Dean Freeman, an analyst with Gartner, expects the first 450mm fabs may appear in the 2017 to 2019 timeframe. This is later than some hoped but the costs involved with switching to 450mm are pretty massive:
As reported, Intel, TSMC and Samsung are separately pushing for the advent of 450-mm fabs by 2012 or so. Some believe 450-mm fabs will never happen, saying the R&D costs are too expensive.
If or when 450-mm appears, the first production fabs could emerge at the 8- or 5-nm nodes, somewhere between the 2017 to 2019 timeframe, said Dean Freeman, an analyst with Gartner Inc. And in total, it could cost a staggering $20-to-$40 billion to bring the next-generation wafer size to the market, Freeman said.
The price for a 450-mm toolset: $100 million!
But will 450-mm become a reality? Right now, it's a toss-up and it doesn't make sense, given the current economy. 450-mm will become a reality when the economics dictate the need for a new wafer size or when chip scaling ends, Freeman said.