Semiconductor Foundry to Use GE’s Water Purification System

June 15, 2010
GE Ultrapure Water System to be Installed at Globalfoundries’ New “Fab 8” in New York

GE announced that it has signed a contract to supply an ultrapure water system to Globalfoundries’ new semiconductor manufacturing facility currently under construction at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, N.Y. GE will design, supply and install an advanced ultrapure water system for the new $4.6 billion computer chip factory called “Fab 8.” The new facility is expected to be the largest and most advanced semiconductor “fab” in the world upon completion in late 2012, according to GE.

“Reliable, long-term production of ultrapure water will play a vital role in the successful operations of our new Fab 8 facility. We chose GE based on its extensive experience and ability to provide ongoing reliable technical and field support,” said Norm Armour, vice president and general manager of Fab 8, Globalfoundries.

GE’s ultrapure water system will filter millions of gallons of water per day to be used in the semiconductor manufacturing process. It will significantly reduce operating costs and increase efficiency.

Ultrapure water systems are often considered the lifeblood of a semiconductor wafer fabrication facility, or “fab.” During the production cycle, a wafer comes into contact with ultrapure water more than 35 times and any disruption of service or “out-of-spec” water can compromise the wafers and even result in loss of product. In order to consistently manufacture superior semiconductor wafers, Globalfoundries requires the reliable production of ultrapure water 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

“We are excited to support Globalfoundries’ goals to make its Fab 8 chip fabrication plant as energy and water efficient as possible to help reduce the plant’s operational costs, which will be crucial for the company to successfully compete in the global semiconductor industry,” said Jeff Connelly, vice president, engineered systems--water and process technologies for GE Power & Water. “The project illustrates the demand for ultrapure water systems in the semiconductor industry, which has some of the manufacturing sector’s most stringent quality requirements when it comes to industrial water usage.”

The capital region of upstate New York is home to GE’s flagship Global Research Center; GE Energy’s renewable energy headquarters and steam turbine-generator factory; GE Power & Water’s global headquarters; and GE’s planned advanced battery factory.

GE’s ultrapure water system consists of a series of water treatment technologies, pumps, storage tanks, ultraviolet sterilizers, ozone generators, ion exchange, an ultrafiltration system and a gas transfer membrane system, as well as commissioning and operations and maintenance.

Source: GE

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