Facing ever-increasing industrywide pressure to reduce cost and time to market, a world-leading semiconductor manufacturer needed to increase efficiencies on its 300-acre technology development campus. This project involved the design and construction of a 43,000 SF structure, known as a “cleanlink,” to connect the chip maker’s primary research facilities—allowing for the seamless integration of manufacturing.
Prior to this structure’s completion, cleanroom staff had been forced to use complex and time-consuming measures in order to fully utilize the separate fab buildings. With the cleanlink in place, wafers can now move to the other fabs on campus without leaving a clean environment and risking damage to the product.
Moving wafers within the link and fabs is accomplished by an Automated Material Handling System (AMHS). More than 2.5 miles of overhead track connect the AMHS wafer conveyance systems of multiple buildings, allowing for direct tool-to-tool WIP movement without human intervention.
The cleanlink consists of three structures:
A Transition Building. A two-story Transition Building with H5 occupancy was designed to enable the AMHS to overcome the elevation difference between two of the buildings. It contains multiple catwalks and interstitial levels, providing access for maintenance for both the transition devices and the AMHS. Wafers are moved both horizontally and vertically within this space.
An AMHS Link. The AMHS Link was designed to accommodate pedestrian traffic, but its primary function is to support and enclose the AMHS track system. An interstitial level provides access and maintenance points for servicing the AMHS.
A reconstructed utility bridge and pedestrian walkway. SSOE and JE Dunn removed and reconstructed 80% of an existing pedestrian walkway to more effectively handle the upgraded AMHS system and to create a more efficient walkway used by people every day.