Munich, 11 June 2012 – Linde Gases, a division of The Linde Group, the leading specialist gases supplier for the global electronics industry, announces today the signing of a significant long-term supply contract with SK Hynix Semiconductor, a world-leading manufacturer of DRAM and NAND flash memories, to deliver on-site fluorine (F2) to multiple mass production sites in Korea. The expansion of Linde's patented on-site F2 technology to these facilities follows successful implementations on all SK Hynix's production sites since 2004.
SK Hynix has adopted on-site F2 as a safer and more cost-effective alternative to cylinder fluorine for cleaning Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) chambers in its manufacturing process. This expansion in F2 adoption will contribute to Hynix's manufacturing efficiency savings and also help reduce their manufacturing carbon footprint.
Carl Jackson, Head of Fluorine Business at Linde Gases Division, said: "We're proud to have such a long and successful relationship with SK Hynix, and we look forward to continuing to work together to help the company improve the cost effectiveness and environmental efficiency of its manufacturing processes even further."
SK Hynix have been actively working to expand the range of processes for which they use on-site fluorine and have been investigating switching from NF3 to fluorine for chamber cleaning on single wafer process tools. NF3 is a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential (GWP) 17,200 times greater than carbon dioxide (CO2), whereas F2 is the highest performance cleaning gas available, with zero GWP. The initial work is completed and was presented at the recent Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference (ASMC) held in the USA. The results show reductions in total cleaning time of up to 40 percent and in the mass of gas used of 35 percent, which for one type of tool alone could mean the elimination of more than 6.5 tons NF3 per year if implemented in production.
Chang Hyun Oh, ESH R&D Centre Manager at SK Hynix,said: "There is a clear technical, environmental and business case for us to use Linde's market-leading on-site F2 technology across as many applications as possible. It plays a critical role in helping us meet our targets for better environmental efficiency and safety, and it enables us to reduce the cost of our manufacturing process. We will continue to develop new cleaning processes using fluorine on more tool platforms."
Linde's on-site F2 technology is fast becoming the industry standard cleaning method across semiconductor, TFT-LCD and photovoltaics industries, as manufacturers are increasingly switching to F2 due to concerns over the environmental impact of NF3 and potential legislation that could restrict its use in the future.
About SK Hynix Semiconductor
SK Hynix Semiconductor Inc. of Icheon, Korea, is the world’s top tier memory semiconductor supplier offering Dynamic Random Access Memory chips ("DRAMs"), Flash memory chips ("NAND Flash") and CMOS Image Sensor ("CIS") for a wide range of distinguished customers globally. The Company's shares are traded on the Korea Exchange, and the Global Depository shares are listed on the Luxemburg Stock Exchange.
Further information about Hynix is available at www.skhynix.com
About The Linde Group
The Linde Group is a world-leading gases and engineering company with around 50,500 employees in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2011 financial year, it achieved sales of EUR 13.787 bn. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards long-term profitable growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. Linde is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.
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