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Can TSMC Samsung build a production line without us equipment for Huawei?

via:CnBeta     time:2020/5/27 0:21:18     readed:634

According to Taiwan Economic Daily, Huawei is trying to persuade TSMC and Samsung to build an advanced manufacturing line based on non-U.S. devices, i.e. there is no U.S. semiconductor equipment, so Huawei's self-developed chips can be successfully produced without the influence of the U.S. ban, in order to avoid the restrictions on the manufacture of self-developed chips imposed by the newly upgraded export control measures of the United States.

According to the data, among the top five equipment manufacturers in the world, American application materials (AMA) company ranks first with 17.72% market share, American pan forest group (Lam research, also known as Lam Research) ranks fourth with 13.4% market share, American KLA Tencor ranks fifth with 5.19% market share, and the three companies together account for 36.31% market share in the world.

According to the world's top ten semiconductor equipment manufacturers ranked by sales volume in 2019 released by VLSI research, the US based semiconductor industry research company, it is still the No. 1 application material manufacturer in the US, No. 4 in Fanlin semiconductor industry and No. 5 in Kelei industry. In addition, the US based terida is also the top 10 semiconductor equipment manufacturer in the world.

From the perspective of all kinds of key equipment involved in semiconductor manufacturing, the four major semiconductor equipment manufacturers in the United States, application materials, Fanlin group, Kelei and Terada, cover most of the semiconductor equipment except for photolithography and gelatinization development equipment.

According to semi data, more than 70% of the equipment is wafer manufacturing equipment. Take a wafer factory with an investment scale of 1.5 billion US dollars as an example, 70% of the investment of the wafer factory is used to purchase equipment (about 1 billion US dollars). In wafer manufacturing equipment, photolithography, etching and film deposition equipment are the core equipment, accounting for about 30%, 25% and 25% of wafer manufacturing links respectively.

In the photolithography equipment market, ASML, a Dutch company, has an absolute advantage with a market share of 73.5%, while Nikon and Canon have a small share. At present, ASML is the only manufacturer that can provide EUV lithography machine. In the etching equipment market, it is mainly composed of Pan Lin group, Tokyo electronics and application materials. In the film deposition equipment market, it belongs to the traditional advantage field of application materials, with a market share of more than 30%.

Let's see in detail:

1. Applied Materials

The products of applied materials mainly cover film deposition (CVD, PVD, etc.), ion implantation, etching, rapid heat treatment, chemical mechanical leveling (CMP), Metrological Inspection and other equipment.

According to the information network, the share of Applied Materials in the field of deposition was 38% in 2018. In addition, data shows that in the global PVD (physical vapor deposition) equipment market, the application materials have nearly 55% of the market share, and in the global CVD (chemical vapor deposition) equipment market share has reached nearly 30%; in the CMP market, the application materials share is as high as 70%.

In the field of etching equipment, applied materials also have a large market share. At present, plasma etching technology mainly consists of ICP, TCP and CCP, with very similar effect. ICP is developed by application materials, TCP is developed by ram, and CCP is common in Tokyo electronic etching equipment.

In terms of effect, the plasma density and energy controllability of TCP and ICP are better than that of CCP. At present, the ICP technology of materials used in these three technologies is more used and becomes the development direction of the new generation of etchers.

2. Pan forest group

Pan Lin Group also known as Ram Research, its products mainly include etching equipment, film deposition (Deposition—CVD/ECD/ALD) equipment, as well as photoresist and cleaning (Strip)

In 2017, the sales volume of etching equipment accounts for about 45% of the global market share, ranking first in the world, of which conductor etching accounts for more than 50% of the global market share, ranking first in the world; medium etching accounts for more than 20% of the global market share, ranking second in the world; CVD accounts for about 20% of the global market share, ranking third in the world.

Fanlin group has many cutting-edge technologies and can provide a variety of cutting-edge products. The ALD technology used in film deposition equipment is the most advanced technology at present. Among them, Altus Maxe series adopts the industry's first low fluorine tungsten (LFW) ALD process. Compared with traditional CVD tungsten filling, Altus Max e series product process can reduce the detected fluorine by 100 times and the internal stress by 10 times This technology has been leading the industry for 15 years in a row and is regarded as the industry benchmark of tungsten atomic layer deposition.

In the etching equipment, Fanlin group has mastered the most advanced ale technology of silicon etching technology at present. This technology can realize directional etching or isotropic peer etching, achieve the highest selection ratio in the industry, and achieve atomic level change control. According to its experts, ale is the only way to enable some integrated process steps to be etched at 7Nm and 5nm.

From the source of revenue, according to pan Lin's 2018 earnings report, the revenue from Korean manufacturers accounted for 34.6%, followed by Japan's share of 17%, China's share of 16.11%, and Taiwan's share of 12.62%.

