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Tuesday, January 25, 2022 | Management

AGC to Double Production Capability for EUVL Mask Blanks

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AGC (AGC Inc., Headquarters: Tokyo, President: Yoshinori Hirai), a world-leading manufacturer of glass, chemicals, high-tech materials, has decided to double the production capability of EUV lithography photomask blanks (hereinafter EUVL mask blanks) at Group company AGC Electronics (Headquarters: Koriyama, Fukushima Pref.; President: Hiromasa Sato). Production will begin in January 2023, and through gradual expansion, the AGC Group's EUVL mask blank production capability will approximately double from its current level in 2024.

In recent years, the EUV process has been increasingly adopted in semiconductor production, not only for logic devices but also for DRAM*1 and other memory devices. In addition to the increase in demand for EUVL mask blanks due to this trend, AGC also expects to ship EUVL mask blanks for the next and subsequent generations, and has therefore decided to increase its production capability.

AGC began conducting R&D on photomask blanks to be used in semiconductor production processes using EUV lithography technology in 2003. In 2017, AGC started production of EUVL mask blanks by advancing technology development combining its proprietary technologies in glass materials, glass processing, and coating. AGC will gradually make the necessary investments in response to market needs as the world's only EUVL mask blank manufacturer capable of handling all processes from glass materials to coating. In July 2020, it decided on a major expansion project*2, including building expansion, at Group company AGC Electronics, where production started in January 2022.

Under its AGC plus 2.0 management policy, the AGC Group has positioned the Electronics business as a strategic business. AGC will continue to make aggressive capital investments in the EUVL mask blank business, for which demand is expected to grow significantly, aiming for sales of more than 40 billion yen by 2025 and contributing to the advancement of the semiconductor industry.

*1  DRAM: An abbreviation for Dynamic Random Access Memory. It is a type of semiconductor memory device and is generally used as a main memory for PCs.

*2  "AGC to Make Drastic Expansion to Supply System for EUVL Mask Blanks", announced July 27, 2020.


■About EUVL mask blanks
EUVL mask blanks are a low-thermal expansion glass substrate with various kinds of optical coating films on its surface. An EUV photomask comprises a semiconductor chip circuitry pattern formed onto the surface of an EUVL mask blank, and this circuit is transferred onto a silicon wafer in order to create a semiconductor chip. The requirements for EUVL mask blanks are rising as circuits become ever finer, such as very small defects as close to zero as possible and very high flatness.

■About AGC Electronics

Official name: AGC Electronics Co., Ltd.
Capital: 300 million yen
Representative: Hiromasa Sato
Head office location: Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture
Employees: Approx. 700
Primary business: Glass frit and paste, optical pickups and other optoelectronic products, synthetic silica products for semiconductor manufacturing equipment, EUV lithography photomask blanks

Media inquiries
Chikako Ogawa, General Manager, Corporate Communications & Investor Relations Division
AGC Inc.
Contact: Fujiyama
TEL: +81-3-3218-5603

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