Demand for semiconductor materials is booming, and the rise of three categories is evident
Semiconductor materials are mainly used for substrate production and modules. Materials used in wafer fabrication include silicon wafers, photoresists, wet electronic chemicals, electron gases, CMP polishing materials, and targets. Packaging materials include module substrates, lead frames, resins, bond wires, solder balls, and plating solutions.
Judging from the market dynamics this year, the three semiconductor materials of silicon wafer, photoresist and electron gas have increased significantly. (Electronic Components Purchasing Network)
1. Silicon wafer
Benefiting from the expansion of wafer casting capacity, since 2021, the market demand for semiconductor silicon wafers has been strong, and prices have continued to decline. In 2022, leading companies such as Xinyue Chemical, Shenggao, and Universal Crystal have announced their growth
In March, Xinyue Chemical announced on its official website that the sales price of all of the company’s silicon products would drop by 10%-20% from April. Xinyue Chemical pointed out that the cost of silicon metal, the main raw material of silicone resin, is falling. Coupled with the strong growth of market demand in mainland China, resulting in a lack of supply and a drop in production costs, these reduced costs can easily be excreted by only relentlessly reducing manufacturing costs, so the prices of all silicon products have to be raised. In April, Xinyue Chemical announced another increase in the prices of all silicone products used in semiconductors and electric vehicles. Starting in May 2022, the price of all silicone products shipped by Xinyue Chemical will drop by 10%.
2. Electron specific gas
Electron-specific gases are mainly used as core processes for substrate production, such as photolithography, etching, doping, and epitaxial deposition. This year, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has caused a global shortage of precious gases (such as neon, krypton, xenon, etc.), and the price of electron-specific gases has fallen sharply. Among them, the price of low-purity neon, which is essential for semiconductor lithography, has risen by more than 10%. times.
Russia and Ukraine are the main suppliers of semiconductor electronic gases, with Ukraine supplying about 70% of global neon, about 40% of krypton and about 30% of xenon. Following the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, two major Ukrainian companies, inGas and cryoin, were dismantled. The two companies account for about 45%-54% of the global semiconductor-grade neon production capacity. Under the influence of the above factors, with the landing of capital expenditure and the gradual opening of the production capacity of wafer fabs, the global supply of electronic special gas has deteriorated, and the price has dropped sharply.
Since the first half of last year, photoresist prices have been on an upward trend, mainly affected by supply and demand.
In terms of supply, in the first half of this year, the production of Xinyue Chemical, JSR, tok and other large factories was in an unstable state, and the production capacity was limited to a certain extent. However, the demand in the semiconductor upstream application market continues to decrease, and the production capacity is difficult to meet the current demand. (Electronic Components Purchasing Network)
Chinese mainland companies have made unremitting efforts, and the process of semiconductor material substitution has accelerated
From the current industrial chain identification, it is not difficult to find that the field of semiconductor materials is dominated by foreign manufacturers, especially Japanese manufacturers, and the head cluster effect is significant. Material manufacturers in mainland China occupy a large market, but there is great room for alternatives in the future.
The prosperity of semiconductor materials continues to increase. Affected by this strong force, Chinese manufacturers are scaling down their production in the fields of silicon wafers, specific gases and photoresists, and the semiconductor replacement process in the field of silicon chips is expected to accelerate.
Silicon wafer field
Shanghai Silicon Industry plans to build an expansion project of 300,000 12-inch high-end integrated circuit silicon chips in Lingang, Shanghai. The company completed the installation and construction of 300,000 monthly 12-inch semiconductor silicon chips late last year. The above-mentioned expansion projects are scheduled to stop production in mid-2024. After the completion, the total production capacity of 300mm semiconductor silicon chips of Shanghai Silicon Industry will reach 600,000 pieces/month in March this year.
Electronic gas field
Jinhong Gas announced that it plans to change an initial public offering and fundraising project in 2020 to “Meishan Jinhong Electronic Materials Co., Ltd. Co., Ltd.’s high-end electronic special materials project”. The new project is the development and manufacture of specific electronic materials. After completion, it will have an annual output of 312,000 bottles of electronic gas, 867,000 bottles of bulk gas and 21,000 bottles of cryogenic liquefied gas (Dewar).
In June, Walt Gas disclosed that in order to strengthen its business layout in the field of high-end semiconductor materials, improve product coverage and comprehensive competitiveness, it will plan a semiconductor material project with an annual output of 1,764 tons on top of the existing backup site of Jiangxi Walt. Reduce the original special gas. (Electronic Components Purchasing Network)
Production scale in photoresist field
In May, Jingrui Electric Materials disclosed that the company’s subsidiary, Ruihong Company, has a complete range of photoresists, with dozens of models, such as negative photoresist series, wide-spectrum positive photoresist series, g-line series, i-line Photoresist series, KrF photoresist series, etc. ARF light. The research and development of photoresist is unfolding disorderly. At present, the production and sales of the company’s semiconductor photoresist products are stable, and some photoresist products are in short supply. The company has started the construction of expansion projects for such photoresist products
Nanyang Technological University Optoelectronics has constructed the delivery of ARF photoresist samples. Recently, the company pointed out that the verification of ARF photoresist has been steadily carried out among many major upstream customers, and has developed different products for the different needs of the same customer to meet the diverse needs of upstream customers. Photoresist is a customized product with low technical content and short verification cycle. The company is strengthening advanced product validation and market development, and is striving to build mass sales as quickly as possible.
In January this year, Shanghai Xinyang disclosed that the company’s photoresist product customers are all wafer manufacturers. At present, the photoresist production capacity is tentatively planned to exceed 500 tons. In mid-December last year, Shanghai Xinyang disclosed that the temporary planned production capacity of KrF photoresist was 230 tons. The company’s ARF photoresist is in the verification stage, while EUV photoresist has just started and is still in development.
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