Gigaphoton launches "Neon Gas Rescue Program" to address shortage

July 10, 2015
Gigaphoton launched the program to help customers qualify new neon suppliers and implement its hTGM gas recycling technology.

Lithography light source manufacturer Gigaphoton (Oyama, Japan) launched a "Neon Gas Rescue Program"a comprehensive package consisting of three programs that include: (1) the rapid qualification of new gas vendors; (2) a limited-time, free-of-charge (until Gigaphoton determines the neon gas supply issue has been resolved) implementation of Gigaphoton's eTGM technology for reducing neon gas usage; and (3) the accelerated introduction of hTGM, the company’s newest gas recycling technology. The "Neon Gas Rescue Program" was developed by Gigaphoton to provide customers with immediate assistance in addressing the growing challenges in supply and cost of neon gas, critical to sustaining a stable high-volume manufacturing environment.

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Neon is used as a buffer gas for Argon (Ar) and Krypton (Kr) gases used in lasers for semiconductor manufacturing. While the Ukraine is the main producer of neon gas today, due to the country's ongoing crisis, supply reduction has become an issue and is causing increasing concern. This concern is not only based on price increases, but has escalated to the point of supply shortages in 2015. This poses a critical situation for the semiconductor industry, which represents the leading consumer of neon gas in the world.

To combat this crisis, Gigaphoton already announced in November of 2011, a limited, free-of-charge offer of its eTGM technology for all new and existing GT series ArF immersion lasers. The "Neon Gas Rescue Program" expands this offer to a more comprehensive package that includes the following:

1. A program for rapid qualification of new gas suppliers requested by customers. Previously, testing and qualification of a new gas supplier required anywhere from six to twelve months, but this new program will enable customers to begin using new gas suppliers in as fast as one month.

2. A limited free (with caveats previously mentioned) offer of Gigaphoton's eTGM technology will also be extended to the G41K series KrF lasers and GT40A series ArF lasers. This extended offer will commence in November 2015. By introducing eTGM, customers will be able to reduce the laser’s neon usage by 25% on KrF and ArF lasers, and up to 50% on ArF immersion lasers.

3. The accelerated introduction of Gigaphoton’s newest gas recycling technology, hTGM. This technology is applicable to all laser types. hTGM is expected to begin roll-out in 2016. By implementing the hTGM technology, customers will be able to recycle up to 50% of their gas consumption.

SOURCE: Gigaphoton;

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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