Korean IC makers to suffer from photoresist shortage: Page 2 of 2

July 08, 2019 //By Julien Happich
After the US-China trade war initiated by US president Trump on allegations of spying leveraging Huawei’s networking equipment, comes another trade war likely to add further complications to the global semiconductor industry, this time affecting South Korean chip makers thus far unaffected by US-China commercial tensions.

“Wavelengths of ArF light source and EUV light source that are used by Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix to manufacture high-end semiconductors are 193nm and 13.5nm respectively” etnews quotes Professor Ahn Jin-ho of Hanyang University saying. “It can be seen that Japanese Government practically blocked off exportation of photoresists by setting up range of wavelengths.”

According to experts in the industry, the country only has about a month of inventory in such photoresists and it could take at least five years to completely replace the photoresists currently regulated by the Japanese Government.

This new trade war if it lasts, could cascade into memory shortages (Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix owning almost 50% of the global memory market) and affect many businesses outside South Korea relying on the chips produced there, including Japan.

This is another blow to Samsung Electronics who recently made public its earnings and is already suffering from a semiconductor market slump? At $5.53 billion, Samsung reported an operating profit 56.29% lower than a year ago in the same quarter.

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