DNF said on Wednesday that it will receive 20.9 billion won in equity investment from Samsung Electronics to expand its production capacity and increase R&D spending.
A DNF spokesperson said the company plans to start building a new factory near its headquarters in Daejeon late this year or early next year.
The factory will take six months to a year to be completed. Once it is completed, DNF will be able o supply more of its three core semiconductor materials.
DNF manufactures precursors used for chemical reactions to form circuits on wafers. Its main products are for double patterning tech (DPT), hexachlorodisilane (HCDS) and high-k.
Samsung accounts for over 90% of its sales. SK Hynix accounts from around 5% to 6%.
DNF started supplying DPT in 2012 and is the company’s main revenue source. It began supplying HCDS in 2013. The material is used in low-temperature silicon oxide film and silicon nitride film. Demand HCDS has risen from increased V-NAND production. High-k material is used in capacitors on DRAMs.
DNF has seen its sales of precursors since Japan imposed restrictions on the export of some key materials to South Korea in July 2019. DNF replaced some of the materials that was previously supplied by Japan’s Adeka to Samsung in April last year.
DNF’s sales from semiconductor materials was 15.5 billion won during the first quarter of 2020, and 21.6 billion won during the second quarter of the same year. Sales increased of 27.9 billion won in the third quarter of 2020. Sales was 22.1 billion won in the fourth quarter, allowing DNF to record sales of 830 billion won for the entire year of 2020, its highest annual sales to date from the business. As of last year, semiconductor materials accounted for 86% of its total sales.
Precursor demand is expected from DRAM gate length transitioning from 1z to 1a. NAND with over 128-layers are also expected to bring strong demand.
DPT will be in most demand this year and high-k materials will show strong growth next year, the company said.