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Semiconductor factory EPC construction mode become the mainstream

Semiconductor-factory-EPC-construction-mode-become-the-mainstream

Preface

Taiwan supplies 63% of the world’s chips, so the chip supply crisis is likely to deepen. At the same time, according to CNBC information, analysts from IDC (International Data Corporation) said that the global chip shortage has not ended, and the manufacturing slowdown will seriously aggravate the shortage continues.

Previously, the geopolitical situation of Russia and Ukraine continued to put pressure on the key nodes of the semiconductor industry chain, and the supply of chips would not increase significantly and rapidly, because a large number of semiconductor materials, special gases and so on are necessary components of chip production and manufacturing, which are indispensable for both equipment composition and process consumables.

Russia and Ukraine in the global semiconductor industry occupies an important link and share, and are important suppliers of krypton gas, which is one of the necessary special gas in chip manufacturing, said Vinay Gupta, an analysis expert from IDC Asia Pacific research center.

krypton-gas -is-one-of-the-necessary-special-gas

Recent state of semiconductor material industry

Semiconductor materials, including special gas, are the cornerstone of the industry’s important support and development. The long-term supply pattern is basically monopolized by Europe, America, Japan and South Korea. China is the largest semiconductor market and an important participant in the industrial chain.

On the one hand, the United States continues to increase restrictions, and on the other hand, the competition pattern of international giants makes it difficult to seize the share of semiconductor materials. Although China’s semiconductor PCBA and integrated circuit industry is not what it used to be, material enterprises still need to form a breakthrough from point to surface. Discover the real driving force behind the impressive achievements of materials and chip manufacturing.

SEMI statistics show that the global semiconductor materials market size reached US $64.3 billion in 2021, up 16% year on year; China’s semiconductor industry was a late starter, with only 13% of the global market held by  semiconductor material manufacturers. According to SIA, the global semiconductor market size grew 26% year-on-year in 2021 to reach a new high of $555.9 billion. In terms of region, China remained the largest semiconductor market, with sales of $192.5 billion, up 27.1% year on year, accounting for 34.6% of the global total, ranking first for many consecutive years.

In addition, the benefit from the automotive PCB assembly electronics, cloud computing, 5 g, IoT downstream high demand and national policy support, semiconductor manufacturers in China has entered a stage of rapid development, in more than one niche cultivate a batch of key semiconductor materials suppliers, including the first echelon silicon industry in Shanghai. In addition, we have continued research and interaction with foundry companies.

Semiconductor material suppliers can stand out from the competition of many enterprises under the first-mover advantage of international giants’ technology and market monopoly. They can not only rely on policy support, their own R&D technology and production strength, but also the infrastructure such as factory property line. 

Through research and industry interviews, We found that the second company of China Electric Power Co., LTD., which is in the field of semiconductor EPC engineering, production line construction and factory engineering, is actively laying out the full life cycle construction of semiconductor material factories in China.

The importance of semiconductor materials

Semiconductor materials are widely used in wafer manufacturing and packaging, covering wafers (silicon wafers), optical masks, photoresist and auxiliary materials, chemical reagents, electron gases, targets, CMP materials, packaging substrates and lead frames, etc. Silicon wafers are the largest category of semiconductor materials, with a market share of 32.9%, followed by gases with a share of about 14.1%, and optical masks with a share of 12.6%.

In many semiconductor materials, silicon and photomask version are two very important and special material, silicon is the basis for the production of semiconductor materials, based on the silicon wafer  lithography, ion implantation, can be made into IC carrier boards and a variety of semiconductor devices, and the photomask version or mask, the key of the lithography supporting materials, and one of the bottlenecks that limits the minimum linewidth.

Semiconductor material accounted for a relatively low cost, has a great influence on yield, at present, the silicon wafer with light mask template international manufacturers have occupy the first position, but still the Chinese semiconductor materials manufacturers have battle space and broken chance, technical breakthrough at the same time, Industrialization related factory affairs, production line construction can not be ignored. 

silicon-wafer-with-light-mask-template

In some ways, it may even be the key to win or lose a semiconductor material factory. Semiconductor material industry engineering construction in plant and production line design, construction speed, construction quality has a very high requirements, promote the continuous upgrading of engineering service industry, engineering general contracting (EPC) is the final mode of industrialization.

It is known that in recent years, in the process of semiconductor material industrialization in China, especially in the semiconductor silicon wafer and optical mask industry, there are many EPC general contract projects constantly breaking the ceiling of the engineering industry.

“The use of EPC mode in semiconductor material industrialization can effectively improve labor productivity, reduce the waste of raw materials and energy from design, procurement, construction and other links, reduce construction costs, and achieve economies of scale. Based on the continuous expansion of core advantages and capability boundaries, the second company has served more than 6000+ projects, which account for 90% of the service of the top 10 semiconductor enterprises in China. 

It also innovatively proposed L-EPC (Lean EPC construction) mode in the industry, and advocated the integration of marketing and implementation, the integration of design and construction, and the integration of civil and electromechanical construction. This model has been recognized by many semiconductor manufacturers.

Conclusion

With the continuous evolution of integrated circuit process technology, capacity expansion tends to be global, which puts forward higher technical and efficiency requirements for the production and manufacturing of semiconductor materials and lithography masks. Therefore, engineering EPC enterprises with intelligent factory construction service capabilities and system overall operation capabilities will be more competitive.

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