Industry Insights

Ultrapure Micro is a highly technical community, but we also value the opinions and insights of our industry experts and UPM contributors. The Industry Insights page will provide a space for short observation pieces and interviews, which aim to keep you updated on what’s new and changing in the industry.

All posts


Intel Water Usage: Chart

A visualization of Intel's global water balance
Intel's 2022 Global Water Balance

This chart shows how Intel’s global water balance as of 2022, including the methods of sourcing water, how the water is consumed by operations, the volume of...
September 2023

What is Veolia bringing to UPM 2023? The Azoles Treatment Challenge

Why is this a challenging emerging contaminant?
Rudy Labban, Technical Leader at Veolia Water Technologies, spoke to UPM about the emerging understanding of azoles in wastewater streams and methods to remediate their effects.

Azoles are...
September 2023

Chart of the month: National semiconductor spending plans

National governments have been releasing strategic documents and passing funding relating to the semiconductor industry in recent years.
Source: GWI.

The importance of the semiconductor industry to modern life cannot be understated, which is reflected in the growing numbers of national and regional funding strategies published...
September 2023

Digital transformation: opportunities and challenges for the semiconductor industry

UPM spoke with three experts in the field about the benefits and difficulties of integrating artificial intelligence into semiconductor manufacturing facilities in the form of digital twins. Brandon Ekberg, Principal, Facilities Science and Technology at Farnsworth Group, Josh Best, Vice President of Innovation at FTD Solutions, and Hiep Le, Chief Technology Officer – Eastern Region at Gradiant gave their thoughts on how artificial intelligence will shape the future of the semiconductor industry.
The role of artificial intelligence (AI) and the digital transformation has rapidly made its way to the forefront of the global consciousness, and it plays a key role in semiconductor industry...
September 2023

What are the benefits of collaborative delivery models for wastewater treatment plants?

Major semiconductor industry players are still building and starting up new facilities, and massive growth still is expected for the industry over the course of the next decade. Vincent Como, Engineering Sponsor at Kiewit, speaks to UPM in an interview about the expertise and insights which Kiewit will bring to the UPM 2023 roundtable discussions.
Why is design, procurement, and construction of wastewater plants such a challenge?

Facility build times are scheduled at a faster pace than ever before, and the semiconductor industry has...
July 2023

Expert Q&A – Driving Yield and Reliability Solutions in the Semiconductor Industry

In the June 2023 UPM webinar, six esteemed semiconductor industry experts discussed challenges and cutting-edge progress for liquid contamination control. Here are Q&A responses from during and after the webinar.
The audience had so many questions for our panel that the speakers addressed remaining queries after the webinar. Along with the subsequently delivered Q&A below, please find the main part of...
July 2023

News-in-brief: June 2023

A roundup of essential industry news from May-June 2023

Intel increases fab investments: In June 2023, Intel made several announcements regarding planned investment in Europe and the Middle East. Intel has signed a revised letter of...
June 2023

Chart of the month: June 2023

Water risk vs. fab locations in the US
Sources: SIA, World Resource Institute

This month’s chart demonstrates the distribution of front-end manufacturing facilities for semiconductors (foundries and integrated device...
June 2023

How is the semiconductor industry tackling the challenges of the expertise shortage?

Examples of how industry and academia are collaborating to resolve the ongoing deficit of talent in the semiconductor industry.
Why is there a problem?

As technology advances, the global semiconductor industry is facing higher demand for chips. With the automotive and electronics industries progressing rapidly, and as the...
June 2023

Upcoming UPM Community Meeting Series: Exploring Solutions for Facility 2.0.

