Recent events have highlighted just how critical the semiconductor industry has become with shortages spurring a global investment boom in chip foundry and manufacturing capacity.

The world’s reliance on microchips is growing as use expands beyond computers and mobile phones to every industrial and consumer product from transport to health to edge and IoT.

The production of these extremely sensitive devices requires high quality power, which cannot be achieved with electrical utility alone. Power disturbances like voltage sags, surges or complete outages can be devastating to the semiconductor industry, leading to costly production downtime, material scrap, equipment damage and ultimately profit lost.

Any semiconductor shortage could affect millions of people and businesses worldwide. In 2018 the semiconductor industry had grown to $341 billion but as a result of COVID 19 pandemic and the heightened dependency on digital infrastructure, by 2021 the global semiconductor market is estimated to top $500 billion in value.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger recently announced the company is seeking to build a semiconductor factory in Europe at a cost of $10 billion.

Gelsinger said “While the industry has taken steps to address near term constraints it could still take a couple of years for the ecosystem to address shortages of foundry capacity, substrates and components. We plan to expand to other locations in the US and Europe, ensuring a sustainable and secure semiconductor supply chain for the world.”

Demand is expected to increase with different countries vying for control. As fears of China overtaking the US in critical technology supremacy US President Joe Biden has proposed a $2 trillion infrastructure development program with $50 billion dedicated towards the semiconductor industry.

Reliable, Sustainable Power back up for chip manufacture

With so many critical operations and complex processes, semiconductor facilities have made it a priority to invest in stable and dependable power sources.

For more than two decades Active Power has been supplying the semiconductor industry with stable, reliable, sustainable Flywheel UPS back up solutions at scale. The Active Power White Paper Integrated Flywheel UPS for Semiconductor Applications provides technical and operational analysis of Flywheel UPS technology use in chip manufacturing facilities.

All chip making fabrication plant operators know that purely relying on the incoming power source is no longer a viable option. There have been historical attempts at solving electrical problems with distributed or localized solutions, such as placing specialized voltage stabilizing equipment in the electrical system or by placing energy storage devices on the DC bus of motor controllers. Any power disturbance may be catastrophic to a wafer production line and potentially cause an entire batch to be scrapped. Some of the major concerns are voltage sags, surges, harmonic distortion and low power factor.

Active Power’s CleanSource® UPS and CleanSource HD UPS feature a true parallel online topology enabled by the flywheel, addressing all types of power quality issues.

The integration of flywheel energy storage into UPS systems for semiconductor manufacturing facilities addresses the central concerns of this critical industry.

With nearly 5,000 flywheels deployed worldwide, Active Power has saved mission critical operations an estimated $250 million in total costs due to the high efficiency and permanent energy storage of our Clean Source UPS and has reduced global carbon emissions by approximately 850,000 metric tons.

CTA: For developers, engineers and decision makers across the semiconductor manufacturing sector Active power has produced a White Paper detailing the sector requirements for clean, stable power and the benefits of Flywheel UPS for reliable, sustainable power back up in semiconductor manufacturing facilities

Integrated Flywheel UPS for Semiconductor Applications(2.49 MB):Download

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