What is a Silicon Wafer?
A silicon wafer by WaferPro is a thin slice of crystalline silicon, which serves as a substrate for microelectronic devices. It’s most commonly used in the manufacture of integrated circuits (ICs), but wafers are also used to make solar cells. Barely larger than the tip of a pencil, the small size and high cost make it impractical to use that material for mass-produced products like computer processors or even smartphones. Even so, there are many different types of silicon wafers on the market and they each have their own specific uses.
How Much Does Silicon Wafer Cost?
The following steps have the greatest effect on the silicon wafer cost:
1. Silicon Wafer Size
Silicon Wafer cost is usually related to how many chips will be fabricated from a single wafer. Lower volumes mean higher prices per chip. Companies generally want to use as large wafers as they can, because they want to make more chips per wafer but this can be cost-prohibitive depending on other factors, like growth method selection.
2. Growth method Impact cost
Silicon Wafer cost is decided by the semiconductor company and relates to (and in extreme cases can determine) their level of success or failure in the market. It also has an impact on the cost because some methods are simpler and more cost-effective than others.
Doping is the material used to add the impurities needed for semiconductor production. The process involved in doping chip wafers is costly and time consuming.
4. Planar orientation
It is the vertical position of a wafer in relation to its surface area and how it’s positioned relative to other wafers on a semiconductor manufacturing line. This influences silicon wafer cost because it can involve multiple steps, each of which can be expensive for a semiconductor company to perform repeatedly (e.g., drilling multiple holes in one or more chips).
5. Wafer Density
The density relates to how many wafers are on each chip, or the number of transistors (also called logic gates) that can be placed on a single chip. There is a strong relationship between density and silicon wafer cost because the higher density you have, the fewer chips you will get for your money; this means you can buy fewer chips for your dollar if you’re willing to pay for more expensive materials and processes.
Is It Worth Pay Silicon Wafer Cost?
In the semiconductor industry, silicon wafers cost is an important component of manufacturing chips. Larger wafers can produce more chips, so it’s worth paying more for them. For example, a 300 mm silicon wafer can produce over 700 small die that measures 25 x 25 mm each. This translates to 200 times more chips in one hour than would be possible with a 150 mm silicon wafer. Manufacturing time also increases by 50% when you switch from a 150mm to a 300mm diameter silicon wafer due to the larger size and greater number of dies on the plate.
WaferPro is a fully integrated silicon wafer manufacturer providing large-scale production of wafers in a wide range of sizes, thicknesses, and grades. If you have any additional questions about silicon wafer cost, please don’t hesitate to contact our expert sales team!