Green Product Development Policy
- Our basic policy is to keep developing leading-edge inspection systems that facilitate the advancement of semiconductor scaling and that help customers achieve yield improvement in their manufacturing process, thereby lowering power consumption*1 and contributing to the lessening of environmental burdens*2.
- We take the efficiency of energy and resource use into consideration when engaging in product development, designing, manufacturing, and sales promotion, and promote the reduction and recycling of waste.
Lower power consumption achieved by semiconductor scaling
We are surrounded by many electronic products in our daily life, and semiconductor devices (integrated circuits) are playing a crucial role in making them work.
- Lower power consumption achieved by leading-edge semiconductor chips
- According to the scaling rule of semiconductors, with the shrinking of an integrated circuit to 1/k of its original scale, in theory, its functioning speed becomes proportionally faster to k times the original speed while both its area and power consumption become exponentially smaller to 1/k2 of their original figures. For example, if we shrink an integrated circuit to 1/2 of its original scale, its calculation speed will become twice as fast while its area and power consumption will become 1/4 of their original figures. The reason why the semiconductor industry is making all the effort of introducing EUV and other state-of-the-art technologies for the advancement of scaling is to enjoy this merit. Since there is a cancelling effect of increased leak current, we do not see 100% of the merit in the real world. However, IC chips still achieve a significant saving of power consumption per bit from the scaling. According to a publicly available statement by a major foundry, up to 30% power reduction is expected to be made by the next-generation leading-edge IC chips, compared with the previous generation chips.
Our inspection and measurement systems' contribution to the lessening of environmental burdens
- Leading-edge semiconductor
A mask (or photomask) is a glass plate with an integrated circuit pattern formed on its surface. It serves as a blueprint of the pattern to be copied onto wafers by a technique called lithography. Defects and particles on the photomask will also be copied onto wafers together with the IC pattern and if they are present, albeit tiny and few, the entire lot of wafers will become defective and have to be discarded.
Mask inspection systems and mask blank inspection systems are designed to detect extremely tiny defects and particles on the photomasks. They are crucial for the quality assurance of semiconductor IC chips and for reducing defective chips (i.e., improving production yields). In other words, our products contribute to the production of high-performance, highly energy-efficient semiconductor devices. They also contribute to reducing the waste of wafers and glass substrates and minimizing the consumption of chemical substances during production. This is how they contribute to the lessening of environmental burdens.
- Next-generation power semiconductor and other areas
- In addition to these mainstream products, we offer wafer inspection systems that facilitate the widespread use of next-generation power semiconductors made of silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN), both of which are materials with excellent energy properties that enable the attainment of significantly higher power efficiency. We also offer a system that is being used as a tool to analyze the performance of high-end lithium ion batteries to develop better and safer batteries, which are necessary to make electric vehicles more reliable and affordable. We also have de facto standard inspection tools that contributed to the commercialization of FPDs such as LCD and OLED to replace CRTs, facilitating a significant reduction in the power consumption of displays.