TSMC Develops Hot DI Water Circulation System 2.0 for Wafer Cleaning Tool, Saving 380,000 kWh/yr of Electricity
In response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No.7, TSMC is committed to optimizing the efficiency of energy and resource efficiency during production, and has cooperated with suppliers to create the first hot DI water circulation system for wafer cleaning tools, which effectively saves DI water usage by 80%. In order to create more energy-saving opportunities, in 2022, the "hot DI water circulation system 2.0" was further developed for wafer cleaning tools in existing fabs, and the modular design was used to overcome space limitations in the cleanroom without affecting energy saving performance. This reduced the circulation system footprint by 60% and improved tool retrofit efficiency by 90.5%, greatly optimizing tool modification flexibility. As of April 2023, TSMC has successfully implemented the "hot DI water circulation system 2.0" 1st demo tool at Fab 12B, effectively saving 24,000 tons of pure water and 388,000 kWh of electricity. The aim is to save 11.6 million tons of pure water and 450 million kWh of electricity by 2030 after full implementation on existing 12-inch wafer GIGAFAB® facilities, continuing the practice of innovation in green manufacturing.
Modular Design Allows Wafer Cleaning Tools to be Upgraded in Situ
With the rapid evolution of semiconductor process technology, TSMC continues to focus on innovative ways to improve tool energy saving performance. In 2019, TSMC collaborated with suppliers to develop the “hot DI water circulation system 1.0” for wafer cleaning tools. A hot water storage tank was installed to collect non-process hot DI water. Cold water from the facility pipeline is supplied into the tank dynamically by an intelligent adjustment system, mixed and pre-heated with recycled hot water, then heated for use. This minimizes the temperature difference, leading to lower heater power consumption and energy saving. Due to the limited space in the area where the machines are located in the existing factory, TSMC worked with suppliers to redesigned the water tanks, pumps, filter materials and other equipment in the hot water circulation system into different modular units, which are pre-assembled and then stacked. The combined “hot DI water circulation system 2.0”, successfully reduced the system’s footprint, improved tool retrofit efficiency and increased green manufacturing benefits.
TSMC's Wafer Cleaning Tool Hot DI Water Circulation System Evolution
Adhering to the concept of maximizing the energy and resource efficiency, TSMC continues to reduce water and power used in semiconductor process tools and promotes environmental sustainability with green manufacturing innovation.
In addition to retrofitting the wafer cleaning tools of existing fabs, TSMC also evaluated and included the “hot DI water circulation system 2.0” in the advanced process tools purchase specifications, ensuring the related design verification and component installation is completed before new machine move in. This helps to reduce water and power used by wafer cleaning tools from day-1, continuing to implement green actions to achieve the goal of maximizing energy and resource efficiency.