Semiconductor-related product operations to be transferred from France to Japan

15 December 2008


Full-scale entry into Asia-centered markets aims at starting sales of domestic-made plasma emission spectrometry end point monitors to manufacturers of semiconductor manufacturing equipment and for semiconductor production lines, contributing to increasing productivity in the semiconductor dry process.

Our company will transfer development/production/sales operations for plasma emission spectrometry end point monitors (EV-140C) from HORIBA Jobin Yvon in France to our company in Japan by the eginning of next year as the target time. Plasma monitors are intended for the real-time monitoring of optimum timing in the dry etching process, and they have been produced by HORIBA Jobin Yvon, whose principal technologies are destined for semiconductor fields. The product is used for incorporation into dry process fabrication equipment and to enhance productivity on production lines. At present, over 70% of semiconductor- and FPD-related production centers are in the Asia region encompassing Taiwan and the Republic of Korea. For this reason, carrying out development, production and sales seamlessly in Japan, close to users, will help us establish a framework to quickly respond to the ever diversifying needs of our customers; under the contemplated framework, we aim at obtaining a market share of 20% in five years.

What is the meaning of the term "end point" in the dry etching process?

The dry process is one of the steps in the semiconductor fabrication process that forms circuits on a wafer. The dry process includes a dry etching step, in which a reactive gas is activated to a plasma to perform etching. In the dry etching step, judgment of whether etching has penetrated to the specified depth is often made through time control based on an empirical rule. As wafer diameters are upsized toward 300 millimeters, the technology is gaining greater importance in stopping the reaction at an optimum point. Then, improving the production yield requires a technology to detect, in real time, the point in time at which optimum etching has been completed (the end point).

Our plasma emission spectrometry end point monitor

This is a product equipped, at its core, with optical components from HORIBA Jobin Yvon, a top optical-system brand with the highest reliability in the world. The product comes standard with an optical system producing a brightness four times as intense as its counterparts from other makers, achieving industry-leading precision and stability and thereby contributing to enhancing the productivity of semiconductor production lines.

Object of transferring the company responsible for the product from France to Japan

Over 70% of semiconductor-fabrication equipment manufacturers and semiconductor production lines, which are the customers for this product, centers in the Asia region encompassing Japan, Taiwan and the Republic of Korea. For this reason, we are transferring the company responsible for the product from HORIBA Jobin Yvon in France to an operating center in Japan, where, favored by a geographical advantage, it will be easier to respond to customer needs quickly. With two staff members added to our development team dedicated to this product in 2006, we have been carrying out the development work on this product using optical components and software algorithms from HORIBA Jobin Yvon. Operations that include the stages from production to sales are next to be transferred.

Specification

Wavelength range:

200 nm to 800 nm

Detector:

Inside-face incidence type, 2048-channel CCD linear sensor

Outside dimensions:

137 × 257 × 156 mm

Mass:

4.0 kg