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Dezhou advances key pillar in nation's semiconductor industry

from: date: 2023-10-25

Recently, a new production project of large silicon wafers used for 12-inch integrated circuits was officially launched in Dezhou, Shandong province.[Photo/CNR]

Recently, a new production project of large silicon wafers used for 12-inch integrated circuits was officially launched in Dezhou, Shandong province. With a total investment of 2.5 billion yuan ($342 million), the project's first phase is expected to achieve a monthly production capacity of 100,000 12-inch polished wafers, adding new momentum to China's large silicon wafer and integrated circuit industries.

With the evolution of integrated circuit processes and technologies, silicon wafers are trending toward larger sizes and finer processes, with 12-inch wafers being the current and foreseeable mainstream product. Driven by demand from emerging applications such as 5G, new energy vehicles, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, global demand for 12-inch silicon wafers has continued to grow.

As a leading domestic semiconductor material company, Shandong GRINM RS Semiconductor Materials, a significant investment project of GRINM Semiconductor Materials Co Ltd, focuses on the R&D and production of 12-inch silicon wafers and their side products.

"We maintain strict control of product quality based on international standards, particularly when it comes to single crystal micro-defects, silicon wafer geometrical dimensions, and surface contamination," said Yan Zhirui, general manager of Shandong GRINM RS. The company is currently conducting product validations with several renowned domestic and international integrated circuit manufacturers and plans to proactively expand production capacity based on market demand.

Silicon wafers are the most critical foundational material for integrated circuits. Over 90 percent of integrated circuit chips are produced using silicon wafers, taking the major share among the chips' manufacturing materials and serving at the forefront of the integrated circuit industry chain.

China's involvement in the global semiconductor industry chain has historically been relatively low, with a high dependence on critical materials such as silicon wafers from abroad. In this regard, Dezhou's enhancing competitiveness of the semiconductor industry also helps to the healthy and constructive development of China's semiconductor industry.

Since 2017, large silicon wafer projects have consistently been established in China, with the steady progression of projects involving Shandong GRINM RS, Shanghai-based Zing Semiconductor, Eswin Technology Group in Xi'an, and more. The global monthly production capacity of 12-inch semiconductor silicon wafers is projected to reach 10 million per month in the coming years, with China poised to serve as a crucial manufacturing hub.

With robust support from national policies and the continuous enhancement of chip manufacturing capabilities in China, the technological competence of Chinese semiconductor enterprises will continue to grow, expanding their market share and driving sustained demand for domestic semiconductor silicon wafers.