UPM Community Engagement Manager
Based in Oxford, UK
Applied Materials; Company News; Membrion; Sustainability; Samsung; TSMC; Policy and Regulation; Sony; Analog Devices;
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 be based in Finland and will be worth a potential $100 million. The project will primarily focus its efforts on reducing chemical and energy consumption during thin-film deposition processes.
Xylem has announced that it has entered an agreement to buy leading microelectronics water solutions provider Evoqua Water Technologies in a $7.5 billion deal.
Membrion has announced its collaboration with W.L. Gore & Associates to develop ultra-thin ceramic ion exchange membranes for treating harsh wastewater streams at a commercial scale. In addition, Membrion announced $7 million in funding to continue expanding ceramic desalination membranes for onsite water recovery. Investors include PureTerra Ventures, Safar Partners, GiantLeap Capital, Freeflow and existing investors.
On November 30, 2022, the South Korean Ministry of Environment and Samsung Electronics announced a Memorandum of Understanding to work together for the supply of recycled sewage for use in semiconductor manufacturing facilities. State-owned agencies and city authorities will support the construction and operation of the facilities required to supply recycled sewage. In return for receiving 474,000 tons of recycled water daily, Samsung Electronics will invest in regional research and development of advanced water purification technology for cleaning semiconductor surfaces.
The Yongkang Water Treatment plant, which can supply 8000 tons/day of ultrapure water, began operations in December 2022 in Southern Taiwan Science Park. The $NT2.57 billion project supplies reclaimed water for cooling purposes. By 2024, the facility should be able to process 29,000 tons of wastewater and supply 15,500 tons of ultrapure water daily.
Edwards Vacuum announced it will invest $310 million over the next seven years for new production facility in upstate New York. The company intends to use the facility for dry pump technology for controlling the environment around semiconductor manufacturing processes.
In November 2022, Sony announced that it will set up a semiconductor facility in Thailand with the view to invest 70.7 million. Works on the factory began in 2022, with plant operation beginning in 2025. The factory will produce image sensors for cars.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) announced that it will postpone the construction of its planned fab in Kaohsiung. In Fall 2022, TSMC announced plans for constructing two factories – one capable of chip production at 7nm nodes and the other at 28nm. However, the company decided to postpone the build of the former factory due to weakening demand for smartphones and computers.
In December 2022, United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) approved $1.05 billion for capacity expansion of one existing fab in Tainan, Taiwan, and a new fab in Singapore. From 2022-2026 the company expects to invest $10 billion in the two projects.
Soitec broke ground on its Singapore fab expansion which plans to double the factory size to reach 45,000 square meters of fab by 2024. The investment plan is worth approximately $570 million.
Analog Devices announced it will invest $1 billion to double capacity at its Beaverton, Oregon fab. The timeline for the investment has not been disclosed.
Policy and Regulation
New Taiwanese legislation has introduced new incentives to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing. The measures allow chip firms to turn 25% of their annual research and development costs into tax credits. The new incentives are set to take effect during 2023.