Japan: Semiconductor Technology Shin-Etsu to Invest $ 125 Million in Photomask Blanks Plant
Shin-Etsu Chemical announced an investment of $ 125 million in the expansion of its photomask blanks business at its two existing photomask blanks plants: the Takefu Plant in Echizen City, Fukui Prefecture and the Naoetsu Plant in Joetsu City, Niigata Prefecture.
Tokyo/Japan — At the Takefu Plant, a new building will be constructed and its facility for cutting-edge ArF products production will be expanded. Construction is targeted for completion by April 2021. At the same time, the Naoetsu Plant, the facility that produces general-purpose ArF products that are the core of this business, will be expanded, and construction is targeted for completion by the end of 2019. With this investment, the production capacity of Shin-Etsu Chemical’s photomask blanks will be increased by 30 % over its present capacity.
With the increases in production volume of semiconductor devices and the progress of microfabrication, the global demand for photomask blanks is increasing both for general-purpose ArF products and cutting-edge ArF products.
Shin-Etsu Chemical has been focusing on research and development of various essential materials used in semiconductor manufacturing processes. Photomask blanks are one of these materials and were commercialized in 2009 and production began at our Naoetsu Plant. In 2016, our Takefu Plant began photomask blanks production. The company has succeeded in developing photomask blanks that can be used to realize super-high-precision microfabrication.
Photomask blanks are the base material for the photomasks that are used in the manufacturing process of semiconductors. Photomasks are used as the patterning templates when etching circuits on silicon wafers during the semiconductor lithography process.