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AIBIT Sets Precedent with Donation of Advanced Equipment to NDL


Date:2010-01-25
   
   
Caption:
AIBT President Deng Nien-hao (left) and General Manager Taiwan Ren Ke-chuan have been working together for many years. Their technology and service have now been recognized by world-class semiconductor and DRAM manufacturers. They recently donated the "High Current Ion Implanter" developed by the company to the NDL for use in advanced nano technology research.
     
  New Precedent Set with Donation of Advanced Homegrown Semiconductor Equipment to NDL, a National Research Unit
   
 

On January 19, Advanced Ion Beam Technology, Inc. (AIBT) donated "High Current Ion Implanter", a machine used in advanced semiconductor production processes, to the Nano Devices Laboratory (NDL) of the National Research Laboratories. The move sets a new precedent in the donation of locally-developed advanced semiconductor production equipment to a national research laboratory valued at over a $100 million!

The Ion Implanter is one of the most critical and sophisticated machines in the semiconductor production process. In the past, academic & research units lacked this type of machinery for experimental and pilot production. The machine donated by AIBT is worth over 100 billion NTD and will be used by the NDL for research into nano technologies.

AIBT Chairman Huang Ming-chi attended the ceremony presenting the "High Current Ion Implanter" developed by the company to the NDL. The donation was accepted by Director Yang Fu-liang on behalf of the NDL.
 

The MOEA Industrial Development Bureau has in recent years pushed for the localization of semiconductor industry equipment, with the following goals set for 2012: increasing the proportion of homegrown semiconductor front-end equipment from the current 5% to 20%; proportion of homegrown back-end equipment from 25% to 60%; and proportion of homegrown consumables and parts from 20% to 80%.
 

AIBT was founded in 2003 and by focusing on the development of high current ion planters it entered an international competition with a very high threshold. Financially speaking, this required continuous investment, is very capital intensive and achieving a return on investment will be a very time-consuming process. Technology-wise, it must produce advanced technology that catches the eye to stand a chance against the large equipment manufacturers that hold a monopoly on the market.
 

The challenge for AIBT is on developing products that not only meet customer expectations but is also cost-effective to use. It is taking a road that nobody has ever taken before. The Ion Implanter developed by AIBT is the most expensive machine to be developed by a local company and was introduced into the supply chain of a world-class semiconductor manufacturer 2 years ago. AIBT is now working with the customer to develop 22nm technology.

   
  Boost to Nano Research Capabilities at NDL
   
  As the representative of the NDL in accepting the donation, Director Yang Fu-liang thanked AIBT for donating such an expensive advanced semiconductor process equipment to the NDL. The donation will put the NDL on equal footing with SEMATECH (US), IMEC (EU) and Japan's national research organizations in terms of this advanced nano production process machinery. 
   
   
   
Caption: The group will work together on nano research. From the right: Dai Bau-tong (Chief Technology Officer, NDL), Ren Ke-chuan (General Manager Taiwan, AIBT), Yang Fu-liang (Director, NDL), Wang Yeong-her (Vice President, NAR Labs), Deng Nien-hao (President, AIBT), Hsueh Shi-yong (AIBT), Huang Chien-chao (Factory Supervisor, NDL), Wu Fa-wen (Deputy Director, NDL), Lin Bi-tiao (Section Chief, NDL), Chang Kuo-chung (Vice President of Sales, AIBT) 
     
  Prof. Dai Bau-tong was a member of the team sent by the government to RCA in the US for training when Taiwan was preparing to develop the semiconductor industry. As the Chief Technology Officer of NDL, he is a great admirer of Chairman Huang Min-chi for his contributions to process equipment. Dai said that Huang's efforts "were not just about business, but also about ideals." Dai Bau-tong stated that semiconductor front-end equipment is so expensive and the technology so new that it takes a true believer to keep going!
     
  NDL led the world in developing the first 16 nm functional static random accessory memory (SRAM) cell. 16 nm components based on the technology makes computer and mobile phone main boards smaller and more efficient. Yang Fu-liang said that the value of an academic research unit lies in "creating something out of nothing". The NDL will share its valuable experience from preliminary research in the future and hope that the industry-research collaboration will become a role-model for new high-tech markets.
   
   
   
Caption: NAR Labs Vice President Wang Yeong-her attended the donation ceremony
     
 

NAR Labs Vice President Wang Yeong-her was a guest at the presentation ceremony as well. The National Applied Research Laboratories was founded in June, 2003, with the mission of building experimental research platforms, supporting academic research, promoting pioneering technologies and cultivating high-tech talent. Wang noted that nano experiments require very expensive equipment and while there had been many donations of 2nd-hand equipment in the past, the donation of an all-new High Current Ion Implanter, built at great cost by ABIT, is completely unprecedented.
 

The industry chain for the global semiconductor process equipment is highly specialized in its "R&D", "Manufacturing", "Sales" and "Technical Support". ABIT Chairman Huang Min-chi noted that in terms of scale, the leaders in the global semiconductor process equipment industry are in descending order the US, EU, Japan, Israel and Korea. In terms of "technological originality" however, ABIT can be ranked 4th among front-end semiconductor makers close behind the US, EU and Japan.

During his speech, Huang Min-chi said: "The donation of this locally

   
  Technological Originality Draws Attention
   
 

Competition in the semiconductor process equipment is on a very large scale and very bloody. In early 2007, the world's last semiconductor equipment manufacturer Applied Materials made the decision to quit the ion implanter market. The market was quickly dominated by its competitor Varian.
 

The reason why Applied Materials made such a painful decision was due to its ion implanter emphasizing batch operations for high production output. For processes below 90nm however, customers found that working with single wafers offered better yields.

   
   
   
Caption: The iStar high current, low-energy ion implanter donated by AIBT is now installed at NDL.
     
 

In 2007, AIBT not only released the high current ion implanter iStar for batch operations but was also quick to develop the iPulsar for single-chip operations. Despite being a relative newcomer to the process equipment industry, AIBT quickly won the favor of customers and was able to capture 20% of the market starting from scratch. The key was in its original technology.

AIBT President Ren Ke-chuan said that iPulsar is the most advanced high

current ion implanter when it comes to single wafer operations. The equipment's unique energy filter screens out impure energies to achieve the energy contamination-free effect. Customers are also offered 1D or 2D scanning technologies to choose from to produce the best-performing components. The iPulsar was launched in 2007 and immediately underwent customer testing before being officially put into production in 2008.
 

In 2007, the global semiconductor process equipment industry achieved a new record high of US$36 billion. Ion implanters accounted for US$1.3 billion of this market. The global financial crisis in 2009 saw the ion implanter market plummet to around US$370 million. Market research farm conservatively estimates that the ion implanter market should grow slowly to US$500 million over the next future years.
 

[Wa-People!] Profile - "AIBT"
Advanced Ion Beam Technology (AIBT) was founded in 2003. It recruited the top R&D talent in ion implanter technology as well as experts experienced with semiconductor process applications to develop ion implanters that are both critical and the most challenging part of the semiconductor process. AIBT iPulsar provides wafer foundries with advanced ion implanter equipment and technology for processes under 45 nm that reduce wafer production costs. Through its revolutionary technology and trusted global partners, AIBT reduces migration risks and ensures that it provides customers with the best value-added solution.
AIBT website: www.aibt-inc.com

   
  Source: [Wa!-People!] report at www.wa-people.com