Our 5 favorite semiconductor fabs and foundries

While no amount of reading and research can prepare you for your own cleanroom experience, getting an inside look prior to day one will at least help you start to align your expectations.

Lauren Percy · 23 May 2019

Approximately 70% of our entry-level candidates have never stepped inside a cleanroom until they start their first day on the Retronix Semiconductor team.  In fact, there are still a few members of the corporate team we’ve yet to get into a bunny suit! One of the most common things we hear from our employees after their first day is that the cleanroom environment is like nothing they have ever experienced before – and it really isn’t! Hyper-awareness of you, your body, your movement, and your space inside a vast ultra-clean labyrinth of pipes and a constant hum of machinery droning out the accompanying soundtrack to the yellow-tinged atmosphere you find yourself in… it’s almost like science fiction. And it’s not for everyone at first.

And while no amount of reading and research can prepare you for your own cleanroom experience, getting an inside look prior to day 1 will at least help you start to align your expectations.

Take a look at our five favorite fabs and foundries for an inside perspective on what you can expect on your first day (after your safety training of course!):

GlobalFoundries

One of the newest players in the market, GlobalFoundries have grown ten-fold in the 10 short years of their worldwide operation. Producing around 10 million wafers a year, they supply 250 customers and are ranked as the industry’s 2nd largest semiconductor foundry.

Check out GlobalFoundries’ Fab 1 plant in Dresden, Germany. Coming in at 364,512 m2, the facility comprises of 2 modules with a combined maximum output capacity of 80,000 300mm wafers a month!

Intel

Intel have a 50-year legacy of technology innovation that started with the first single chip microprocessor in 1971. A pioneer of advanced manufacturing, Intel are arguably one of the most influential players in semiconductors. With a global presence, Intel still perform 75% of its semiconductor fabrication in the United States – and is currently developing additions to its US production capabilities.

One new fab clocks in at 1.1 million square feet and is based at the Ronler Acres campus in Hillsboro, Oregon:

ASML

With humble beginnings in a shed in 1984, ASML quickly grew to becoming the world’s leading supplier of lithography equipment. Although operating on a worldwide basis, the company headquarters are based in Veldhoven, Netherlands.

The Veldhoven cleanroom space surpasses 50,000 m2 and is used to develop and build the semiconductor industry’s lithography solutions of choice. Get a first-hand look at their facility in this fab tour video from ASML themselves:

Infineon

Founded in 1994, Infineon hold 25 years of sustainable semiconductor manufacturing experience. They are the leading suppliers of power discretes and modules as well as security ICs. Headquartered in Silicon Saxony in Dresden, Germany, the company also operates 35 sites in 15 countries.

Take a look at the world’s first high-volume 300mm power semiconductor factory that started production in Dresden, Germany in 2011:

NXP

One of the top 10 semiconductor suppliers, NXP co-invented NFC technology alongside Sony and is the leading supplier of chips to the automotive industry. Headquartered in Eindhoven, Netherlands - NXP operate in more than 25 countries and employ over 31,000 people.

Peek inside the world’s largest discretes semiconductor factory in Hamburg, Germany:


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While no amount of reading and research can prepare you for your own cleanroom experience, getting an inside look prior to day one will at least help you start to align your expectations.
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