3. Kelei

Kelei company mainly provides solutions for the former process control and yield management of semiconductor, data storage, led and other related nano electronic industries. Since its establishment, Kelei has been deeply engaged in the semiconductor front channel measurement equipment industry. At present, its product categories have covered all kinds of front channel optical and electron beam measurement equipment in the processing process.

With its efficient and accurate performance characteristics, Kelei has an absolute leading position in the field of semiconductor detection and measurement equipment. Samsung Electronics, TSMC, Intel and SMIC are all its customers.

The main enterprises in the field of global semiconductor front detection equipment include Kelei, application materials, Hitachi, nano, Nova, etc. According to the 2018 semi data, Kelei accounts for 52% of the total, ranking first in the industry, ranking as the leader in the field of semiconductor testing equipment, followed by application materials accounting for 12%, with the total market share of the two US manufacturers reaching 64%.

In terms of specific products, Kelei has a wide range of products, including defect detection, overlay, CD measurement, film thickness, etc., application materials mainly include defect detection and review, CD measurement, etc., while Hitachi mainly includes CD-SEM measurement, defect detection, etc.

4. Tirida

Tirida mainly provides advanced testing solutions for semiconductor, electronic system, wireless equipment and other fields, which can ensure that the products run according to the design standards. It mainly covers semiconductor back-end test equipment.

According to Gartner's data, in the global semiconductor back-end automation test equipment market, in 1994, Terada accounted for nearly 50% of the market, and by 2009, its share had further increased to about 57%.

In terms of the customer structure of Terada, in recent years, the customers whose single customer has generated more than 10% of the revenue in that year includeAppleCompany, TSMC, etc.

According to the annual report of Teradyne, the company's revenue from TSMC accounted for 12% - 13% in 2016-2017. Considering the direct purchase and indirect purchase through the agent factory and the seal test factory, the proportion of the revenue of an OEM customer in the total revenue of Teradyne in 2014-2016 reached 22%, 23% and 25%, including the sales through TSMC and JA Mitsui leasing.

In recent two years, the demand from Huawei has been growing rapidly. According to the 2019 annual report of Terada, the sales revenue from Huawei (including direct procurement, as well as procurement through representative factories and sealed testing factories) accounted for 1%, 4% and 11% respectively in 2017-2019. Based on the revenue of USD 2.295 billion in 2019, the company's sales revenue from Huawei reached USD 252 million in 2019.

From the above introduction to the four major semiconductor equipment manufacturers in the United States, it is easy to see that in the field of semiconductor equipment, the four American manufacturers have a high market share in their respective fields of focus, and TSMC, Samsung and other wafer generation factories are also their main customers.

Of course, this doesn't mean that it's impossible for a wafer factory to build a semiconductor production line without us equipment. After all, in the key photolithography field, it's mainly supplied by ASML in the Netherlands and Nikon and Canon in Japan. Moreover, among the top 15 semiconductor equipment manufacturers, Japanese enterprises account for as many as 8.

However, it is extremely difficult to build a semiconductor equipment production line that has no US equipment and can produce 10 / 7 / 5nm advanced process technology.

Application materials, Fanlin group and Kelei, the three American semiconductor equipment manufacturers, have long occupied the top five equipment manufacturers in the world, and are widely used by TSMC, Samsung and other wafer factories. They are also competing for the technical leadership and stability of their products.

This can be seen from the large equipment purchase order issued by SMIC international. In the past year, SMIC has purchased 620 million US dollars and 601 million US dollars of machinery and equipment from American applied materials company and Fanlin group respectively for the mass production of 14nm.

Why does SMIC not purchase Japanese, domestic and other non US equipment? The answer is clear: Applied Materials and equipment of Fanlin group have more advantages, which is certainly not price.

Let's take a step back. Even if Samsung can really build an advanced manufacturing line without American devices, it must include Japanese devices (among the top 15 semiconductor device manufacturers, Japan occupies 8).

The Japanese government, however, has always been the only American. At a time when U.S. sanctions against Huawei continue to escalate, Japanese semiconductor equipment manufacturers may also have to take into account the attitude of the U.S. government. After all, some components of Japanese semiconductor equipment manufacturers' equipment are also supplied by the United States.

Take the most critical equipment in the advanced manufacturing process, the lithography machine, as an example. At present, ASML is the only one in the Netherlands, but the core component of its lithography machine, the light source system, is exclusively supplied by Cymer in the United States.

Some semiconductor equipment manufacturers also believe that even if Samsung and TSMC have the ability to build an advanced manufacturing line without us based equipment, they dare not rush to take orders from Huawei Hisilicon at this time.

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