Equipment for angstrom-precision processing of wafers
in various areas such as wafer cleaning equipment, lithography equipment and annealers.
Mr. Schmidt, what is the core competency of SCREEN Semiconductor Solutions?
SCREEN entered into the semiconductor production equipment market in the 1970s. Surface processing i.e. modifying surfaces through processes as coating, cleaning and etching. At present we're a specialized manufacturer of semiconductor production equipment in various areas such as wafer cleaning equipment, lithography equipment and annealers. The flagship systems are designed for 300 mm wafers, however, we produce the equipment also for with a diameter of 200 mm or less, because this segment has good prospects for development. SCREEN Semiconductor Solutions has up-to-date plants in Hikone and Taga. The former is the main plant for production of 300 mm cleaning systems, Taga is the main plant for manufacturing of coat/develop equipment and scrubbers. The Process Technology Center, which was built in 2008, is located also in Hikone.
How do you estimate positions of the company in the main sectors of the market?
SCREEN is one of the world's top 10 suppliers for semiconductor production equipment. The major markets for us are Taiwan, North America and Japan, which provide up to 80% of revenues. Europe's share is about 9%. Nine months of 2016 financial year showed that sales to logic chip manufacturers significantly decreased, sales to foundries also fell, but sales to memory and imaging device manufacturers substantially increased. Also of note is the growth in sales of production equipment for sub-200 mm wafers. Currently SCREEN's market share is more than 60% in the sectors of wafer cleaning systems and scrubbers and total installed base exceeds 7,500 units.
SCREEN is regularly awarded by users of our equipment that also testify to the excellent reputation. For example, in December 2015 SCREEN has been honored with "Excellent Performance in Clean and Track Equipment" by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world's largest semiconductor manufacturing foundry. TSMC highlighted SCREEN's SU-3200 single wafer cleaner and SOKUDO DUO lithography photoresist coat/develop track platform introduction in 10 nm/7 nm node research and development as well as achievements in enabling 20 nm-to-16 nm node manufacturing technology transition. SCREEN also has been received Intel Corporation's Preferred Quality Supplier (PQS) award in 2015 for significant contributions providing Intel with Wafer Cleaning and Anneal equipment and services for semiconductor manufacturing
What innovations by SCREEN you can particularly note?
One example is SCREEN's single-wafer cleaning equipment, the SU-3200. It delivers the industry’s best productivity by using a perfect balance of high-speed cleaning capacity and highly stable processing. It has multiple process chambers, allowing each wafer to be treated individually with its own dedicated recipe based on incoming layer thicknesses, the desired surface condition to be achieved and a predictive etch model. Key advantages of the system include highly uniform chamber-to-chamber processing and cycle times for robust results, tight control of layer thicknesses, the elimination of defects and metal contamination and high productivity enabled by a versatile chemical-supply system. SU-3200 is compatible with nano process for 28 nm node and lower. It provides throughput of up to 800 WPH. The leading world's semiconductor manufacturers use this system.
What are the goals of the agreement with Soitec and how do you assess the prospects of FD-SOI technology?
FD-SOI technology requires extremely high precision of the surface layer of depleted silicon. Soitec and SCREEN have jointly developed a high-volume process to achieve atomic-scale uniformity of ±5 angstroms across the surface of 300-mm FD-SOI wafers. Using this development Soitec plans to establish production of wafers for 14 nm FD-SOI node.
What is the sales and service strategy of SCREEN in Russia?
Russia is important for SCREEN and we´re happy to serve the Russian market through our highly skilled EU-sales and -service team, which includes Service-Engineers based in Moscow area. We believe in the high potential of the Russian market.