Fujifilm to invest over $630m to boost chip material production

Fujifilm sees chip materials as a driver for future growth, alongside its health care business.   © Reuters

KENYA AKAMA, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

TOKYO — Fujifilm Holdings will invest 70 billion yen ($637 million) over the three years through March 2024 into its semiconductor materials business, tapping the surging global demand for chips driven by the rise of fifth-generation wireless and artificial intelligence.

The figure represents a roughly 40% increase from the previous three-year period. Fujifilm aims to expand its revenue from chipmaking materials by about 30% to 150 billion yen by the year ending March 2024, turning it into a key driver for growth alongside its health care business.

Fujifilm is particularly focused on photoresists used for printing circuits onto silicon wafers. The company will bolster production of resists for extreme ultraviolet lithography machines, used to make advanced chips of 5 nm or less.

As part of the push, Fujifilm will invest 4.5 billion yen into its plant in Shizuoka Prefecture to start producing EUV resists there as early as this year.

The global EUV resist market is expected to grow roughly 90% in 2021 to $51 million, and continue expanding by over 50% a year until 2025, U.S.-based Techcet projects. Fujifilm is ramping up capacity to tap this growing demand.

Fujifilm produces six types of materials used in chipmaking, like resists and chemical mechanical polishing slurries, across 11 facilities including in Japan, the U.S., Europe, South Korea and China. It will expand capacity of these other materials as well mainly in the U.S. It will also spend part of the 70 billion yen tally on research and development.

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