Dai Nippon Printing to begin photomask production in China in July

25, Apr. 2019

TOKYO, NNA - Japan's Dai Nippon Printing Co. will start producing photomasks at its joint venture in southern China, in July, to meet growing local semiconductor demand driven by Beijing's “Made in China 2025” campaign.

Photronics DNP Mask Corp. Xiamen, in Fujian Province, plans to produce photomasks for integrated circuits with line width of 28 nanometers and 40 nanometers. Dai Nippon has so far supplied photomasks for the Chinese market from plants in Japan and Taiwan, Tamio Shinkai, a Dai Nippon spokesman, told NNA on Wednesday.

The joint venture, established in 2017 with registered capital of $24 million, is owned 49.99 percent by Dai Nippon and 50.01 percent by Photronics Inc., a U.S. integrated maker of circuitry and flat panel display photomasks, according to a statement issued Tuesday.

Dai Nippon and Photronics have ramped up their partnership following the establishment in 2014 of their Taiwan joint venture, Photronics DNP Mask Corp.

The China unit will invest $160 million toward 2022, as initially planned, to supply products to IC chip makers and foundries in the country, according to the spokesman.

The Tokyo-based printing giant intends to manufacture high-end photomasks for production of chips with 14-nanometer line width in future, Shinkai said. For the time being, the photomasks are supplied from the Taiwan unit.

Semiconductor demand is expected to soar in China as the country is gearing up for the manufacturing sector's development plan, President Xi Jinping's blueprint for growing the country's technology industry. China aims to achieve 40 percent self-sufficiency in semiconductors by 2020. (NNA/Kyodo)