UPDATED. 2024-06-21 07:30 (금)
Korea's only wafer transfer container company 3S Korea
Korea's only wafer transfer container company 3S Korea
  • JY HAN
  • 승인 2019.01.22 14:48
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Expanding into non-semiconductor new business areas
Park Jong-ik, CEO of 3S Korea.
Park Jong-ik, CEO of 3S Korea.

3S Korea will prepare an exhibition area at Semicon Korea 2019 and showcase various semiconductor wafer carrier products.

The wafer carrier product family refers to the transfer box used to transport silicon wafers, which are the main materials used for semiconductors. Silicon wafers require a great deal of attention when used as a core material for the base of semiconductors. Because of this, the industry uses dedicated transport boxes made of special technology. Among the domestic companies, 3S Korea is the only company that commercializes these wafer carrier products.

The semiconductor wafer carrier product family is divided into different types depending on the application purpose. The wafer carrier box used in moving from a wafer manufacturer to a semiconductor manufacturer is called a Front Opening Shipping Box (FOSB), and a carrier box used in a semiconductor manufacturing process line is called a Front Opening Unified Pod (FOUP).

300mm FOSB model V3h.
300mm FOSB model V3h.

FOSB can be seen as a plastic case, but it is an essence of state-of-the-art technologies. Completed wafers are thinner compared to their areas and are susceptible to contamination. They may bend or break during transportation. It is FOSB that solves these concerns. Since FOSB is used in the external transfer process, it should be designed and manufactured to be resistant to impact and vibration.
FOSB is currently produced by only a few companies in the US and Japan. 3S Korea is the only domestic company to produce and supply FOSB. 3S Korea produces FOSB using special polycarbonate.

"Polycarbonate is very difficult to process because it is a special material," said Park Jong-ik, CEO of 3S Korea. "There has been a lot of trial and error to produce FOSB, but in contrast, it means that stable supply is possible because the entry barriers are high,” he explained.

FOUP, another main source of revenue for 3S Korea, is a process-to-process transfer container used for semiconductor manufacturing companies' in-process transportation. Semiconductor wafers should not be subject to external impact during manufacturing. Extremely clean conditions must be maintained to avoid contamination from external factors. Especially, since it is a transport container that directly affects the yield, the strictness also increases with the refinement of the process. Compared to FOSB, it also features a number of relatively chemical requirements. It is not easy to implement a method that fulfills the requirement that the wafer should not be disturbed, such as friction and charging performance. Like FOSB, 3S Korea is also the sole supplier of FOUP.

300mm FOUP.
300mm FOUP.

3S Korea will also showcase a storage box that can be used by FOSB and FOUP wafer manufacturers in Semicon Korea 2019. Existing wafer producers have used open cassettes (O/C) to store and transport wafers cut from ingots. The open cassette is a structure with an open front and back, but it can cause the inflow of dust or particles. The storage box has the functionality to block these external particles.

"We expect that demand for carrier products used in wafer transportation will also continue to increase," said CEO Park. "3S Korea is using the special injection technology, which is core competitiveness, to continue to grow and to expand the business into new business sectors,” he added.


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