Heat management is urgently needed as integrated circuits become more miniature
Application range widens from DDI to SiC
Demand surges in the EV battery market

The semiconductor industry is jumping into research and development (R&D) of new materials with heat dissipation functions. This is due to the urgent need to control and manage 'heat', which can cause fatal damage to the chip as semiconductor circuits become smaller. The scope of application is also expanding from Display Driver IC (DDI) to silicon carbide (SiC) products, which are considered to be next-generation power semiconductors.

Toray has begun joint research on heat dissipating adhesive sheets for SiC power semiconductors with the Institute of Microelectronics (IME) under the Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research. SiCs are compound semiconductor materials that are considered to be next-generation power management semiconductors. They are characterized by superior stability and heat resistance compared to silicone products.

Recently, integrated circuits (ICs) are becoming even smaller, in order to improve semiconductor performance. At this point, existing heat dissipating adhesives using existing grease and solder cannot sufficiently cool them. Failure to control the heat generated by semiconductors could cause the product to malfunction and become damage. Toray and IME plan to develop a heat dissipating adhesive sheet with low contact heat resistance and apply it to SiC products. They are believed to have already made considerable research achievements, demonstrated through a number of durability tests at high temperatures.

This is not the first time that a new external material is applied to catch heat. Recently, with the miniaturization of semiconductors, heat management by design itself has become difficult, and a series of cases of dissipating heat with heat dissipating sheets (film) have emerged. Heat dissipating sheets are thinner and more flexible than cooling plates, so they do not significantly affect the light, thin and compact semiconductor. They are also characterized by being applicable to various products.

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<Daehyun ST will develop and mass-produce high-efficiency heat-dissipating tapes that are twice as effective as reducing temperatures than existing semiconductor heat-dissipating tapes. Researchers at Daehyun ST's research center are inspecting highly efficient heat dissipating tapes. Hwaseong (Gyeonggi) = Reporter Dong-geun Lee foto@etnews.com>

In Korea, Daehyun ST, together with a display panel maker, succeeded in heat management with a technology that applies a heat dissipating film to a DDI. DDIs are also pointed out as semiconductors that are vulnerable to temperature rises due to the increase in the amount of signals processed as displays become more high-definition and high-performance. By applying Daehyun ST's highly efficient heat dissipating tape, the temperature of DDIs that go over 100 degrees can be lowered to around 60 degrees. Komotech also developed a semiconductor heat dissipating material with its proprietary silicon composite design technology. It is supplying it to domestic semiconductor manufacturers and increasing its market influence.

The heat dissipating material market is expected to continue growing. This is because semiconductor products that require heat control and management are expected to expand. An official from the semiconductor industry said, "Various methods for reducing semiconductor chip heat are being studied and demand is spreading," adding that "rapid heat dissipating methods through heat dissipating material are under the spotlight." The demand for heat-dissipating materials to prevent safety accidents such as fires is rapidly increasing in the electric vehicle battery market as well as semiconductors. The global heat dissipating material market has grown at an annual rate of 6.5% over the past five years and is expected to reach $15.2 billion (about 21 trillion KRW) next year.

By staff reporter Dong-joon Kwon djkwon@etnews.com