November 10, 2005 – Elpida Memory Inc. has begun on-site production of hydrogen gas necessary for production of DRAM chips at its Higashi Hiroshima main plant, reports the Nikkei English News.
The chipmaker has introduced a system developed by Kobelco Eco-Solutions Co. that uses electrolysis of pure water to produce 20 cu. m. of highly pure hydrogen gas per hour. Large quantities of this gas are needed for procedures that create films on the surfaces of silicon wafers during DRAM production.
Until now, Elpida’s hydrogen gas needs had been met via shipping in compressed gas in cylinders. The company expects the shift to on-site production to result in stable production that can more swiftly respond to fluctuations in supply-demand conditions.
With this system, the supply of hydrogen gas can be easily regulated using switches and valves. In addition to reducing gas cylinder transport costs, the system also eliminates fears that the plant could run out of hydrogen gas.
The system is owned and operated by gas trading firm Toyoko Kagaku Co., which bore the expense of buying and installing it. Elpida will pay Toyoko Kagaku a fee based on the volume of hydrogen gas used, just as it had been doing with gas cylinders.