The global semiconductor industry urgently needs more sustainable solutions
The carbon footprint of the semiconductor industry is enormous, reaching numbers similar to the automotive industry. Two key factors contribute to this problem: unsustainable, environmentally damaging manufacturing processes and low power efficiency of semiconductor devices.
The industry's negative environmental impact has to do with massive CO2 emissions and heavy use of hazardous chemicals, water, and raw materials. And as demand for chips surges, the semiconductor industry's environmental impact gets more prominent than ever, making manufacturers across the entire supply chain seek ways to reduce their footprint. The most efficient way is to lower the manufacturing volumes and minimize the number of semiconductor wafers produced. This is possible by increasing the efficiency of semiconductor materials and improving chip output.
With Kontrox, the performance of multiple semiconductor devices - such as microLEDs, lasers, and RF power amplifiers - is increased to staggering levels thanks to unprecedented atomic-level defect reduction. This improvement allows to substantially reduce the size of the chips while maintaining their performance levels. By increasing the chip output per wafer, the number of wafers needed is reduced allowing manufacturers to drastically lower manufacturing costs and minimize the amount of energy, natural resources, and waste involved.
Kontrox enables a tremendous opportunity to decrease manufacturing volumes thanks to a substantial reduction of chip size
For µLEDs, taking the chip size from 40µm down to 20µm would reduce the number of semiconductor wafer required to one-third.
3,01 M units/wafer*
8,37 M units/wafer*
* based on Murphy’s Model of Die Yield; assuming epiwafer size of 4", die width & height of 0,05mm, scribe lanes of 0,005mm, and edge loss of 5mm. The image is representative and does not reflect the actual semiconductor epiwafer.
Key enabler for microLED - a more sustainable display technology
Since displays are the most significant source of energy consumption in the majority of consumer electronic devices, replacing the existing OLED and LCD displays with microLED would have an enormous positive environmental impact.
Assembling enough large-screen microLED TVs (60” and up) to fulfill the current global demand would require almost 100 Million of 6” wafers every year. Assuming today's average manufacturing yield of 30%, this means 288 Million wafers, which translates into striking amounts of resources:
Electricity consumption: 93 TWh/year
Wastewater: 4,8B kg
Solid waste: 2B kg (over 50% of it hazardous)
Applying Kontrox in the microLED chip manufacturing process, these can be cut down to nearly a third, enabling a much-needed shift in semiconductor manufacturing sustainability.
By enabling the replacement of OLED & LCDs with highly efficient microLEDs, Kontrox can help reduce associated energy consumption and waste generation to nearly a third
Apart from enabling huge energy savings via optimizing semiconductor manufacturing and enabling advanced microLED technology, Kontrox also shows significant improvement for semiconductor materials used in RF power amplifiers, VCSELs, and sensors in billions of devices. Today, smartphones alone are estimated to consume up to 6000 GWh of energy per year - more than the annual output of a large nuclear plant. The lion's share of it is due to various crucial semiconductor devices. With Kontrox, the total energy consumption of an average smartphone device can be reduced by up to 35%* - an enormous number when applied on a global scale.
* based on estimated energy consumption of various semiconductor components in a smart phone device.