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Advanced Wafer Fab to Install GE’s Water Purification System

GE has inked a contract to design and install an ultra-pure water system at GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ new semiconductor manufacturing facility currently under construction at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, N.Y. The new $4.6-billion “Fab 8” computer chip factory is expected to be the largest and most advanced semiconductor wafer fab in the world when completed in late 2012.

The new facility also is considered to be the largest economic development project now underway in the United States.

GE’s ultra-pure water system will filter millions of gallons of water per day to be used in the semiconductor manufacturing process, which will reduce the foundry’s operating costs while increasing its efficiency.

During the production cycle, a wafer comes into contact with ultra-pure water more than 35 times and any disruption of service or “out-of-spec” water can compromise the wafers or result in loss of product.

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

Semiconductor manufacturers and foundries such as Intel and TowerJazz have been implementing efficiency measures at their manufacturing facilities to help reduce costs.

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