Opportunities and challenges of the hottest semico

2022-08-23
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Semiconductor materials: opportunities and challenges in the next three years

the technological core of the semiconductor industry is also evolving, and the IC industry is changing from CPU centered to memory (data) centered. During the period of PC interconnection, the output value of memory accounted for about 10% of the whole industry, which increased to about 1/3 in 2017. After three to five years, it may reach nearly half of the output value of the whole industry. Materials are the industrial chain link with the most investment opportunities

since 1990, global semiconductor sales have been growing steadily, but there was a significant growth rate in 2017, breaking through the $400billion mark. In that year, traditional PC and intelligent industry actually declined, but nearly ten emerging applications suddenly appeared, including data center, AI, intelligent automobile, 5g, VR, etc., and became a new driving force for the semiconductor industry. According to statistics, in 2017, the sum of sales related to these emerging applications has reached US $180billion, equivalent to 40% of the entire industry; In the next three years, these emerging applications are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.3%. By 2021, they will bring new business opportunities of more than $100billion

not only the growth rate, the technological core of the semiconductor industry is also evolving. The IC industry is changing from CPU centered to memory (data) centered. During the period of PC interconnection, since the end of 2014, the output value of memory has accounted for about 10% of the whole industry, and increased to about 1/3 in 2017. After three to five years, it may reach nearly half of the output value of the whole industry. This change in the technological environment is also a major reason why Samsung, Hynix and other storage companies have made a lot of money in recent years

in addition, the relationship between supply and demand is also affecting the development trend of the whole industry. The whole industry has shifted from logic as the center to 18. Test bench lifting device: fast/slow speed control takes memory as the center, and the whole society will create about 30% of the data volume every year, but the production expansion speed of DRAM in the whole industry is only 20%, which is in short supply. Recently, Hynix and micron announced the new DRAM plant, which also reflects this. At present, the bottleneck of DRAM growth is mainly due to the slowdown of process scaling. The next technological breakthrough needs to rely on quadrupole pattern or EUV. It is reported that Samsung has decided to apply EUV to logic and DRAM at the same time. It is expected that many new materials will be introduced in the exposure, deposition, etching and other links of the next generation DRAM process

nand's supply-demand curve is different from DRAM. With the breakthrough of 3D NAND technology and the continuous increase of stackable height, there will be a short-term oversupply. For example, the annual increment of 45% last year and this year exceeded the average demand of 30%, so the price will fall. The aspect ratio of 3D NAND structure is very large, which is also a great challenge to the process flow of etching, filling, cleaning and so on. Looking ahead, the sales of some types of chips will rise and fall, but the overall industry will maintain a growth momentum

production capacity, purity and new materials, opportunities and challenges coexist

in summary, these changes in the industrial environment put forward three major demands for the field of semiconductor materials: more sufficient production capacity, higher purity and new materials

trend 1: more capacity is needed

the global trend of wafer manufacturing and construction in the year of

has driven a surge in semiconductor equipment expenditure, and the growth of equipment in the same period is far greater than that of materials; Since 2018, the wafer factories that have been built have been put into operation successively. The wafer starts are very stable every year, and the annual growth rate is expected to maintain% annually. Therefore, we can see the simplest trend, the annual compound growth rate of 41.2%, that is, the supply of wafers exceeds the demand

not only does the number of wafers increase every year, but also more and more materials are used on the same wafer. For example, the material cost of 90 nm single wafer is about $160, while the material cost of 7 nm single wafer rises to nearly $600. The cost of wafer materials of DRAM and NAND is also rising, which contains huge business opportunities

trend 2: higher purity is needed

on a 12 inch wafer, no more than 10 nanometer particles can be found. Such purity requirements are equivalent to that in the whole area of Jiangsu Province, no more than four coin sized particles can be found. Another example is that under the 5-nm node, the metal content cannot exceed 28 ppb. What is the magnitude concept of PPB? Equivalent to a small fish in the sea water of the San Francisco Bay area. It can be seen that such high purity requirements for particle and metal content set a very high threshold for the semiconductor material industry

trend 3: new materials

from 7 nm, copper will be gradually replaced by new materials such as cobalt and ruthenium. At 3 nm, carbon nanotubes may be used for fatigue tests (American Standard)

differentiated demand of new applications for material manufacturers

the demand of AI, 5g and IOT markets for material supply chain is differentiated

ai mostly adopts leading edge technology, which drives the growth of supply chain related to advanced manufacturing processes. The size of a single GPU chip is as high as 800 mm2 (reaching the limit of the mask), and the yield of such a large bare chip is actually very low; In order to improve the yield, on the one hand, we will hope that the single chip will become smaller and smaller, that is, the advanced manufacturing process will continue to evolve, on the other hand, we will continue to improve the requirements for pollution control, which is what Entegris is good at

