For decades, computer designers have tried to figure out how to make computer systems out of single large wafers.
However, machinery needed to handle and process larger wafers results in increased investment costs to build a single factory.
The larger wafers can yield more than twice as many chips, which can cut down on manufacturing costs.
These new fabs will process wafers with 300-millimeter diameters, larger and more complex to make than today's 200-millimeter variety.
As modern processes use increasingly large wafers, these conditions become increasingly difficult.
Defect rates are still too high on large wafers to mass produce products at reason able prices.
The move to larger wafers and higher throughputs has only increased these flow requirements.
The woman held up a white rectangular wafer, hardly larger than a postage stamp.
That meant circuit manufacturers could work with larger wafers and produce more chips per wafer.
The larger wafers reduce costs and improve productivity, but require expensive new chip- making equipment.