Chipmakers Intel, Samsung and TSMC will jointly develop larger silicon wafers to boost efficiency in semiconductor manufacturing.

The companies will be migrating from the current 12-inch (300 mm) silicon wafers to 18-inch (450 mm) wafers, yielding twice as many chips.

The cost to manufacture computer chips will also diminish through more efficient use of energy, water and other resources, Intel said in a statement.

We, along with Samsung and TSMC, agree that the transition to 450mm wafers will follow the same pattern of delivering increased value to our customers, said Bob Bruck, a vice president in Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group.

The preliminary wafer assembly line will begin operating by 2012.

The companies believe the new chip will provide a better return on investment over the current smaller ones.

The transition to 450mm wafers will benefit the entire ecosystem of the IC industry, and Intel, Samsung, TSMC will work together with suppliers and other semiconductor manufacturers to actively develop 450mm capability, said Cheong-Woo Byun, senior vice president of Memory Manufacturing Operation Center at Samsung Electronics.

The three companies will continue working with International Sematech as it coordinates the semiconductor industry's efforts on 450mm wafer supply, standards setting and developing equipment test bed capabilities.