Register now for expert perspectives
June 2023

Tackling the PVDF supply chain bottlenecks

Including industry expert perspectives on the PVDF piping shortage
Over the past three years, the semiconductor industry has faced a critical materials shortage, high demand for microchips, and supply chain bottlenecks. Even as the impact of COVID-19 begins to...
May 2023

News-in-brief: April 2023

Latest microelectronics industry news relating to UPM
Company News

Merck and Intel sustainability funds: In March 2023, Merck and Intel announced that they are collaborating on a new research program to leverage artificial intelligence for more...
April 2023

Five key takeaways on facility approaches to environmental sustainability: UPM Community Event recap

A recap of the event 'Environmental Sustainability: Driving Innovation in the Semiconductor Industry and Beyond'
This article contains a summary of the discussion by panelists Jim Snow (SCREEN), Josh Best (FTD Solutions), Nabil Mistkawi (Samsung Austin Semiconductor), Kevin Geoghegan (Intel), Paul Kerr...
April 2023

Chart of the month: March 2023

Semiconductor foundry market shares for Q4 2022
Source: Company reports

This month’s chart details the market shares of semiconductor foundries based on their revenue in Q4 2022.

For semiconductor foundries, 2022 ended somewhat...
April 2023

News-in-brief: February 2023

A round-up of essential microelectronics news for February 2023
Company news

UNISERS secures funding: UNISERS has secured $14 million in funding led by Intel Capital to build technology demonstrator machines for trials by major chipmakers. UNISERS has...
March 2023

Proactive particle control: Where is the research heading?

What research is the industry currently undertaking for proactive particle control for ultrapure water?
What difficulties is the semiconductor industry facing in proactive particle control?
As the killer particle size declines in alignment with decreasing node sizes and new chip structures, the...
March 2023

Chart of the month: February 2023

How do greenhouse gas emissions from leading semiconductor manufacturers compare?
Source: Company Reports

This month’s chart demonstrates the distribution of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between scope 1 (direct) and 2 (indirect) as detailed in the sustainability reports...
February 2023

Call for Abstracts: UPM 2023 – Unlocking Facility 2.0.

Unlocking Facility 2.0. is an ongoing struggle for the microelectronics industry – to help drive a solution, submit an abstract for UPM 2023.
We are welcoming you to submit an abstract for UPM 2023

We are pleased to announce that we are now welcoming abstracts for the UPM 2023 Conference in Austin, Texas, under the theme Unlocking...
February 2023

UPM Asks: What is needed to help manufacturers reach their sustainability targets?

Let us know your thoughts on technologies or approaches needed.
Source: GWI

The top 10 microelectronics manufacturers have announced almost 30 water-related sustainability goals with target end-date between 2020 and 2030. 10 of these targets had an...
January 2023

Year in review: Fab announcements in 2022

The microelectronics industry is known for being regionally concentrated. What is different about fab investment announcements in 2022? Though the traditional regional strongholds of manufacturing continue to thrive, some new geographies have been put on the map.
USA attracts semiconductor heavyweights in some atypical locations.

In 2022, chip manufacturers have declared several sizeable US investments, which were driven partly by the promise of...
January 2023

Five things we learned about UPW-energy relationship at UPM 2022

Key takeaways from UPM 2022 conference presentations from produced by Charles Miller of SCREEN SPE, Bob McIntosh of Enviro-Energy Solutions, and Andreas Neuber of Applied Materials.
As the industry adopts new process nodes, microchips become faster and more energy efficient. However, the energy and water required to manufacture those chips increases as technology nodes become...
January 2023

Year-in-review: UPM Community Events 2022

In 2022, the UPM Community came together in eight online meetings in order to continue conversations year-round – in addition to the in-person conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Here are summaries and materials from all the UPM Community online meetings of 2022.
1. Kicking off the year, the UPM Community concentrated on an extremely hot topic for wastewater and high-purity components in the meeting 'PFAS: Upcoming Regulations and the SEMI Industry...
January 2023

News-in-brief: January 2023

A roundup of recent essential industry news
Research and Development

Picosun, a company owned by Applied Materials, is leading a four-year program to boost the environmental sustainability of semiconductor manufacturing. The program will...
January 2023