5g is another story. 5g baseband can be realized by mainstream technology, but RF front-end including power amplifier has high growth demand for III-V compound technology (such as Gan, GaAs, etc.). For material companies, research and development and innovation are needed in the field of new materials

iot is the explosion of material usage on the existing mature process nodes of existing materials (such as most 8-inch lines)

in particular, Entegris has always maintained its technological advantage on the most advanced technology node. As the semiconductor industry begins to use more EUV lithography technology for advanced technology process mass manufacturing (HVM), the requirement for EUV mask defect free is stricter than ever before. In August this year, Entegris released the next generation EUV 1010 mask box for mass IC manufacturing using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology

it is reported that this mask box was developed in close cooperation with ASML, the global leader in lithography. It has taken the lead in obtaining ASML certification in the world and can be used in their latest generation of lithography machines (including nxe:3400b and other products), and has shown excellent EUV mask protection performance, including solving the most critical particle pollution challenges, so that customers can safely transition to the smaller and smaller linewidth required by the most advanced lithography process. EUV hood is larger than ordinary hood, with higher requirements for dust-free and film compatibility. Entegris is the first supplier in the industry to make hood box products that meet the requirements of EUV

the global revenue is strong, and China leads the incremental market.

according to the financial report of the third quarter of 2018 released by Entegris, sales exceeded 390million US dollars, an increase of 15% over the same period last year and 4% over the second quarter. In the first three quarters, the overall sales increased by 16% to US $1.1 billion. The net income in the first three quarters reached US $160million. The recently acquired SAEs pure gas performed well, and its sales exceeded expectations in the third quarter, reflecting the industry's key demand for higher process purity

the growth in the first half of 2018 is driven by memory factors on the one hand, and the growth of mainstream process technology driven by automotive, industrial and IOT applications on the other hand. From 2014 to 2018, there was an investment boom in building Fab in China. In, a large number of semiconductor equipment were installed and put on line, followed by materials, which began to be widely used as consumables. Based on FAB's average 20-year operation cycle, the next 20 years are all market opportunities for materials

in terms of global revenue layout, the growth from the Chinese market is particularly strong, with Q2 increasing by 16% over Q1 and the first half of 2018 increasing by 37% over the same period in the first half of 2017. In terms of product types, one is the semiconductor material itself, and the other is the world's leading pollution control/purification solution, which is also Entegris' unique advantage over its competitors

according to semi statistics, the investment in wafer factories has continued to increase in the past few years, of which the compound annual growth rate in Taiwan, China is about 6%, that in South Korea is 22%, and that in Chinese Mainland is 37%. The overall growth trend in China is promising, but whether the newly-built wafer factories can really achieve commercial success depends on many factors, such as machines, talents, technology, orders and so on

in order to ensure the capacity demand brought about by the rapid growth of the local market, Entegris works closely with local partners, and has strategic cooperation with Fujian Bochun materials and Hubei Jingxing technology. After strict qualification certification and process access, it produces special gas products and high-purity deposition products. At the same time, in the middle of this year, Entegris began to build the first technology center in Chinese Mainland in Shanghai, which greatly accelerated the localized chemical analysis process and also supported the highly collaborative customized development with customers. After the completion of the China Technology Center, it is expected that there will be a technical team of about 30 people to provide solutions for customers

in terms of the competitive pattern in the field of semiconductor materials, especially when catching up with local manufacturers, customers mainly consider two points in the selection of semiconductor materials, one is whether the products can be used, and the other is whether they can be used all the time. Entegris precisely maintains excellent comprehensive competitiveness in technology research and development capabilities, product quality, customized services and production capacity. At the same time, the semiconductor material market is also large enough and full of opportunities, so more players are welcome to come in, complement each other in the competition, and jointly provide customers with high-quality services

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