Samsung's subsidiary, Semes, has achieved a breakthrough in the semiconductor manufacturing equipment sector by successfully developing an ArF-i photoresist coater/developer, a critical component in the chip production process. The first unit, named Omega Prime, was supplied last year, and the company is currently fabricating the second unit.

Historically, Korean chip manufacturers have been entirely dependent on foreign equipment manufacturers for such machinery, with Samsung alone spending tens of billions of won annually. Tokyo Electron has held over 90% of the global market share for ArF-i photoresist coater/developer equipment.

The photoresist coater/developer is instrumental in the photolithography process of chip production, where photoresist is deposited onto the wafer and then patterned into circuitry upon exposure to light.

Semes has previously manufactured KrF (krypton fluoride) photoresist coater/developers and has now developed an ArF version to accommodate the shorter wavelengths of newer lithography machines.

The company has stated that the Omega Prime incorporates automated systems for nozzles, baking temperatures, and robot positioning adjustments to eliminate setting deviations during the coating and developing processes. This advancement is expected to bolster Samsung's position in the semiconductor market and lessen the industry's dependence on external equipment providers.