The “electricity shortage” broke out, and many major semiconductor factories such as ASE cut power and stopped work. Can the EUV lithography machine that consumes 30,000 kWh of electricity per day still hold up?

For many young people, “power outage” is probably a very distant and unfamiliar word. However, in the past two days, incidents related to power outages have become “regulars” on hot searches. Many netizens complained that they could not eat, take a bath, dare not go to the toilet, had no mobile phone signal, traffic lights were out of power and caused congestion… and a family of four in Jilin was trapped in the elevator, but they were fortunately rescued. Netizens shouted: “In 2021, I will live out the feeling of primitive people…”

This “power shortage” is not without warning. Since December 2020, many southern provinces, including Hunan, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang, have experienced power rationing to varying degrees. It was the peak heating period. For many southern cities that do not know what heating is and rely on air conditioners for heating, last year’s winter was extremely difficult. Yiwu even turned off street lights and residential landscape lights at night…

Turning to 2021, through the cold winter, the situation has not improved, and even “deteriorated”. Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Ningxia and other provinces and regions have successively issued notices of “orderly electricity consumption”, and the staggered power consumption plan in some areas has been gradually upgraded from “opening five and stopping two” to “opening two and stopping five”. , some areas even “open one stop six”, but after all, it is aimed at industrial electricity, so residents do not have obvious feelings.

However, as the situation became more severe, the daily electricity consumption was eventually affected, and this turned into a social event of national concern. In response, the State Grid staff responded: Northeast China has first implemented orderly electricity consumption for non-residents, but there is still a power gap after the implementation, and the entire power grid is in danger of collapse, so measures to limit electricity to residents are taken.

In this wave of “power shortage”, the manufacturing industry is the first to bear the brunt, and the high-end semiconductor industry chain is naturally not immune, which undoubtedly makes the chip industry that is not wealthy even worse.

Semiconductor factories are big consumers of electricity

As of the evening of September 25, cities such as Yantai and Zibo in Shandong Province, Xuzhou, Huaian, Lianyungang, Yancheng, Taizhou, Wuxi, and Suzhou in Jiangsu Province; Shaoxing in Zhejiang, Dongguan, Foshan, Shantou, Jieyang and other cities in Guangdong have now confirmed that some companies have received ” Power outage limit” notice.

On September 26, Weibo netizen @Mobile ChipDaren broke the news that ASE Semiconductor (Kunshan) Co., Ltd. issued an announcement to customers that because the Chinese government has strengthened the implementation of the energy consumption double reduction policy, it has received an emergency power cut notice from the local government. , after consultation, the electricity will be limited from 8:00 on September 27, 2021 to 24:00 on September 30, 2021. During the blackout, the factory will have no output.

In addition, Jiuhao, the world’s second largest chip resistor substrate factory, first lowered its load by 15% on September 26. The company’s high-temperature boilers still maintain production, but in accordance with the requirements of the local government, this semi-shutdown state is expected to last for a week; according to “Nikkei” Asian Review reported that Yisheng Precision Industry, a major supplier of mechanical parts to Apple and Tesla, also said on the 26th that the company’s factory in Kunshan, Jiangsu will suspend production from September 26 to October 1…

It is not difficult to find that in this power cut, all localities focus on the manufacturing industry, and semiconductors, as an important part of the manufacturing industry, are themselves large energy consumers, and “power shortage” has become an obstacle to expanding production capacity to some extent. one.

Take TSMC, the world’s largest chip foundry, as an example. In 2019, including Taiwan’s Taiwan factory, WaferTech, TSMC (China), TSMC (Nanjing), and Caiyu, TSMC’s global energy consumption was 14.33 billion kWh, consuming Taiwan’s Nearly 6% of the electricity, in the same year, Shenzhen, which has a population of 13 million, consumed only 14.6 billion kWh of electricity a year.

In the face of such astonishing power consumption, TSMC said that the power consumption of high-end lithography equipment accounts for more than 50% of the company’s overall power consumption, especially the top EUV lithography equipment, although the effective output power is only 250W, But its energy conversion efficiency is only 0.02%.

The reason is that extreme ultraviolet light is very easy to be absorbed, and even air cannot transmit light, so it must be produced in a vacuum environment, and at the same time, it cannot be refracted by a glass lens, and a special coating mirror made of silicon and molybdenum must be used to correct the light. 30% of the energy will be lost in each reflection, but each EUV machine needs to pass through a dozen mirrors to guide the light from the light source to the wafer, so the loss is huge. According to estimates, an EUV machine with an output power of 250W will consume 30,000 kWh of electricity for one day of work. At the same time, equipment heating caused by high power consumption is inevitable, so the cooling system in the factory also consumes a lot of power.

In July 2020, Taiwanese media reported that with TSMC’s 5nm mass production, its electricity consumption per unit product increased by 17.9% compared to last year. Undoubtedly, the complexity of new process technologies will also further drive power usage. Some media have predicted that after the opening of TSMC’s 3nm semiconductor manufacturing plant, the annual power consumption is expected to reach 7 billion kWh.

