Intel has confirmed that its yet-to-be-built D1X manufacturing facility is constructed to be compatible with equipment that processes large 450mm wafers.
The news is strange as many analysts do not thing that 450 mm wafers are economically viable. We guess the feeling is that they are too wide to dunk in your coffee. However it seems that the production facilities that process 450mm wafers are not economically feasible as you need to have the machines running all the time.
Only three companies in the industry have indicated they are remotely interested in manufacturing of chips on 450mm wafers within the next five years. They are Intel, Samsung Electronics and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. Since there are only three customers, the outfits that will make the equipment to built the wafers are a little thin on the ground.
Intel claims that 450mm wafers will allow to produce chips at lower cost per chip. Xbit claims that Intel will not even try to wed 450mm wafers with 16nm manufacturing process and it is more likely that the company will only utilize appropriate equipment for chips made using 12nm or 10nm nodes.