ASML looking to diversify its sourcing for neon gas
As previously reported by Evertiq, Ukraine is a major supplier of raw material gases for semiconductors such as neon. Should the Ukrainian-Russian conflict escalate, supply of important gases may be affected.
Ukraine supplies nearly 70% of the world's neon gas capacity, as pointed out by TrendForce. And while the amount of neon gas used in semiconductor processes is not as major as in other industries, it is still a necessary resource. If supply would be cut off due to the ongoing conflict, there is a risk that it will have an impact on the industry.
It should be pointed out that while the conflict may affect the supply of gas regionally, gas suppliers are stocked and supplies from other regions is still available. Which means that gas supply interruptions in Ukraine will not halt semiconductor production lines in the short term – but it might lead to higher prices which in turn could increase the cost of wafer production.
Memory specialist Micron has already publicly stated that it has preemptively diversified its sourcing for its noble gases.
"Micron has diversified sourcing for all of our noble gases, and our supply of neon is primarily sourced and originates from various suppliers across the European Union, United States and Asia. Additionally, we maintain appropriate inventories of noble gases to support our business, have several long-term supply agreements with key suppliers and are working closely with them to ensure uninterrupted supply," the company said in a statement.
Another company who is now looking to diversify its supply of neon is semiconductor equipment manufacturer ASML. While Ukraine might be the world's biggest producer of neon, an ASML spokesperson told Reuters that the company sources less than 20% of the gas from the region. Regardless, the company is now looking at alternative sources for the amount of neon it uses should the conflict cause disruptions in the supply.