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One of the source of the neck of Chinese semiconductor card -device parts

release time:2022-03-08Author source:SlkorBrowse:1010

Pursuing supply chain security and a complete local ecosystem for China's electronic information industry is a step-by-step and difficult process. The initial level is the independent development and production of chips, and then the demand for domestic equipment is derived. But the facts show that even if the equipment can be made domestically, it is not enough. The United States sanctioned Chinese wafer manufacturing companies, and some Chinese equipment manufacturers had to succumb to the US ban. The root cause was their reliance on the United States for key components. Compared with the whole equipment, the market size of spare parts is not large, but it is indeed a typical bottleneck link that is made from small to large.

In 2020, the purchase amount of 8-inch and 12-inch front-end equipment parts (parts) for wafer lines in mainland China exceeded 1 billion US dollars. If the production lines of overseas manufacturers such as Samsung, Hynix, and TSMC in mainland China are excluded, the purchase amount of Chinese local wafer manufacturers (mainly including SMIC, Hua Hong Group, China Resources Microelectronics, Yangtze River Storage, etc.) inch and 12-inch front equipment parts, the same below) is about 430 million US dollars. The equipment parts purchased by Chinese wafer manufacturers mainly include Quartz, RF Generator, various pumps, etc., accounting for 10% or more of the purchase amount of parts. In addition, the proportion of procurement of various valves (Valve), suction cups (Chuck), reaction chamber shower head (Shower Head), edge ring (Edge Ring) and other components is also relatively high.

Product structure of 8-12-inch wafer equipment parts purchased by Chinese wafer manufacturers in 2020

Among the main components mentioned above, the localization rate of more than 10% includes Quartz finished products, Shower head, Edge ring, etc., and the rest are relatively low in localization, especially Valve, Gauge, O-ring, etc. Totally depends on imports. According to the summary of Xinmou, parts with low localization rate generally meet one or more of the following characteristics:

1. For complex electronic and mechanical products, it is difficult to develop technology and requires high precision. For example, the RF generator is directly related to the plasma concentration and uniformity in the cavity. It is one of the most critical components of important machines such as Etch and PECVD. The main technical problem of domestic RF generators is that the parameters such as power supply voltage and frequency are not enough. It is stable and has a certain gap compared with foreign companies such as AE. Another example is Pump. Although China's Shenyang Scientific Instruments has become one of the main suppliers of dry pumps for wafer lines in China, the high vacuum level of semiconductors can only be achieved by cryopumps and turbopumps with higher prices, which is not the strength of Chinese manufacturers. The same is true for Gauge. The Chinese instrument industry can only meet the requirements of general vacuum measurement, but cannot meet the high-precision requirements of semiconductor technology.

2. High requirements for materials. Chinese manufacturers are stronger than machining and forming, but the material industry foundation is weak. Valve, Shower head, Ceramic and other parts, although Chinese manufacturers can make shapes according to the drawings, but often cannot solve the problems of materials and surface treatment, so the development is restricted by the foundation.

3. The market is small and fragmented. For example, Gauge, MFC, O-ring and other components not only have high requirements on precision and materials, but also the market size of semiconductor-level products is very small. Not only is the market size small, but some products have a wide variety of products, and the working principles of different types are significantly different. It is a market with typical fragmented characteristics, and Chinese manufacturers have insufficient interest and motivation.

8-12-inch wafer equipment parts suppliers and self-sufficiency rate

To solve the problem of stuck necks in semiconductor production equipment parts, first of all, domestic wafer fabs and equipment factories must attach great importance to it, and cooperate with local parts manufacturers to jointly tackle key problems. Local wafer lines must dare to give domestic equipment and parts verification opportunities, and effectively play the role of large-scale production line organization and coordination. The original equipment manufacturer should play the role of connecting the two ends in series, and actively promote the certification of domestic component manufacturers and recommend them to customers. With the strong support of fabs and equipment factories, equipment parts manufacturers in the fields of machinery, electronics, and chemicals should be encouraged to actively expand and expand their semiconductor business, and develop higher-end products to meet the needs of semiconductor equipment based on their own technical foundations. Most Chinese manufacturers of parts and components have mastered the basic technology, but they are temporarily unable to meet the standards of semiconductors. It is not without opportunities under the drive of strong customers. The domestic Quartz, RF generator, Shower head, Edge ring, MFC, Ceramic and other components have been widely verified on the wafer line and even shipped in batches. In the future, they will further stabilize the market and gradually get rid of their dependence on the United States, but the time varies. There are only lengths.

Secondly, we must still pay attention to overseas enterprises and technical resources. Even international equipment giants are promoting the localization of some parts and components in order to conveniently serve mainland production line customers. A typical case: Due to the tightening of global Quartz production capacity, international equipment giants have successively passed the certification of domestic Quartz material manufacturers such as Philippine and Pacific Quartz, opening the way for their Quartz finished products to enter the domestic wafer line. In addition, Shengong Semiconductor, Jingjiang Pioneer and other manufacturers also have a number of products certified by international equipment giants. Under the influence of the epidemic, the enthusiasm of international equipment giants to build a local parts supply chain to protect mainland customers has also increased significantly. While continuing to support the development of international equipment giants in China, relevant departments should respond to their requirements or expectations for assisting in building a domestic component supply chain, and create a controllable ecosystem of semiconductor production links. Some Japanese and European component manufacturers are increasingly interested in the booming Chinese mainland market due to the gradual shrinking of local wafer production capacity, which also provides opportunities for Chinese capital to help their technology industrialize in China.

Finally, for some components whose market size is too small and no local manufacturers are willing to set foot in, only some companies that are most affected by the US ban can take the main responsibility, and with the support of relevant departments, invest in teams to become self-reliant and solve their own problems. Threat of card neck. For areas that are not economically viable, problems can only be solved through non-market means. At this time, it is better to ask for yourself, and do not have unrealistic illusions.

Disclaimer: This article is reproduced from Wang Xiaolong's "Xinmou Research" to support the protection of intellectual property rights. Please indicate the original source and author of the reprint. If there is any infringement, please contact us to delete it.

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