By ICN GroupDigitization, July 27, 2020

AGC to expand EUVL mask blanks production

The construction including building expansion will start in coming October and operations are scheduled to start in 2022.

AGC Inc. (AGC), a world-leading manufacturer of glass, chemicals and high-tech materials, has decided to expand a supply system for EUV lithography photomask blanks ("EUVL mask blanks") at its group company, AGC Electronics Co., Ltd.
 
The construction including building expansion will start in coming October and operations are scheduled to start in 2022.
 
With the full-scale dissemination of IoT, artificial intelligence (AI) and next-generation high-speed communication (5G), semiconductor chips need to have faster calculation speeds, larger data capacity, and more advanced integration. The circuit patterns of semiconductor chips must be further miniaturized to achieve these goals, yet currently available optical lithography technology1 has limitations and EUV2 lithography is drawing attention as a leading-edge miniaturization technology to replace optical lithography.
 
AGC began conducting R&D on photomask blanks to be used as a consumable part for semiconductor production using EUV lithography technology in 2003. By combining its core technologies (i.e. glass materials, glass processing, and coatings), it continued technological development of photomask blanks and began production of EUVL mask blanks in 2017. AGC has made necessary investments to meet market demand, and to respond to further expansion of the EUV lithography market, AGC has decided on this drastic expansion of the supply system for EUVL mask blanks.
 
As the world’s only manufacturer of the photomask blanks that can handle every aspect from glass materials to coating, AGC will establish a mass production system to meet growing market demand, with the aim of achieving target sales of 40 billion JPY or more and a global market share of 50% in 2025.
 
Under its AGC plus management policy, the AGC Group has made a commitment to positioning electronics related business as one of its key strategic initiatives. AGC intends to continue making aggressive capital investment in EUVL mask blanks, which are expected to see significant growth in demand in the coming years, to contribute to further development of the semiconductor industry.

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