It’s very difficult to get over the scale of SEMICON China in a simple article, not just for the number of exhibition halls full of stands plying their trade but the number of visitors. I walked over 5 miles on the first morning without getting around all I wanted to see. I will admit that this was not all in the SEMICON halls, I did go across to the World of Laser and Photonics as well as we have a market interest in what is going on in that sector.
It was great to see even when walking around that even in this vast space people were engaging on a personal level having technical discussions, catching up with colleagues, learning etc.
The great thing about SEMICON is that it works on many levels. It was great to catch up with my Asia team colleagues not just from Plasma Technology but also Nanoanalysis as we were sharing the booth here in Shanghai but usually I don’t get to meet very often. As a PT team we discussed where the market was going, what our competitors were up to as you do at these events, what we could do from a marketing perspective to help them in the coming year etc. From the NA team I learned about some of the new work they have been doing which has a strong focus on the semiconductor market.
The other great thing SEMICON do is run great technical programs alongside their shows. I registered for the Compound Semiconductor session as it is one of the market sectors we have a very strong presence in. There were some great presentations, the talks covered subjects from the GaN transistors, VCSELs, 5G power and RF using both Si and SiC as the substrate through to MicroLEDs.
On the Friday I had been kindly invited to give a talk to the Aixtron sponsored SITRI workshop focused very much on the power market. This was a really well attended workshop, showing the interest in both power and RF markets using WBG materials especially with 5G coming. There were some really great talks given; mostly focused around deposition of the GaN on to both Si and SiC. In my presentation I concentrated on the etching side of our solution portfolio for these materials. My discussion on etching of the gate recess for E mode HEMT struck a sweet spot because of the low damage capability when reaching the 2 DEG in the GaN layer, which is key for these devices to work.
One thing we did not discuss at the show was how combining Atomic Layer etch (ALE) with an Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) passivation in the same tool without breaking vacuum has shown great promise in reducing interface states in the device and enhancing the performance.
All in a great week arriving back in the UK on St Patrick’s day to see Ireland win the Grand Slam, great day for the Irish pity I’m English.