Industry sources say Japan-based semiconductor material suppliers are facing a decline in sales in the second half of the year amid weakening demand for consumer applications, but many still have production in Taiwan and Japan and are expanding their capacity.

One of the steps in wafer fabrication

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical has seen shipments of commodity BT resin for IC substrates needed to process low-end smartphones and TV chips drop every month since May this year, and another manufacturer, JSR, has seen its logistics slowdown due to COVID. The stagnation led to lower shipments in the second quarter. Lockdowns in China and a reversal in demand for memory and CMOS image sensor applications are also putting pressure on the company’s annual earnings performance, sources said, citing Japanese news media reports.

Mitsui Chemicals had little impact on sales of wafer backgrinding protection tapes in the second quarter, but they are likely to decline in the second half due to customer destocking, sources said.

Despite short-term fluctuations in semiconductor demand, many Japanese semiconductor material makers remain optimistic about long-term demand and are therefore still undertaking capacity expansion investment projects.

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Photomask production facility

Toppan Photomask, a subsidiary of Toppan Printing Co., Ltd., has decided to expand facilities worth 20 billion yen (US$150 million) in Taiwan and Japan in fiscal year 2023 (April 2023 to March 2024). He aims to raise sub-40nm photomask production capacity by 20% from 2020 levels. The company’s photomasks are used by major foundries in Taiwan and the United States.

Dai Nippon Printing (DNP) also announced plans to invest approximately 10 billion yen to expand its photomask production lines in Taiwan, Japan and China.

As a supplier of high dielectric materials, ADEKA is building a new fab at its manufacturing facility in South Korea, aiming to double its production capacity there. The Japanese manufacturer also just started construction of a new factory in southern Taiwan at a total cost of 2.5 billion yen to produce silicon wafer wiring materials used in sub-5nm chips. It will go into commercial production. 2024.

Mitsubishi Chemical will increase the production capacity of high-purity sulfuric acid at its Taiwan plant by 1.5 times, and Tokuyama’s new Taiwan plant will start mass production of isopropyl alcohol (IPA) with a purity of 99.99% or higher for wafers in 2022.

By Chiang, Jen-Chieh. Source