In semiconductor equipment, if the lithography machine is the Mariana Trench, and there are very few people who go to the bottom, then the ion implanter is Mount Everest, and there are very few people who can conquer it.
After the founding of New China, the height of Mount Everest was measured by the British, the French, and even by the Indians, but not by the Chinese. In order to prove the strength of China, the heroes of the New China carried out a survey of Mount Everest. A tough measurement. This is the movie “The Climber” released last year, a restoration of history.
The ion implanter industry faces the same problem. This key equipment, which accounts for about 5% of wafer processing, has been dominated by foreign countries for a long time. Applied Materials and Axcelis in the United States together occupy 85%-90% of the global market. For a long time, The market share of domestic companies was once close to 0.
In order to climb the Mount Everest of semiconductor equipment, the ion implanter, in 2017, the National Development and Reform Commission promulgated the “Guidance Catalogue of Key Products and Services for Strategic Emerging Industries” that included integrated Circuit ion implanters in the catalog; “Taiwan (sets) of major technical equipment promotion and application guidance catalog”, the medium beam, large beam and high-energy ion implanters are included in the list. Behind these policies is the country’s determination to develop localized ion implanters.
Source: Keystone official website
The one that can play the role of “climber” in the field of ion implanters in China is Keystone, a subsidiary of Wanye Enterprise. Kai Shitong was established in 2009 and was acquired by Wanye Enterprise for 398 million yuan in 2018.
In the early days, Keystone was mainly engaged in the research and development of ion implantation equipment in the photovoltaic industry. In the past two years, the company has begun to cut into the field of semiconductors, and has made every effort to promote the research and development of “key technology research and prototype verification of high-energy ion implanters”.
In 2019, Keystone’s IC ion implanter was verified in domestic 12-inch wafer fabs and mainstream memory chip factories, and the products performed well in beam intensity indicators.
Good news has come from Keystone recently. The integrated circuit ion implanter produced by it has been purchased by customers in batches, which shows that domestic customers have recognized the full commercialization of Keystone’s low-energy large-beam ion implanter and high-energy ion implanter, and it is also an important step in the wave of domestic substitution of semiconductor equipment.
The purchaser this time is Xinlai Technology (Shaoxing), which purchased 3 sets of 12-inch integrated circuit equipment, namely low-energy large-beam heavy metal ion implanter (Sb implanter), low-energy large-beam ultra-low temperature ion implanter (Cold implanter) and high-energy Ion implanter (HE implanter), the order amount exceeds 100 million yuan.
For Keystone, this is also another major commercialization progress after the first low-energy large-beam equipment was sent to major domestic chip manufacturing plants in September this year.
Behind this series of commercial achievements is the great efforts of Kai Shitong (Wanye Enterprise) in research and development. According to the third quarter report of Wanye Enterprise, the company’s investment in research and development of ion implanters increased by 46.02% year-on-year, and the investment scale will continue to increase in the future.
In September this year, Keystone successfully entered the list of special projects for integrated circuit technology support in Shanghai in 2020. This is another recognition from government and industry experts after the project of “Key Technology Research and Prototype Verification of High Energy Ion Implanter” was officially included in the program last year.
Source: Keystone official website
Starting at the end of Wanye Enterprise
The founder of Keystone, Dr. Chen Jiong, graduated with a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Columbia University in the United States. He was one of the founders of AIBT, a world-renowned ion implanter company, and led an American team to successfully develop two generations of large-beam ion implanters. Entered the advanced 28nm key process integrated circuit manufacturer.
Dr. Jiong Chen
In 2009, after he had an in-depth exchange with China’s “02 Special Research Group” in Silicon Valley, the 51-year-old Dr. Chen Jiong resolutely decided to return to China for development. He was accompanied by four other colleagues, all of whom are world-class Expert in ion implantation equipment. After a few people returned to China, they started from scratch and built a high-end equipment brand belonging to China – Kaishitong.
As the parent company of Keystone, Wanye Enterprise started with real estate and acquired Keystone in 2018 to enter the semiconductor industry. At the same time, Wanye Enterprise has also invested in Feikai Materials, Jingce Electronics, Changchuan Technology, etc. by taking shares in Shanghai Semiconductor Equipment and Materials Fund, and laying out the field of semiconductor equipment in the form of extension mergers and industrial integration.
Although there is a “core making” fever in China, many companies make semiconductors across the border, but Wanye Enterprise is very different from most cross-border core making companies.
The largest shareholder of Wanye Enterprise is Shanghai Pudong Technology Investment Company, one of the top technology venture capital forces in my country. Mainly focusing on high-tech industries such as integrated circuits, medical health, aerospace and TMT, he has made acquisition offers for Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics, successfully acquired Montage Technology, and acquired South Korean chip design company Alphean Inc.
The third largest shareholder of Wanye Enterprise is the Big Fund. At the end of the first quarter of 2019, the National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund held a 7% stake in Wanye Enterprise and became the company’s major shareholder.
This time, Keystone’s ion implantation machine and other products have made important progress in commercialization, which proves that Wanye’s product competitiveness and core technologies have met the production needs of mainstream chip manufacturing processes.
On the whole, Wanye Enterprise has the technical endorsement of the founder team of Keystone, as well as the blessing of the major shareholder Pudong Science and Technology Investment and the large fund, and the road of transformation and industrial integration in the future will go more smoothly.
The future can be expected
Looking forward to the future, the tide of domestic substitution, the continuous expansion of chip manufacturing plants, and the improvement of mainstream manufacturing processes all require the purchase of more semiconductor equipment, which is an opportunity for Wanye enterprises.
With the uniqueness of its technology and products, and with the support of large funds, Kaishitong has stepped into the supply chain of domestic semiconductor manufacturing enterprises step by step, and has the opportunity to enter the international market, with the same international giants. field competition.
For Wanye Enterprise, Keystone is an incision for its layout of the semiconductor industry. With the success of Keystone and the increasing diversification of Wanye’s own layout, it is expected to transform from a real estate company to a high-tech industry , in order to obtain more growth market space in the future.