[Russia-Ukraine] Impending war between Russia and Ukraine may squeeze supply of certain semiconductors

2022-02-09 Energy TrendForce

As of February 8, 2022, it has been 3 months since Russia began amassing troops on its border with Ukraine and tensions have yet to ease. Since Ukraine is a major producer of gases required for semiconductor manufacturing, once the two sides go to war, some gases may be in short supply.

Ukraine primarily produces neon, krypton, and xenon, which are key materials for exposure and etching processes

According to TrendForce research, Ukraine supplies approximately 70% of the world’s neon gas. In the semiconductor manufacturing process, neon gas can be used in KrF lasers utilized during exposure. In addition to neon gas, Ukraine also supplies approximately 40% of the world’s krypton gas. Krypton gas is also used in KrF lasers and both neon and krypton gas are closely tied to the exposure process. Furthermore, Ukraine produces xenon which can be used in semiconductor etching processes, accounting for approximately 30% of the world’s supply. Since Ukraine is a major supplier in the neon, krypton, and xenon markets, if a war breaks out, shortages of neon, krypton, and xenon are likely to follow. Even if the market is quick to find new gas suppliers or expand gas production capacity, product certification will take several months or even more than half a year, plunging the supply of electronic gas required for semiconductor manufacturing processes into scarcity.

A shortage of neon and krypton due to the war will affect the shipment of mature process products

TrendForce indicates, the large supply of neon and krypton in Ukraine is primarily used in KrF lasers and KrF lasers are utilized in mature 8-inch wafer 250-130nm nodes. At present, products manufactured at the 250-130nm nodes include power management chips (PMIC), micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), and power semiconductor components such as MOSFET components and IGBTs. Once Ukraine and Russia go to war and the war expands into a stalemate, the shortage of neon and krypton will affect shipments of the aforementioned products to varying degrees. From the perspective of end-user products, the automotive industry, which requires large quantities of power management chips and power semiconductors, will face a new wave of material shortages.

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