Supply chain
Entegris opens research and engineering facility in Taiwan, aims to establish advanced technical expertise and capability locally
Press release

To further tap into Taiwan's market potential, Entegris, the leading global provider of advanced filtration and wafer handling products used in demanding manufacturing environments, has announced the opening of new manufacturing and research facility in Hsinchu Science Park, Taiwan on October 20. Honorable guests from Hsinchu City Government, TSMC, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and Hsinchu Management Office National Science Council officiated and jointly celebrated the important milestone for the company. With the establishment of the new facility, Entegris aims to expand its existing services and support to local customers, as well as to extend its ability to address to growth opportunities in the semiconductor, solar, energy storage, and other emerging markets throughout Asia.

Substainable R&D efforts to overcome the challenges of cutting edge processes

"For more than 40 years, contamination control being our core competence, Entegris has served a wide range of high-technology companies in the semiconductor, LED, solar, TFT-LCD, OEMs, semiconductor equipment, and chemical industries," Gideon Argov, President and CEO of Entegris, commented. "Approximately 70% of our sales are derived from semiconductor-related customers."

"As process technology moves towards 28nm and 20nm nodes, the number of chemicals used in semiconductor process has substantially increased from a dozen to more than 30," Argov stated. "With the escalating chemistry complexity, the importance of filtration and purification technology also increases, in a bid to lower the impact on yields caused by contamination."

Entegris has three business units: Contamination Control Solutions, Microenvironments, and Specialty Materials. With advanced material science as its base, the company offers comprehensive solutions to meet the increasingly challenging manufacturing environment requirements. Sales of its core Contamination Control Solutions unit amounts for around US$500M; the Microenvironments unit, which mainly provides wafer shipping products, has US$200M; the Specialty Materials, which develops emerging materials, such graphite, special coating, and silicon carbide, is around US$80M.

"We have a very broad product portfolios serving a broad set of customers, with no single customer accounting for over 7% of our revenue. The breadth of product and technology portfolio is actually a competitive advantage, since it is enabling us to develop some very unique solutions for the market," Argov stated. "We also have a major exposure to Asia manufactures, as 57% of our revenue comes from customers in Japan, Taiwan, China, Korea, and Southeast Asia. The balance of our business in terms of geography, 29% are to the US accounts and 14% to Europe."

In 2010 Entegris reported record high sales and is on track to achieve another record year in 2011. Argov attributed the good performance to continuous investment into R&D. "Despite of the downturn in 2009, we did not cut back on our R&D expenditure. That's why we can keep up with our customer's advanced technology demands," he explained. Meanwhile, Entegris partners with industry leaders in the semiconductor and other high-tech industries to ensure that its customers can take full advantage of the latest advances in contamination control and filtration. In addition to its strategic partners, Entegris is also an active member of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductor (ITRS), participating in the creation of specifications, standards, and practices for the improvement of high-technology industries..

Today, Entegris' filtration technology is successfully applied in the development and volume production at the 28nm technology node. Argov believes that as the semiconductor industry moves down its roadmap to the 20nm node, Entegris will be able to gain more market share - with its leading technology.

As the industry begins to migrate to 450mm wafer and EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet Light) lithography technology, Entegris is also playing a key role. The company announced plans to open an advanced technology manufacturing facility in Colorado Springs, for production of 450mm semiconductor wafer handling products and Extreme Ultraviolet Light (EUV) reticle pods. According to Argov, its 450mm MAC (Multiple Application Carrier) is currently in testing phase, and shipments will start in 2012.

While the investment in specialty materials is aimed to expand Entegris' business opportunities in solar and LED markets. "Though the solar industry is facing some difficulties right now, there is a lot of room to grow," Argov stated. "There is a lack of consistent technology and manufacturing standards. The industry requires new technologies and materials to improve overall product performance, that creates many opportunities for us."

Providing more responsive services and support locally

Taiwan is a major manufacturing center for the global semiconductor industry, which accounted for 16% of Entegris' total sales in 2010 fiscal year, or nearly $110 million USD, reached record levels. It is a clear and timely decision for Entegris, which has had a presence in Taiwan since the 1990's, to setup a research and manufacturing facility here.

"Our key strategic customers, as well as advanced technology demands, are here," Argov said. "Positioning the site in the Hsinchu Science Park in close proximity the world largest and most advanced semiconductor makers will enable Entegris to support these customers with locally produced product. This will also facilitate the joint development of new technologies needed to support current and future generations of semiconductor manufacturing processes."

Entegris already has various sales and service offices in Hsinchu, Taichung, and Tainan. When the new site is fully operational, the company will employ approximately 160 highly skilled people in a variety of roles, including manufacturing, sales, service, and engineering.

The 1,887 square meter new facility will manufacture Planargard® NMB filters for CMP slurry applications and Solaris® filters used in copper process and shallow trench isolation for CMP slurry filtration. It also offers Advanced Material Solutions from Entegris specialty coatings, including electrostatic chuck refurbishment services with OEM-level quality and performance; vacuum deposited coatings (PECVD and PVD) and solutions for semiconductor and industrial applications; and materials science based solutions for micro and nano level contamination control, wear protection and corrosion resistance.

In addition, the Asia Applications Development Laboratory (AADL) can now provide world class and sophisticated analytical and evaluation laboratory services for liquid filters/filtration and purification for photolithography, CMP and wet etch and clean applications in semiconductor and beyond.

Furthermore, in order to meet the process requirements for 28nm and 20nm, Entegris decided to setup the second production line of AMC (Air Borne Molecular Control) for stepper from its original facility in Massachusetts in an effort to support local customers.

Entegris also has manufacturing facilities in US, Malaysia and Japan. With the new facility in Taiwan, Entegris will be able to expand its reach and services to Asia market.

"The new site reflects our commitment to be close to customers in Taiwan and around Asia. We can develop solutions to meet customers' demands only by fully understand their requirements," Argov stressed. "In addition to semiconductor industry, Taiwan also plays an important role in global solar and LED industries. We hope the establishment of this new facility can help facilitate more joint development opportunities for us thereby creating a win-win situation for both our customers and Entegris."

Planargard® is the registered trademark of Entegris Inc.
Solaris® is the registered trademark of Entegris Inc.

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