There is a time when I can’t live without a semiconductor. Semiconductors are now the water and power of society and industry. You can move and connect everything, but it can also stop and destroy everything. The semiconductor industry, which transformed our economy, which is an intensive labor-intensive and high value-added industry in the 1960s and 1970s, has now faced a new era of transition in the global technology hegemony and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Along with the launch of the new government, the strengthening of the domestic semiconductor industry and the expansion of the ecosystem have emerged as a more urgent task than ever. G-DINET Korea celebrates its 22nd anniversary for the 22nd anniversary of the series ‘Semiconductor is the Future’ series in three parts. Beyond the stomach of our export industry, we will carefully point out the current status of the Korean semiconductor industry, which is regarded as economic and security assets, and seek to seek what to prepare and how to design the future. [Editors]
Part 1: The world is a semiconductor war
Part 2: Korean semiconductor myth continues
Part 3: Listen to Experts
In the middle of the semiconductor micro-process below 7 nanometers, extreme infrared (EUV) exposure technology is being used, and pelicitation technology is paying attention as one of the ways to increase yields.
Taiwan’s TSMC uses pelikles in the EUV process early through its own development, but Samsung has produced chips without having to use Pelikles yet. Samsung Electronics has been in the midst of developing Pelicle Technology with its suppliers with the goal of introducing Pelikle in the EUV process since 2023.
■ EUV process necessities ‘Pelikle’, prevent mask damage caused by fine dust
The EUV pelikle is a thin film that protects the photo mask to prevent dust. It’s a similar principle to use a mask to avoid inhaling fine dust.
If the existing fluoride argon (ARF) exposure equipment is a structure in which light comes from top to bottom, the EUV equipment is a structure in which the light is reflected by the mirror (mirror) and touches the wafer. In the EUV equipment, the light comes in once, and then it is reflected in the mirror and then escaped. It is essential to use pelikles to minimize mask damage caused by dust. The EUV photo mask costs 1 billion won per unit.
Experts say that in order to minimize light loss in the EUV process, we need to use more than 90% transmittance and a 50nm thin pelikle. In addition, high durability is required because the EUV should not be bent in the heat generated as it passes through the pelikle. However, pelikles with a transmittance of more than 90% are not yet used in the EUV process.
ASML, a Dutch semiconductor equipment company, supplies EUV equipment in the world, and collaborates with Canadian Terada (membrane manufacturing) and Mitsui chemistry (production) in Japan.
ASML developed polysilicon-based EUV pelikles for the first time in 2016, with a transmittance of 78%. In 2018, the company supplied the Pelicle MK 2.0 with a transmittance of 80% or more, and by 2020, the Pelikle MK 3.0 was supplied with a transmittance of 83%. Last year, it announced that it has developed a 90% transmittance rate of 90% of the new materials, and is about to mass-produce.
Pelikle is expensive as it is a state-of-the-art intensive body. According to officials in the semiconductor industry, the ASML Alliance’s Pelicle 2.0 is supplied for $ 18,000 per piece, and the Pelicle MK 4.0, which is scheduled to be mass-produced, reaches $ 35,000 (about 45 million won). It is known. Life time is about 10,000 hours.
■ TSMC, using the self-developed Pelikle… Samsung plans to use from 2023
TSMC and Samsung Electronics are the only companies that produce chips as EUV processes in the foundry industry.
However, TSMC has developed its own Pelikle. Since 2019, the company has been using its pelikles in the EUV process and has been increasing its usage every year. TSMC is known to be using a pelikle based on polysilicon, 85%transmittance and polysilicon.
On the other hand, Samsung Electronics has produced semiconductors without pelikles even though the mask can be exposed to dust in the EUV process. The reason for this is that the pelikles of more than 90% of the transmittance have not been mass-produced so far.
Samsung Electronics aims to introduce Pelikle since 2023. This is because at this point, a 90%pelikle can be mass-produced. Samsung Electronics is likely to use the ASML Alliance’s pelikles, and is expected to expand the felicles of their own Pelikles and partners.
An official from the industry said, The use of pelikles in the EUV process can reduce the defect rate, but the amount that can be produced is reduced. I explained. The official added, Samsung Electronics would have been virtually not easy to introduce pelikles because the number of EUV equipment is small compared to TSMC.
Although the industry has never officially announced the number of EUV equipment owned by the two companies, the industry estimates that as of last year, TSMC has secured more than 50 units and Samsung Electronics.
As Samsung started mass production of three nano processes in late June, it is unlikely to use Pelikle. This is because Pelikles also require more photo masks as they need more photo masks.
In the semiconductor industry, there are seven photo masks required in 7 nano, if the use of Pelikle is an option, ▲ 12 ~ 14 photo masks in the 5nm process, 24 ~ 28 pellicles ▲ 15 photo masks in 3 nano processes. Say that more than a dog is needed.
Meanwhile, Intel, which declared the foundry industry, plans to mass-produce chips in the EUV process next year. Intel is also developing Pelikle with suppliers. Memory companies, SK Hynix and Micron, have also introduced EUV equipment into the DRAM process, so they are likely to use Pelikles in the future.
■ Domestic semiconductor industry, Pelikle and equipment development in the middle of the ecosystem bigger
As the growth of the Pelicle Market is expected, the development of Pelicle Materials and Pelicle Equipment Technology is being actively developed in Korea.
Companies related to domestic EUV process technology include S & S Tech (Blank Mask for EUV, EUV), FST (Pelikle, Feliccle Automatic Mount), Device ENG (EUV Foot Washing Equipment, and EUV Photo Mask Resting Equipment). These companies are supported by Samsung Electronics.
S & S Tech completed the development of Pelicle at a 90% transmittance rate at the end of last year. The plant will be completed within the year and plans to mass-produce Pelikles in earnest from next year.
FST has also developed a 90% pelikle of transmittance and aims to mass-produce in early 2023. Last year, it also said that it also developed an EPMD that automatically attached a pelikle to an EUV mask.
In addition, Cham Rapfin is developing graphene-based pelikles, not conventional silicone materials, and has achieved more than 90% transmittance this year. The company said the graphene pelikle is more stable for heat than silicon-based pelikles and the transmittance is higher.