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Thread: GaAs cost question

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    GaAs cost question

    I can find quite a few information on the cost of CMOS or SiGe BiCMOS, from MPW, to mask cost, to high-volume wafer cost on different nodes. But GaAs, being the 3rd largest semiconductor technology platform (I believe close to $10B last year), I really can't find much on its cost. Could someone please give me a rough idea on how much a wafer cost for a GaAs technology, e.g. a 6" 0.25um or 0.5um technology? Just want to know a ballpark number like I know 0.18um 8" CMOS is about $1000/wafer for moderate volume. Thank you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Sun View Post
    I can find quite a few information on the cost of CMOS or SiGe BiCMOS, from MPW, to mask cost, to high-volume wafer cost on different nodes. But GaAs, being the 3rd largest semiconductor technology platform (I believe close to $10B last year), I really can't find much on its cost. Could someone please give me a rough idea on how much a wafer cost for a GaAs technology, e.g. a 6" 0.25um or 0.5um technology? Just want to know a ballpark number like I know 0.18um 8" CMOS is about $1000/wafer for moderate volume. Thank you!
    New process could make gallium arsenide cheaper for computer chips, solar cells

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    Fred, thanks for the link. I think I made a false impression that I was trying to ask blank wafer costs between GaAs and Si while I intended to ask for the processed ones.

    For the wafer itself, I think in the report you linked it's unfairly comparing Si and GaAs wafers on 200mm (8') as 200mm GaAs is really just emerging and very immature. Comparing them on 150mm is a better metric. A 150mm Si wafer costs something between $10-30, pretty much the same as 200mm and some times even higher as 200mm usually has more inventory. And a 150mm GaAs costs around $100-150. So the ratio is 5~10 : 1, certainly nowhere close to 1000:1.

    I think it's safe to say the processed wafers that I asked about is more related to the processing. And GaAs, though I don't think it's much more difficult to process than Si, has certainly much smaller ecosystem to drive its cost down. I wonder if that cost is on the order of 2x (e.g. ~$2000/ processed wafer) or 10x .


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    Maybe you are looking to compare 150mm GaAs with 200mm or 300mm Si.

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    Yes. I think it'd help if I make the question more specific:

    Comparison on the cost of a processed wafer between:

    1. GaAs 0.25um/0.15um HEMT (150mm) popularly offered by many leading GaAs foundries e.g. WIN, Qorvo, etc.
    2. Si 0.18um/0.13um CMOS (200mm) widely offered by almost all major Si foundries

    I know the cost of the 2nd one is about $800-$1000 depending on who you ask.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Chen View Post
    Maybe you are looking to compare 150mm GaAs with 200mm or 300mm Si.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Sun View Post
    Yes. I think it'd help if I make the question more specific:

    Comparison on the cost of a processed wafer between:

    1. GaAs 0.25um/0.15um HEMT (150mm) popularly offered by many leading GaAs foundries e.g. WIN, Qorvo, etc.
    2. Si 0.18um/0.13um CMOS (200mm) widely offered by almost all major Si foundries

    I know the cost of the 2nd one is about $800-$1000 depending on who you ask.
    First off, when you say cost I assume you mean selling price so that the cost is what you would pay as opposed to manufacturing cost.

    Selling price is highly dependent on volume, for example in "average" volumes the selling price of 180nm/130nm processes on 200mm silicon wafers is actually at or below the bottom of your range. 250nm/150nm HEMT on 150mm GaAs wafers will have a slightly higher price than the 200mm silicon wafers. For specific answer we sell cost and price models that will provide the answers you need.

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