Onsite Water Reuse and Recovery Roundtable Insights

Key Takeaways from roundtable discussions at the Ultrapure Micro 2022 Conference, relayed by Ryan Pavlick, Intel.
At the Ultrapure Micro 2022 roundtable session on Onsite Water Reuse and Recovery, facility owners from different world regions, as well as tool and technology vendors, discovered they were...
January 2023

News-in-brief: November 2022

A roundup of essential industry news
Research and Development

The International Roadmap for Devices and Systems (IRDS) 2022 update was published in late September. The full roadmap can be found on the IRDS website, and the efforts...
November 2022

Chart of the month: Global water-related CAPEX for the microelectronics industry

Forecast growth for water-related capital expenditure through to 2027
Source: GWI WaterData

This month’s chart shows forecast for global water-related capital expenditure for the microelectronics industry. This includes spending on ultrapure water, wastewater,...
November 2022

Best presentation awards: UPM 2021

At the UPM 2022 conference in Phoenix, four presentations from the previous year were awarded best presentation for their respective track. Congratulations to all involved! Here is a summary of their great insights and access to the recordings:
Assaf Harel, Intel, for his presentation Water and Wastewater Supply Chain Management (Water and Wastewater Management track).

A boom in construction across high-tech industries is occurring...
November 2022

Four reasons to collaborate on environmental sustainability: UPM 2022 panel discussion recap

Key takeaways about semiconductor facilities’ environmental footprint in relation to water consumption, energy usage, and site selection considerations.
These points are distilled from the insights delivered by Dane Louvier, Senior Manager – Taylor Fab Design, Construction, and Site Planning at Samsung Austin Semiconductor; Kelly Osborne, Senior...
November 2022

Facility 2.0: Are We Ready?

A summary of the Keynote Address delivered by Zac Rosenbaum, Facilities Director at Samsung Austin Semiconductor at UPM 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.
The chip shortage has been a constant and predominant focus of semiconductor industry coverage in recent years. The digital revolution is accelerating consumer demand for new technologies, and...
November 2022

Waste to value: what are the opportunities for resource recovery in water?

Key takeaways and discussion points from the UPM 2022 roundtable discussion on resource recovery in water.
According to SEMI estimates, approximately 500 process chemicals are used during the fabrication of semiconductor wafers. The situation is similar for other high-tech industries as well. However,...
November 2022

Net-Zero Water and Sustainability Goals in the Semiconductor Industry

Key takeaways and discussion points from the UPM 2022 roundtable session on Net-Zero Water
Public and pre-public companies have begun reporting on their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals and sustainability targets in annual reports to stakeholders, and there are many...
November 2022

Troubleshooting Quality Issues in UPW Systems

Key takeaways and discussion points from the UPM 2022 roundtable session, where participants discussed troubleshooting quality issues in UPW systems.
Ultrapure water (UPW) systems integrate many unit operations and can be very complex. Understanding what each of the unit operations are designed to do and how they affect downstream unit...
October 2022

Chemical Reuse and Recycling: Challenges and Opportunities

Entegris Applications Engineering Manager Siddarth Sampath and Page Mechanical Engineer Joshua Mulder offer insights regarding why chemical reuse and reclamation is an increasingly important topic for the UPM Community.
The volume and diversity of chemicals required for semiconductor manufacturing are drivers for reclamation and reuse.
A greater variety and volume of chemicals are being used in semiconductor...
August 2022

Emerging trends for UPW and wastewater treatment

Firuza Mir, Vice-President and Regional Head of Americas with Lanxess Corp’s Liquid Purification Technologies business unit, discusses some of the emerging contamination concerns for ultrapure water (UPW) in semiconductor manufacturing.
Semiconductor companies are expanding fab operations and building new plants around the world to meet increasing chip demand, meaning more water will be used to support growing production....
August 2022

