming an essential survival strategy, especially for mature 150-mm and 200-mm fabs that are having to compete with emerging “low-cost” regions. The latest generation of 300-mm fabs, especially in high energy cost regions such as Japan, Europe and North America are also not immune. We review current energy-conservation initiatives and highlight the latest techniques being adopted.

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