A matter of the right equipment

Publish Date

05 SEP 2020


Kai Beckmann


The increasingly complex development of semiconductors requires not only innovative, high-performance materials but also the right equipment for safe and reliable distribution, processing and storage of these specialty chemicals and gases in the fabs.

Our Delivery Systems & Services (DS&S) business at EMD Electronics is one of the world’s leading suppliers of high-tech equipment and services for the industry.

Enormous increase in complexity

Following the successful acquisitions of Versum Materials and Intermolecular and the subsequent go-live of our Semiconductor Solutions organization this summer, we repositioned Electronics towards the electronics’ market and significantly expanded our portfolio once again. The digital transformation is substantially enabled through our Semiconductor Solutions and Display Solutions business units and capabilities. Applications such as Big Data, Internet of Things and AI require semiconductors with ever-increasing computing power and complexity. Developing these devices requires the right materials and specialty chemicals. EMD Electronics is therefore collaborating with the world’s largest technology companies to develop new generations of semiconductors.

But merely supplying innovative gases and chemicals is not sufficient. Our customers increasingly seek holistic solutions. Let me explain what I mean by that. The digital transformation and rapid developments in the tech industry led to an exponential increase in the complexity of semiconductors and their manufacturing processes. While approximately 1,000 process steps were needed to produce a chip ten years ago, this number has now increased to over 2,000. At the same time, semiconductor development has been characterized by increasing miniaturization. Nowadays, we see the development of modern chip architectures in the nanometer range.

The safe delivery and storage of chemicals is criticalDue to this extreme sensitivity of our customers’ intricate devices, logistics has become a critical link in the value chain. Chip manufacturing has almost no error tolerance in the materials, so the process parameters must be meticulously maintained.
Therefore, our business at Electronics extends well beyond the production of gases and chemicals. Our Semiconductor Solutions consist of two dedicated business units. Semiconductor Materials develops and distributes the materials needed for the semiconductor production, while DS&S focuses on the development of semiconductor equipment for manufacturers to safely remove the materials from their containers in the factory and get them to the process equipment where the “magic” happens.

“Safe” is the keyword! Our DS&S business unit is about providing safety systems managed by safety people to handle semiconductor and display solutions safely. With almost 900 global employees in the USA, China, South Korea and Taiwan, our DS&S team is geographically positioned near our largest semiconductor customers to provide best-in-class service and expertise.

Safety is our product

Because of the sensitivity of the materials required for semiconductor production, reliable distribution and storage of these often hazardous and highly reactive chemicals within the manufacturers’ factories are essential. And that’s what our DS&S solutions provide. Our equipment can be integrated seamlessly into the manufacturing processes of our customers. We supply semiconductor fab and sub-fab solutions to the worldwide electronics industry, as part of a global operations infrastructure. Our team of experts works on-site to move sensitive gases and liquids safely and reliably between manufacturing steps at our customer fabs and to store these chemicals in a safe and cost-efficient manner.

But what does a safe and reliable distribution of chemicals mean? Firstly, our delivery systems allow manufacturers to maintain a high level of chemical purity required in the production process of semiconductors and prevent chemicals from getting contaminated. With our solutions, relevant material delivery parameters, like the pressure or temperature, can be controlled and stabilized very precisely, and leaks can be detected automatically. Essentially, we are guarding molecules. In doing so, we also ensure the health and safety of employees by protecting them from hazardous chemicals. And of course, DS&S also supports its customers in installing, operating and maintaining the equipment. We have people that show up every day to help our customers handle the materials that flow through their plants.

Innovation in two ways

The semiconductor market is characterized by short innovation cycles. Continuous improvement is a necessity for us. As semiconductor materials are ever-evolving, we take pride in acting with urgency to collaborate with our customers to develop systems to push innovation forward. On the other hand, our technologies are also used to develop new semiconductor materials and test new formulations. We thus drive innovation in two ways.

Looking into the future, we strive to make use of relevant technology trends like Big Data and automation to improve our products and services further. For example, we use automated data analysis systems for our transport containers to enable precise monitoring of different parameters, such as the degree of dryness or the rate of helium leakage. With our integrated portfolio of high-performance materials and specialized delivery solutions, we are poised to support the developments in the electronics industry and advance digital living.

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