From the archive: Taimur Burki on Chemical Reclamation and Reuse

A UPM recap with highlights from the archive. Taimur Burki, Circular Economy and Global Green Building Program Manager at Intel, presented The Challenges of Chemical Waste Reclamation and Potential Reuse within the Semiconductor Industry at UPM 2021.
Intel’s Responsible Inclusive Sustainable Enabling (RISE) goals for 2030 include a goal to upcycle 60% of manufacturing waste streams into the circular economy, with zero...
August 2022

Five potential solutions for time-to-market and supply chain pressures: UPM Community Event recap

A UPM recap of the event Deconstructing the Challenges of Facility 2.0: Time-to-Market and Supply Chain in the semiconductor industry
View the event recording here. Panelists include Assaf Harel, Intel, James Casey, LotusWorks, Alan Knapp, Evoqua, and Dave Buesser, FTD Solutions. The discussion was moderated by Alex Milshteen,...
August 2022

News-in-brief: August 2022

A roundup of the latest industry news

Particle Measuring Systems released its Ultra DI 20 Plus product, which is designed for real-time particle measurement at a sensitivity of 20nm and ultrapure liquid monitoring at a...
August 2022

Environmental and Operational Sustainability in Facility 2.0: UPM Community Event Recap

A summary of insights provided by panelists Aaron Blawn, Intel; John Painter, Georg Fischer; Andreas Neuber, Applied Materials and Joshua Best, FTD Solutions. Moderated by Slava Libman, FTD Solutions
Environmental and Operational Sustainability was the fourth in a series of UPM Community Events deconstructing the challenges of Facility 2.0 – a term describing...
August 2022

Addressing water circularity in the microelectronics industry

Climate-driven water scarcity is causing the microelectronics industry to get serious about water reuse. Look no further than SEMICON West where >50% of the invited “Start-ups for...
July 2022

Water circularity in semiconductor facilities: three key themes

Insights from Victoria Yun, Senior Project Engineer at Samsung Austin Semiconductor, and Deena Starkel, Principal Water Engineer at Micron Technology, from the Global Water Summit 2022
1. Challenges posed by UPW quality requirements can be offset by other reuse avenues
The semiconductor manufacturing process demands huge quantities of ultrapure water (UPW), but the extremely...
June 2022

News-in-brief: June 2022

A roundup of relevant industry news May 9 - June 19
CEA-Leti and Intel have optimized a breakthrough process for die-to-wafer self-assembly which relies on a water dispense technique. The surface tension of the water is appropriate for...
June 2022

Chart of the month: June 2022

What does the increase in UPW water demand mean for equipment suppliers? Presented by Intel’s Alex Milshteen and Evoqua’s Alan Knapp at the Global Water Summit 2022
Source: Intel

This chart was taken from a panel presentation given by Alex Milshteen, Global Engineering and Commissioning Manager at Intel, and a roundtable discussion led jointly by Alex...
June 2022

Gas abatement: environmental drivers and constraints

Adam Stover, Vice President of Applications and Technology at Centrotherm Clean Solutions, and Josh McCrory, US Applications Engineer at DAS Environmental Expert, spoke to UPM.
Gas abatement is critical for the semiconductor industry to meet emissions regulations. The chip manufacturing process uses high quantities of a diverse mixture of gases for wafer deposition, but...
June 2022

UPM Community Event Series – Facility 2.0: Webinar #2 – Expertise in Semiconductor Facilities Operations

May Community Event recap
In preparation for the UPM 2022 Annual Conference, UPM has launched a Community Event series: ‘Deconstructing the Challenges of Facility 2.0’.
The series’ second webinar – ‘Expertise in...
June 2022

News-in-brief: May 2022

A roundup of essential industry news April 4 - May 9 2022
ACM Research announced the start of mass production of its new wafer wet cleaning tool, the Ultra C VI. The single-wafer cleaning tool is suitable for use in several wet clean...
May 2022

Chart of the month: May 2022

An example of predictive yield modelling, as presented by Dan Wilcox, Principal – Director Process Engineering at Page, at the last UPM Community Event.