Key Foundry Reinforces ESG Activities


SEOUL, South Korea, Sept. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — As the COVID-19 crisis unfolds, businesses are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of their responsibility for the environment and society. In particular, the idea of Environment, Social, and Governance or ESG has become crucial.

Key Foundry, the only pure-play foundry in Korea, announced today that it will reinforce ESG activities, which are more comprehensive and demonstrate the management’s determination for greater social contribution than the previous ESH program focusing mainly on environment, safety, and health.

Supporting Supply of Semiconductor to Respond to Rising Demand from Medical Application markets relating to the COVID-19 Pandemic

While the demand for semiconductors for medical applications has increased since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, medical application vendors are struggling with securing necessary semiconductors because of the constrained semiconductor foundry supply. The power semiconductor demand is exceptionally high, and the supply for ventilators may play a crucial role on whether lives can be saved from the virus infection. By offering 0.18 micron NVM (Non-Volatile Memory) processes, Key Foundry has actively responded to the increasing demand for body thermometers since the start of the pandemic and is continuously supporting the production of readout ICs (ROIC) for thermographic cameras and source driver ICs for oxygen concentrators. Recently, an end customer who had been seriously concerned about a production interruption due to the semiconductor shortage expressed its gratitude to Key Foundry for its timely support DC-DC converters for ventilators using BCD (Bipolar-CMOS-DMOS) process.

Efforts to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

To meet the growing demand for 8-inch wafers lately, Key Foundry is stepping up its effort to raise the utilization rate and expand the capacity. With a prediction that a highly utilized fab will use more gases for semiconductor fabrication (SF6 , PFCs, HFCs, etc.), and expanded facilities and infrastructure will emit considerably more greenhouse gases, Key Foundry has obtained carbon allowances and credits  early on and drawn up an emission plan to seek a lower-carbon environment. One area of focus is PFC (perfluorinated compounds) reduction, a goal that semiconductor companies across the globe are making endeavors to achieve. The company has substituted C3F8 (octafluoropropane) with lower global warming potential for C2F6 (fluorine), a greenhouse gas used in semiconductor fabrication, and reduced LNG usage from 7,000kNm³ to 800kNm³ by recycling waste heat (steam) from local incinerators. In addition, it cut the PFC use by 80K tons last year by installing plasma scrubbers in PFC-using equipment and will continue the investment targeting an annual 150K-ton PFC reduction.

Water, Waste, and Energy Management Improvement and Other Green Activities

Highly refined DI (deionized) water is inevitably used in semiconductor manufacturing to clean wafers and improve productivity, and Key Foundry recycles 57% of this wafer-cleaning water used before and after each processing step. Furthermore, it treats more than 90% of wastes generated within the facilities using the service of a recycling company and will continue increasing the waste recycling rate. To reduce energy consumption, the company signed an energy-saving agreement with the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy of Korea in 2016 and has been identifying new energy-saving actions and implementing them sequentially.

“The time is calling for businesses to take on greater social and environmental responsibilities, and we are exploring various ways to launch ESG activities,” said Dr. Tae Jong Lee, CEO of Key Foundry. “We place the idea of ESG at the center of our operational principles and will continue to undertake activities in the area.”

About Key Foundry

Headquartered in Korea, Key Foundry provides specialty Analog and Mixed-Signal foundry services for semiconductor companies to serve a wide range of applications in the consumer, communications, computing, automotive and industrial industries. With a broad range of technology portfolio and process nodes, Key Foundry has the flexibility and capability to meet the ever-evolving needs of semiconductor companies across the globe. Please visit for more information.

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