Orla McCoy

UPM Community Engagement Manager

Based in Oxford, UK

Evoqua Water Technologies; Intel;

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 Milshteen and Alan Knapp, Senior Director of Microelectronics at Evoqua. The discussions were held at the Global Water Summit 2022 in Madrid.  
The chart displays the exponential growth in ultrapure water (UPW) demand in semiconductor manufacturing as the size of silicon wafers has increased over the past 25 years. The silicon wafer size will dictate the largest diameter of the UPW supply in the main process piping, and therefore the flow rate.  

Alex Milshteen explains that UPW demand increases exponentially because process complexity is accelerating, and UPW rinses are required at each process step. Although the industry has not followed the trajectory of manufacturing 450mm (17.7 inch) wafers due to several technological reasons, the quantity of water required is still rising exponentially. Milshteen also expressed that is important for the supply chain to understand that semiconductor fabs must build new infrastructure with new piping dimensions for evolving UPW systems. 

Alan Knapp explained that the new semiconductor giga-fab UPW demands are approach 5 million gallons per day, all of which must be treated to the highest purity requirements. In addition, larger piping means that the UPW is in contact with a greater surface area of equipment, and as such there could be greater potential for contamination. All these considerations are important for the water equipment supply chain to understand to support end user needs.