The groundbreaking ceremony for China’s first ‘200mm wafer semiconductor equipment verification line’ was held in Changsha High-tech Zone, Changsha, Hunan Province, on November 28th. The project was undertaken by the research institute affiliated with the China Electronics Technology Association (CETC), the Chinese state-run defense company.
According to Hunan provincial government’s media Hong Wang (红网), this investment would create one line that can test 20 units of 200mm wafer semiconductor equipment at once. It is scheduled for operation in 2021. The annual verification capacity is over 40 units. The second phase investment will add 300mm wafer verification capability. Hunan High-tech Zone expects the annual output to exceed 160 billion Won.
For the purpose of localizing equipment, about 2.5 billion yuan will be invested in this project which includes the construction of National IC Industry Technology Innovation Center, Market Application Center, and Joint Demonstration Zone. The total floor area of the buildings is 127,000 square meters on the 122,000 square meter site.
The 48th Research Institute, the project execution body under CETC, will create the equipment technology standards in China and will also make semiconductor foundries (consigned production). Founded in 1964, the 48th Research Institute has been researching, developing, and selling semiconductor, LED, and solar power equipment.
Mr. Yong Son, the Deputy Director of the 48th Research Institute, said that “It is possible to verify the process through the whole line,” and added, “it replaces the existing verification method of each piece of equipment and, thereby, connects the path between equipment research and development and process demand.” Additionally, he mentioned that “it will reduce the time and cost of equipment development and lead to sustainable development of semiconductor equipment.”
CETC, the information technology defense company, recorded sales of 203.9 billion yuan last year. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has initiated restrictions on exports to four CETC affiliated laboratories (13th, 14th, 38th, and 55th labs). The 48th Institute is not subject to the U.S. export restrictions on China.