Northern Microelectronics: a new star in domestic semiconductor equipment

China's semiconductor equipment industry has emerged on the world stage. This is the result of national support and continuous innovation in China's microelectronics equipment industry. North Microelectronics is the leader among Chinese microelectronic equipment manufacturers. The ELEDETM330, which was developed and produced by North Microelectronics, was sold as the first ICP etching equipment directly in the LED production line in China. This is a successful expansion of the northern microelectronics semiconductor device technology in the LED field, and also marks the domestic LED equipment has been recognized by mainstream production lines, which has effectively promoted the localization of high-end LED equipment. Zhao Jinrong, president of Northern Microelectronics, said that he hopes that this dialogue will enhance the confidence of the LED manufacturing industry in local equipment. Zhao Jinrong firmly believes that the equipment manufactured in China will definitely occupy the mainstream position in the LED field.

Domestic equipment will definitely dominate the LED industry

High-tech LED: In terms of core production equipment in the LED field, China has been in a relatively backward situation. Compared with international mainstream equipment, there are still gaps in technology and quality of domestic equipment, and the market share is low. What are the key factors?

Zhao Jinrong: Equipment is the materialization of process technology, a generation of process technology, creating a generation of process equipment. There is indeed a gap between domestically produced equipment and international mainstream equipment. However, at present, the gap between equipment manufacturing technology, quality assurance, reliability and stability is far from that of foreign mainstream manufacturers. With the elimination of import restrictions on key components, the reliability of domestically produced equipment has also increased significantly. In addition, control technology and software technology have more capabilities and trends. The main reason for the low domestic production of domestic equipment is that China is still in the process of tracking and starting the chip manufacturing process technology, and it is still not leading the world. Therefore, the equipment selection is mainly based on mature foreign technology and equipment. As the technology of China's LED chip factory continues to mature, the dependence on foreign technology will gradually decrease, and domestically produced equipment will gradually become the mainstream.

High-tech LED: What is the development status of core production equipment in China's LED field?

Zhao Jinrong: At present, China's LED industry has just emerged. There is still a considerable gap between process technology and international advanced level. Technology is mainly tracked. Of course, equipment selection is dominated by international mainstream mature equipment manufacturers. In recent years, with the vigorous development of China's LED industry, a large number of very good equipment companies have entered the field, including MOCVD equipment. There are already several powerful equipment companies, scientific research institutions and chip factories in China. I believe that one As long as the industry and a technology are given enough attention, extensive attention and support, and through unremitting efforts, there will be progress, and success is only a matter of time.

Where are the advantages of local equipment?

High-tech LED: Local equipment still has the advantages that can not be ignored, such as close contact with customers, thoughtful service, etc. Since the technology gap with foreign mainstream equipment is not very large, customers who choose domestic equipment will definitely consider the advantages of domestic equipment.

Zhao Jinrong: First of all, domestic equipment is close to customers and services are fast, and local equipment manufacturers are on call. Northern Microelectronics has established the foothold of corporate management as a market and customers, so that every employee can deal with problems in the concept of thinking for customers, and achieve "quick, efficient, and responsive" to customers. Nowadays, "Where the equipment is sold, where the service center is opened, where the engineers will follow" has become a feature of the northern microelectronics service.

Secondly, in the face of some technical problems in the use of equipment, foreign equipment is basically solved by field service engineers, while domestic designers are meeting with customers and solving problems very quickly. And provide tailor-made training services for customers.

High-tech LED: The problem of localization of seemingly inconspicuous parts is one of the biggest confusions facing the equipment industry. At present, the core of advanced semiconductor equipment produced locally is almost all imported parts. How to grasp the basic foundation, that is, the parts industry, is one of the bottlenecks of the development of local semiconductor equipment companies for many years. Today, when the output cannot be compared with the international advanced level, the price of domestic parts is actually higher than the competition. However, the price of domestic equipment sales must be lower than that of imported equipment. How should this situation change?

Zhao Jinrong: The quality, delivery time, price and service level of parts and components are indeed the foundation of the equipment industry. It is also a symbol of the level and ability of basic industries in a country and a region. However, in recent years, China's parts and components capabilities have made great progress. In the field of basic components, there are a number of outstanding foreign-funded, joint-venture and private enterprises. Many of them have become mainstream component suppliers for foreign world-class equipment companies, and have also become strong supporters of local equipment companies in China.

In addition, international mainstream component manufacturers have set up manufacturing plants, technology development centers, and maintenance service centers in China. Compared with a few years ago, communication and technical support have been very convenient, which has brought great development to the Chinese equipment industry. Great support.

With the goal of becoming a world-class high-end equipment company, North Microelectronics must meet the international standards in terms of quality, price and service. We are pursuing localization rate, but its purpose is to pursue the convenience of communication, timeliness of delivery, reasonable price and long service. Many foreign equipment companies have already produced a considerable number of parts and components in China. I believe that parts and components will no longer become a bottleneck restricting the development of China's equipment industry in a few years, but will become an advantage of China's equipment industry.

