The semiconductor industry's transition to manufacturing on 450-millimeter silicon wafers is creating controversy over whether the larger-diameter substrates will ultimately reduce the costs of fabricating chips. As this column notes, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., one of the chipmakers advocating the move to 450mm, claims the change would lower costs by 60%, while Semiconductor Equipment & Materials International, the industry trade organization, sees no cost reductions in using 450mm wafers.

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