2017 Outlook: Lithography Materials Support Growth in China

January 31,2017
Shuji Ding-Lee, Ph.D. Global Business Director for Litho Technologies, Dow Electronic Materials

At the start of the new year, many industry leaders are asked about their perspectives on the market outlook, trends to watch, and what to expect in the year ahead. Shuji Ding-Lee, Ph.D., Global Business Director for Litho Technologies, is one of the leaders from Dow Electronic Materials who voiced her thoughts on the semiconductor market for 2017.

Ding-Lee contributed to an upcoming roundup for Semiconductor Manufacturing China, so the following comments focus primarily on growth in the Chinese integrated circuit (IC) market and the impacts for the photolithography business. Find perspectives related to other segments from Dow leaders in related Connectivity posts.

Q: How does the semiconductor market look for 2017, and what trends will we see in China’s semiconductor industry?

A: 2017 is a promising year for the semiconductor industry. Last year, the industry started out with soft demand globally, but that strengthened in the second half of 2016, and this is expected to continue into 2017. In China, that momentum is building even faster than in other parts of the world, particularly in advanced logic and DRAM development, as well as 3D NAND flash technology capabilities. For evidence of this, just look at the new fabs under construction and capacity expansions, supporting nodes ranging from 90nm down to 14nm.

We're also beginning to see more local expertise emerging throughout the country. Local technical teams are needed to develop and design chips at advanced nodes, as well as to scale those processes to high-volume manufacturing. Manufacturers are also relying on support from material and equipment suppliers for success. For example, advanced nodes rely on advanced lithography processes like multiple patterning, which requires innovative lithography materials. Our Dow Electronic Materials team has invested heavily in technology innovation, and we offer the most comprehensive portfolio of photoresist product lines to support both lithography patterning for mature nodes as well as enabling processes for advanced nodes. A variety of solutions, including trilayer photoresists, 193 immersion photoresists, silicon anti-reflective coatings (ARCs), spin-on carbon (SOC), thick KrF resists and planarizing materials, can be used to support advanced node manufacturing.

As China’s IC industry continues to expand, demands will be higher on all parts of the ecosystem, including materials suppliers. Dow Electronic Materials’ technical sales and support experts are located near some of the biggest manufacturing areas in China, and we are ready to support the rapid growth through local collaboration. The Chinese semiconductor market is scaling and competing with the worldwide leaders, which means IC fab manufacturers can expect the competition to get tougher. Partnering with experienced suppliers with advanced technology is key to helping manufacturers differentiate themselves and grow.

For more information about Dow's solutions for the lithography market, see our product portfolio here.

Shuji Ding-Lee, Ph.D. Global Business Director for Litho Technologies, Dow Electronic Materials

At the start of the new year, many industry leaders are asked about their perspectives on the market outlook, trends to watch, and what to expect in the year ahead. Shuji Ding-Lee, Ph.D., Global Business Director for Litho Technologies, is one of the leaders from Dow Electronic Materials who voiced her thoughts on the semiconductor market for 2017.

Ding-Lee contributed to an upcoming roundup for Semiconductor Manufacturing China, so the following comments focus primarily on growth in the Chinese integrated circuit (IC) market and the impacts for the photolithography business. Find perspectives related to other segments from Dow leaders in related Connectivity posts.

Q: How does the semiconductor market look for 2017, and what trends will we see in China’s semiconductor industry?

A: 2017 is a promising year for the semiconductor industry. Last year, the industry started out with soft demand globally, but that strengthened in the second half of 2016, and this is expected to continue into 2017. In China, that momentum is building even faster than in other parts of the world, particularly in advanced logic and DRAM development, as well as 3D NAND flash technology capabilities. For evidence of this, just look at the new fabs under construction and capacity expansions, supporting nodes ranging from 90nm down to 14nm.

We're also beginning to see more local expertise emerging throughout the country. Local technical teams are needed to develop and design chips at advanced nodes, as well as to scale those processes to high-volume manufacturing. Manufacturers are also relying on support from material and equipment suppliers for success. For example, advanced nodes rely on advanced lithography processes like multiple patterning, which requires innovative lithography materials. Our Dow Electronic Materials team has invested heavily in technology innovation, and we offer the most comprehensive portfolio of photoresist product lines to support both lithography patterning for mature nodes as well as enabling processes for advanced nodes. A variety of solutions, including trilayer photoresists, 193 immersion photoresists, silicon anti-reflective coatings (ARCs), spin-on carbon (SOC), thick KrF resists and planarizing materials, can be used to support advanced node manufacturing.

As China’s IC industry continues to expand, demands will be higher on all parts of the ecosystem, including materials suppliers. Dow Electronic Materials’ technical sales and support experts are located near some of the biggest manufacturing areas in China, and we are ready to support the rapid growth through local collaboration. The Chinese semiconductor market is scaling and competing with the worldwide leaders, which means IC fab manufacturers can expect the competition to get tougher. Partnering with experienced suppliers with advanced technology is key to helping manufacturers differentiate themselves and grow.

For more information about Dow's solutions for the lithography market, see our product portfolio here.