High-tech LED: From product development to maturity, to market recognition, it usually takes several years, plus the market will rise and fall. Simply relying on a single product, the survival and development of the enterprise will be greatly restricted. Taking the northern microelectronics as an example, what problems should be paid attention to in the development of the domestic equipment industry?

Zhao Jinrong: Semiconductor process equipment is indeed a very complex system involving mechanical, electronic, chemical, high frequency, software, vacuum, automation, materials and other fields, with high reliability, safety, stability, maintenance and other requirements and aviation. Aerospace is quite high and requires a very high level of R&D and manufacturing management. It is a very high barrier industry. It takes several years for a product to go from research and development to application. The survival of a equipment company requires multi-field and multi-product support. Therefore, Northern Microelectronics has successfully passed the experience of integrated circuit etching machine to solar energy, LED, OLED, etc., but the product strategy is only three categories, etching, CVD, PVD. Because these three kinds of equipment are equipped with plasma technology, vacuum technology, materials science, software engineering as the core technology. It's just that the application area is different.

Provider of high efficiency LED process research and complete equipment solutions

High-tech LED: What kind of development stage has the domestic semiconductor equipment industry experienced? How can North Microelectronics adjust its development strategy under the influence of different major environments?

Zhao Jinrong: In the 1960s and 1970s, China’s semiconductor industry basically purchased domestically produced equipment when it was 2〞3〞4〞. In the 1980s, foreign equipment began to be introduced during the reform and opening up, and domestically produced equipment was seriously impacted. 5〞6〞8〞12〞 integrated circuits Basically imported, introduced, and re-introduced; domestic semiconductor equipment was mainly used in power electronic devices (rectifiers and high-power power modules) in the 1990s; after entering 2003, with the rapid expansion of the solar cell industry, domestic semiconductor devices entered In a big development era, domestic equipment such as diffusion, cleaning, etching, and PECVD are sold at more than several billion yuan per year. The reliability and stability of equipment are comparable to the international mainstream level. It also creates a strong support for China's solar industry to enter the international popular. At the same time, in recent years, 8〞12〞 integrated circuit mainstream factories have also begun to install domestic equipment, such as the North Microelectronics etching machine, the seven-star electronic diffusion furnace, etc., the technical level has basically reached the international mainstream level. Of course, this also It is inseparable from the strong support of the country to the integrated circuit equipment industry after 2003. At present, domestic solar energy and integration The mainstream manufacturers of road equipment, Qixing Electronics, Northern Microelectronics, Beijing Zhongkexin, Zhongdian 48, CLP 45, Shenyang Core Source, Shanghai Microelectronics, etc. are all national key support units. These companies have been in the solar energy industry in recent years. The integrated circuit industry has also achieved very good results.

Similar to the solar industry, I believe that through several years of efforts, the LED industry must be the industry dominated by domestic equipment. Northern Microelectronics has seen the prospects of the LED industry, will increase investment, adhere to the process of solution to win the trust of customers, with excellent service and technical support, timely spare parts supply to gain market share.

High-tech LED: Local equipment manufacturers have emerged in the fields of solar energy, LED, and flat panel display. After the 100nm plasma etching machine was successfully sold to SMIC, Huahong and Hongli, North Microelectronics Co., Ltd. developed LED plasma etching machine. ELEDETM330 is the first etching equipment directly facing LED production line in China. The North Microelectronics will be a landmark event in the field of LED chips. What is the future planning and positioning of Northern Microelectronics in the field of LED equipment?

Zhao Jinrong: Since 2003, Northern Microelectronics has taken the lead in achieving high-density plasma etching machines for 8-inch and 12-inch high-density plasma etching machines through independent innovation based on customer demand, becoming an 8-inch, 12-inch integrated system in China. The first domestic equipment manufacturer of the mainstream circuit production line.

In response to the vigorous development of the green energy industry, Northern Microelectronics started the development of flat PECVD equipment in early 2008, and strived to introduce the advanced concept of semiconductor technology into the field of solar cell manufacturing equipment, and to change the current situation that high-end solar cell equipment cannot be manufactured in China. In two years, the company successfully developed large-capacity flat-plate PECVD equipment and successfully applied it to domestic mainstream production lines.

In view of the interoperability between LED and semiconductor technology, Northern Microelectronics took full advantage of equipment and process development, and completed the development of ELEDETM 330 high-density plasma etching equipment in only seven months. As China's first large-scale etching equipment directly facing the LED production line, the equipment fully attaches importance to the process development of the system, and can meet various applications such as sapphire substrate pattern etching, GaN-based epitaxial layer etching, etc. More precise design requirements to achieve higher performance etching requirements in the LED field, to a greater extent meet the needs of the LED industry for dry etching processes. At present, the equipment has completed the production line process verification and started mass production of chips.

With the continuous warming of China's LED industry, North Microelectronics will rely on the existing R & D, manufacturing infrastructure and advanced management and service concepts, with the etching machine as a breakthrough, through the development of process-guided equipment, and extensive LED chip manufacturers. Cooperation, and ultimately become a provider of efficient LED process research and complete equipment solutions.

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