Toshiki Kawai, Representative Director, President & CEO
On average, foundries take about three months to turn mirror-smooth silicon wafers into layered semiconductors due to the intricate nature of the chips, and establishing new fabs will take years. The current market is experiencing a chip scarcity. There is no quick solution to this problem, however it is mandatory for device manufacturers to use efficient production equipment that produces chips while maintaining high quality with good yields. Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL) – semiconductor production equipment (SPE) manufacturer – by comprehending the market’s need for faster delivery of chips, offers a broad lineup of equipment, reliable service and support to customers and helps them improve their semiconductor devices’ efficiency and quality.
High productivity, utilization, and quality are critical aspects for semiconductor device manufacturer to achieve maximum product output, which is why TEL provides dedicated and professionally qualified field engineers to handle a customer’s field solutions service and product demands. TEL provides lifetime support to keep a customer’s new, mature, or old systems working at their maximum efficiency in the dynamic and ever-changing business environment of the semiconductor equipment sector. “We will improve corporate value by contributing to the semiconductor industry and the growth of the dream-inspiring society through our leading-edge technologies and reliable service and support,” states Toshiki Kawai, President and CEO of TEL.
Due to the expanding application of semiconductor devices, TEL continuously invents and enhances its product portfolio and offers high value-added process tools tailored to a customer. At the same time, it also provides high-quality technical services contributing toward the manufacturing equipment’s uptime ratio and ultimately improving semiconductor devices. TEL collaborates with customers to provide timely solutions and allows them to develop up to four to five generations of products through its next-generation manufacturing tools.
A Global Leader in the SPE Market
Manufacturing a good quality semiconductor revolves around four continuous, vital processes–film depositions, lithography, and etching and cleaning– all of which are crucial in creating patterns on a wafer and enhancing the performance of a developed device. TEL is the only SPE manufacturer globally with tools that perform all the mandatory manufacturing processes, thereby making it a forefront runner on the global SPE market.
The company’s vast experience in successfully assisting clients by providing high-quality technical services and contributing to improving equipment uptime ratios establishes it as a market leader. Its long-standing experience in developing technology and its excellent history make it a trustworthy and irreplaceable strategic partner for customers.
Moreover, along with a broad lineup of equipment, TEL’s strong financial position enables it to continuously invest in R&D to improve its product lineup. Its significant R&D and production sites are mainly located domestically in Japan–a market in which TEL’s employee turnover ratio is less than one per cent, which is reliable material for customers from the viewpoint of information security that manages technical information.
TEL’s technique to manage the behavior of particles in plasma etch processes is one of the company’s many innovations, which has resulted in considerable reductions in semiconductor device failure rates. TEL can reduce defectivity output from its equipment by implementing this technology to newly launched products and existing equipment through retrofitting, considerably decreasing the loss of resources and energy that happens in the manufacturing process.
We will improve corporate value by contributing to the semiconductor industry and the growth of the dream-inspiring society through our leading-edge technologies and reliable service and support
TEL, for example, created a method to suppress particles produced by turbomolecular pumps used in vacuum units for plasma etch and other systems, as well as a technology to reduce particles caused by improper maintenance. It subsequently adopted several particle reduction methods in its semiconductor fab plasma etch systems. The result was that the average number of particles on a wafer was decreased from 12 (maximum 52) to 1 or fewer in average of one operation, a significant improvement. TEL has been spreading information on particle reduction methods through academic talks and papers worldwide and has won three Best Paper Awards at the International Symposium on Semiconductor
Tailored Solutions to Help Customers Overcome Challenges
The following customer experiences highlight the effectiveness of TEL’s tools and how they benefited from the company’s cutting-edge semiconductor manufacturing technology. One of its customers, which manufactured wafers, needed a comprehensive solution realized by co-optimization between an etching process and a cleaning process. TEL supported them by proposing an ideal and unique multi-functional solution from its own etching and cleaning equipment. After utilizing the company’s advanced manufacturing tools, their device yield enhanced drastically, to the customer’s surprise. Demonstrating yet another example of TEL’s competence is a scenario in which it helped multiple DRAM manufacturers.
They all had a common challenge when manufacturing the device: the pattern of the DRAM’s capacitor collapses when cleaned with standard chemicals. Owing to TEL’s supercritical dry technology–capable of addressing the high surface tension–the manufacturers could manufacture the leading-edge DRAM devices without any complication or compromise on the product.
The technological demands on semiconductors such as larger capacity, higher speed, higher reliability, and lower power-consumption are limitless. Over the past years, TEL has increased sales due to its cutting-edge technology required for the data-driven society and the active implementation of ICT. With a solid motivation to promote the semiconductor technology innovations, TEL has shipped globally over 82,000 of its products which is industry’s largest install base. TEL also has a market share of about 89% in the coater/developer.
Specifically they have 100% market share of coater/developer for EUV lithography. “Virtually, every semiconductor in the world passes through our systems,” proudly states Toshiki. With its cutting-edge technology and superior technical services for clients, TEL is poised to seize the market for the next ten years and more and contribute to industries and create a dream-inspiring society.
A Trustworthy SPE Partner
Virtually,every semiconductor in the world passes through our systems
TEL assists a customer in increasing production and yield by continuously researching new technologies and refining its solution while also anticipating future issues and tailoring a solution for them. To uphold its commitment to customers, it offers a proposal for future technologies and advice on improving and extending the lifetime of their existing manufacturing lines, which builds a relationship of trust with them unlike any other. TEL also works hard to expand the market it serves and focuses on areas where its technological advantages can be leveraged to improve its global footprint. To further help the semiconductor production equipment market, TEL leverages its rich experience in the market and its broad product lineup and combines them to create a unique, comprehensive product.
TEL is contributing to the industry-wide effort to reduce the strain on the earth’s environment by leading the way in introducing environmentally friendly semiconductor production equipment to the market. TEL will bring more efficiency to semiconductor production processes while being less stressful on the environment, undertaking the building of a carbon-free society. TEL has been actively endeavoring to preserve the global environment throughout the supply chain as an industry leader. It will continue to collaborate with semiconductor manufacturers worldwide to develop environmentally friendly semiconductor manufacturing processes that will benefit the whole industry.