CMC Workshop Flags Looming Shortages of IPA and Sulfuric

Pre-registrants for 2020 CMC Conference access COVID-19 Info

These extraordinary times of greater risks call for more information, so the Critical Materials Council (CMC) of semiconductor fabricators & suppliers is now meeting briefly several times a month to exchange pre-competitive information to mitigate potential supply-chain disruptions. The last meetings exposed a likely shortage in iso-propyl alcohol (IPA) looming just over the business horizon due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CMC has now opened attendance at monthly COVID-19 Briefings and Virtual Workshops to pre-registrants for the 2020 CMC Conference, happening October 22-23 in Hillsboro, Oregon


Fabs and suppliers say that the supply-chain for semiconductor-grade IPA has the capacity to meet current global requirements (Figure). However, due to COVID-19, governments around the world have mandated that some of the industrial IPA supply-chain be redirected to healthcare and consumer distribution, increasing overall demand.
Spot prices for this critical material have reportedly increased a staggering 30% month-over-month (MoM).

Global sources of IPA depend on propene feedstock from oil refiners, and the current economic slowdown has reduced oil demand to such an extent that refineries are being idled. TECHCET has put up “cautionary flags” to watch for 2H20 shortages of IPA and sulfuric acid, as per the latest quarterly update to TECHCET’s Wet Chemicals & Specialty Cleans analysis.

While regional disruptions to IPA supply are nearly certain in the short-term, global materials companies are responding by trying to increase shipments. For example, industry sources indicate that an Asian supplier of IPA is now trying to move material to the US and Europe. In the last COVID-19 Virtual Workshop of the CMC, attendees discussed the ramifications of a reduced number of ships leaving ports around the world, and why they anticipate that the average time to ship cargo will increase.

The next COVID-19 Briefing will be given on May 6th, and the next interactive COVID-19 Virtual Workshop will happen on May 27th. Pre-registrants for the 2020 CMC Conference will be able to join in these monthly meetings to learn what is happening now in critical supply-chains, and will also be able to access updated news and analysis archives at the CMC information website. This website ( aggregates daily and weekly analysis on the impact of COVID-19 on the semiconductor materials markets and supply-chains. Four folders of
information are provided which include:

    • TECHCET Briefings and Statistics,
    • Global News relating to semiconductor materials,
    • CMC Fab Members and Supplier Associate Member survey results, and
    • Credible web resources for information on the growing pandemic

2020 CMC Conference
Featuring a Keynote by Bruce Tufts, VP of Technology and Director of Fab Materials Organization, Intel Corp. on “Critical Materials Pushing the Limits for Semiconductor Manufacturing” the 5th annual CMC Conference will include more than 25 powerful presentations, the popular Materials Action Roundtables with discussions and refreshments,
and other networking opportunities.

Four impactful presentation sessions will cover:

    I. Global Value-chain Issues, Including Economics and Regulations,
    II. Immediate Challenges of Materials & Manufacturing,
    III. Emerging Materials in R&D and Pilot Fabrication, and
    IV. Heterogeneous-Integration / Advanced Packaging Materials.

The fourth session is new for this year, covering system-level performance scaling issues and the materials needed to enable cost-effective “chiplet” packaging. Register for the 2020 CMC Conference now to join the “in crowd” of buyers and suppliers working to keep critical-materials flowing through semiconductor fabrication lines. Know what is happening now, and what risks loom on the business horizon during times of chaos. The next
COVID-19 Briefing will occur on May 6th.