How big is Giga?

The Blog July 29, 2021 by Sebastian Kummer

the illustration above show two site plots with manufacturing and support buildings with approximate external dimensions and in the same scale.

The Fab on the left side was recently opened with buildings for Cleanroom 1. The builder says that this is the largest single investment in the history of their company. The right Fab is in operation with Cleanroom 1 and the buildings for Cleanroom 2 are currently under construction.

Some numbers:

  • Site plot: 17 times bigger
  • Cleanroom: 14 times bigger in full buildout
  • Investment: 1.2 bill. US$ (left with cleanroom 1) vs. 24 bill. US$ (right, full expansion)

Some thousand square meter cleanroom are not small. 70,000m² cleanroom is Giga, especial if as ballroom and with full subfab!

Fab sizes according TSMC: Mini ~10k, Mega ~25k and Giga >100k wspm. TSMC Fabs 12, 14 and 15 are Gigafabs, Samsung, YMTC, SK Hynix, SMIC, Nexchip, GF and Intel are also on the Gigapath.

Economy of scale is getting an more and more important key element for successful semiconductor production. The Gigarace is in full swing. Leaders are fast and clearly in front.

It can be assumed that Fabs have to get that big to be competitive, and this for an continuous growing bandwidth of products

So what are the most important success factors in the chip race? Process technology, time to market, yield, less expensive Fabs, deep pockets or all together?

Some Aerial views show the extend of different site plots. (copy the link into your browser to explore the sites)

TSMC, Taiwan,120.6075925,5000

YMTC, China,114.5980535,5000

Nexchip, China,117.3462313,5000

Samsung, South Korea,127.0599505,5000

SK Hynix, South Korea,127.48684601,88.38073117a,2111.07063424d

Globalfoundries, USA,-73.7539923,5000

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