AXT Inc of Fremont, CA, USA has resumed wafer processing production of all substrate types, including indium phosphide (InP), gallium arsenide (GaAs) and germanium (Ge), at its manufacturing facility in Beijing, China, following the electrical fire on 16 March.
The fire caused no damage to InP crystal growth or wafer production.
In addition, the firm’s 6-inch GaAs and Ge crystal growth furnaces were not damaged by the fire, and there is no damage to the electrical supply supporting these 6-inch crystal growth furnaces. The electrical power supply supporting 2-inch, 3-inch and 4-inch GaAs and Ge crystal growth was damaged.
The custom-designed furnaces enable the firm to rotate key furnace hardware between different growth diameters. It therefore plans to use some of the 6-inch furnace capacity for 2-inch, 3-inch and 4-inch GaAs and Ge crystal growth production.
In addition to rotating diameter sizes, AXT says that it has sufficient redundancy in furnaces and plans to move furnaces within the plant to an area designated for crystal growth expansion. Power can then be connected and it can restore the smaller-diameter crystals to full production. The firm believes that it can return to full production during second-quarter 2017.
Further, to meet immediate customer demand, staged inventory of smaller-diameter crystalline ingots will be moved to wafer processing.
AXT notes that its wafer processing production area (including its cleanroom) is housed in a facility across the street from the building in which the electrical short-circuit fire occurred, and was therefore not affected. Further, no structural damage occurred to the building in which the fire took place.
“I am thankful that no injuries occurred and that the damage to our facilities was considerably less than we initially believed,” says CEO Morris Young. “I am grateful to local authorities for their timely response and assistance,” he adds. “We remain convinced about our business opportunities and are deeply committed to supporting the requirements of our customers through this process.”