It is reported that ASML is also continuing to improve the efficiency of lithography machines. For example, the production capacity of NXE:3400C has been increased from the previous 125WPH (the number of wafers processed per hour) to 175WPH, and the EXE:5000 series for 3nm and below processes will also be launched. EUV lithography machine.

It is true that the process complexity and production capacity requirements of TSMC factories are among the best in the entire semiconductor industry chain, and cannot be comprehensive, but the precision characteristics of chip factories are undoubted, so the overall power consumption of the industry is relatively high.

Dripping water through stone, multiple incentives for power curtailment

The power consumption of the semiconductor industry has been going on for a long time, and this multi-provincial power cut should not be the “back of the pot” for chips, and netizens have different opinions on the reasons behind it, except “use a lot of energy to help Ultraman Tiga to make light energy recovery” “Energy”, “mining” consumes electricity, and power rationing is to win the financial war against the United States and other unverifiable speculations, the impact of the dual-control action on energy consumption, the increase in electricity consumption caused by the resumption of work and production, and the lack of domestic coal supply may be among them. important incentives.

Among them, “double control of energy consumption” refers to the implementation of the “double control” action of total energy consumption and intensity proposed at the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. The energy consumption intensity is also used as a binding indicator to further promote the exploration of low-carbon economy in various regions.

However, in August this year, the National Development and Reform Commission issued the “Barometer of Completion of Energy Consumption Dual Control Targets in Various Regions in the First Half of 2021”, and Guangdong, Jiangsu, Fujian and other provinces turned on red lights, and the energy consumption intensity increased rather than decreased year-on-year. Under the pressure of ecological environment inspection and dual-control assessment, some areas have taken radical “carbon reduction” behaviors including unnecessary power curtailment in order to achieve the dual-control goal. One-size-fits-all shutdown”, to correct “sporty carbon reduction”.

In this regard, the relevant person in charge of the Guangdong Provincial Energy Bureau said that this round of off-peak power consumption was mainly caused by factors such as the double increase of the power load under high temperature weather and the limited power generation capacity of the generator sets in the province, not because of the dual control of energy consumption. Regarding the main reason for the lack of power supply in this round, Liu Wensheng, deputy director of the Guangdong Provincial Energy Administration, said:

First, the economic recovery in Guangdong Province is strong, and the steady and rapid social and economic development has driven the rapid growth of both electricity and electricity. In January and March, the electricity load exceeded 100 million kilowatts for the first time in history, and the electricity growth rate reached more than 30%. From January to August, the electricity consumption of the whole society in our province was 525.3 billion kWh, a year-on-year increase of 17.3%, 3.5 percentage points higher than the national growth rate; at present, it is the peak period of “Golden Nine Silver Ten” orders, and the electricity demand of secondary and tertiary production Continued strong, industrial electricity consumption was 307.7 billion kWh, a year-on-year increase of 18.3%. At present, the highest load demand in Guangdong Province is the highest in the country, reaching 141 million kilowatts, an increase of 11% year-on-year.

The second is the “blessing” of high temperature, and the electric load double increases. As a typical temperature “sensitive” area, Guangdong’s recent temperature has reached a maximum of 34°C-38°C, which is 3°C-4°C higher than the same period in previous years. For every 1°C increase in temperature, the power load will increase by 2 million to 3 million kilowatts. .

The third is the limited power generation capacity of the units in the province. Natural gas and coal prices are soaring, resource supply is tight, thermal power companies are not very motivated to generate electricity, and the long-term peak power generation equipment of superimposed units has defects.

Since the resumption of production and work, the national electricity demand has grown rapidly, with a year-on-year increase of nearly 15%. On the supply side, thermal power is still the main power generation in my country, but coal prices continue to soar. According to ZAKER News, a person in charge of a large power company in the central region said, “At present, 5,500 kcal thermal coal has a long-term contract price (long-term supply). The negotiated price) has exceeded 1,000 yuan/ton, and the market coal price has exceeded 1,400 yuan/ton. With each kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by the power plant, the loss is increasing, and the output of some thermal power companies has to decrease.” Therefore, the contradiction between coal supply and demand has further aggravated my country’s grid pressure.

write at the end

The winter is approaching, and the demand for coal and electricity in various places is bound to usher in a peak again. One day after the news of “power cut and power cut”, “power cut off” and other news dominated the screen, the State Grid and many governments have issued documents saying, ” We will do our best to ensure the residents’ daily use of electricity” and “resolutely defend the bottom line of people’s livelihood, development and safety”, which undoubtedly gave residents a reassurance.

On the industrial side, although the high energy consumption of the manufacturing industry cannot achieve a leap in a short period of time, with the blessing of digital technology, it is believed that the energy consumption management system will greatly improve the power efficiency of the factory.

The Links:   NL8060BC26-30D MCC 200-16IO1

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