SKC starts prototype production of key material for semiconductor chips
SEOUL, AJU - SKC, a leading polyester film and chemical material manufacturer in South Korea, has started the prototype production of high-end mask blanks, a key material in the production of semiconductor chips, to reduce its heavy dependence on Japanese products.
For localization, SKC, a unit of SK Group, completed a high-end mask blank plant in the central city of Cheonan in December last year. Prototype production has now begun for customer certification to commercialize it within this year. Japanese companies dominated the global market for high-end mask blanks.
Mask blanks and photomasks are essential in the production of semiconductor chips. They are the master plates used to transfer the minute, highly complex circuit patterns for semiconductors onto the wafers that become IC chips. The mask blank is a substrate for photomasks, an opaque glass plate with holes or transparencies that allow light to shine through in a defined pattern.
The SK Group has stepped up its pre-emptive investment in semiconductor materials since Japan strengthened regulations in July last year on exports of key materials for semiconductors and displays. South Korea has tried hard to diversify supply lines or localize key materials regulated by Japan.