More than 120 companies from around the world are to gather in South East Asia later this month, as SEMI Singapore Pte Ltd hosts the SEMICON Singapore 2009 Exposition from 20th – 22nd May.

To be held at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre, SEMICON Singapore has been held annually since 1993 and is Southeast Asia's premier microelectronics exposition dedicated to semiconductor manufacturing technology.

The event provides a neutral platform for industry players to converge and exchange technical ideas and develop business opportunities.

According to a statement issued by SEMI Singapore, more than 120 companies from around the globe will exhibit their latest products and technologies in semiconductor and photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing – both ever-increasing consumers of industrial and specialty gases.

Market trends & manufacturing
The programme, scheduled over the three days of the exhibition, will include sessions on semiconductor market trends, advanced packaging technologies, product test engineering and wafer processing technologies.

For PV/Solar, there will be two sessions, with the first covering government policies and the PV markets. The second covers topics on PV technology, manufacturing costs, and solar applications.

Alongside SEMICON Singapore 2009, SEMI Singapore will introduce the inaugural SOLARCON Singapore 2009, which will showcase products and technologies aimed at the growing solar/photovoltaic (PV) market in Southeast Asia.

According to the statement, the Southeast Asia semiconductor materials market has enjoyed consistent growth in the last two years and this trend is expected to continue despite the global financial crisis that is affecting the semiconductor industry.

Small development, large applications
Meanwhile reports suggest that the PV industry is on the verge of expanding into something really big - miniature PV cells.

The small scale cells are being developed to be used almost anywhere sunlight may strike - from fabrics to vehicles. The units would be so tiny and flexible, the hope is that they can be imprinted on almost any applications and collect energy while either used or worn.

Researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign developed a technique by which to create ultra-thin solar cells only 1/10th the thickness of semi-conductor cells, while US company Semprius has licensed the technology and is developing unique, patented technology that allows transfer printing of high performance semiconductors onto virtually any surface.

There are more than five hundred steps to manufacture a state-of-the-art semiconductor, all using gases to varying degrees, with more than 20 different gases are known to be used.

Although only a handful of different gases are used in solar cell manufacturing, compared with semiconductor production, the volumes required are quite considerably larger and if the expectedly rapid rise of solar power takes place, this could present quite a demand for electronic gases.