The semiconductor equipment industry sees a thriving market in 5G and high-performance computing driven by the trends of advanced manufacturing. ITRI, the Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI), and the world-leading laser applications brand TRUMPF have decided to jointly establish the Taiwan Semicon & Electronic Industries Laser Application Service Center. The organization will combine Germany's most advanced high-end laser source with Taiwan's Hiwin Mikrosystem platform and ITRI's manufacturing module to provide key technology upgrades for Taiwan's semiconductor equipment manufacturers.
The three parties participated in a ceremony on September 2nd to sign an MOU, during which TAMI Chairman Pa-Hsi Ko, TRUMPF Taiwan Industries Co. CEO Yung-Chih Cheng, and ITRI Senior Vice President Cheng-Wen Wu signed the agreement. Minister of Economic Affairs Mei-Hua Wang and German Trade Office in Taipei Executive Director Axel Limberg were also present to witness this important juncture in cooperation between the semiconductor industries of Taiwan and Germany.
Minister Wang pointed out that this cooperation includes three key messages. First, TRUMPF's output of laser sources and machine tools on a group-wide basis places it among the world's top three. The participation of TRUMPF in the MOU offers an enormous ally to Taiwan industry. Second, TRUMPF brings with it advanced technology, while TAMI is contributing customers, and ITRI is sharing its systems integration abilities. This will underpin momentum in a broad range of industrial technology services, strengthen the development of a laser cluster in Tainan, and generate new opportunities for Taiwan's laser equipment industry. Third, given the high cost of high-end laser source equipment, the center will enable firms that need to introduce laser sources to test them, consequently reducing the burden on companies.
Dr. Wu from ITRI commented that semiconductor technology is one of the developmental priorities of the 2030 Technology Strategy & Roadmap that ITRI is promoting. Taiwan's major equipment suppliers are members of TAMI, while TRUMPF offers a variety of high-end laser source products. In the future, in conjunction with ITRI's high-power laser processing or fine laser processing manufacturing processes, it is hoped that Taiwan can develop high-end laser sources and equipment for the semiconductor and electronics industries, helping to expand exports by Taiwan's semiconductor equipment industry supply chain. ITRI's Southern Region Campus will serve as home to the planned Taiwan Semicon & Electronic Industries Laser Application Service Center, with the hope that this will drive even more high-tech R&D centers to establish facilities in southern Taiwan, he said.
The advanced laser applications service center will provide equipment manufacturers with the opportunity to rapidly carry out testing and make samples. The completion of the center by the end of this year is expected to usher in a brand new, rapid equipment supply model. This will assist Taiwan’s equipment firms in applying innovative laser technologies to non-contact micro-processing, and will thereby solidify their position in the global supply chain.