Advanced packaging: Fueling the next era of
semiconductor innovation

An article written by Bilal Hachemi and Emilie Jolivet from Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group, for Chip Scale Review.

Today, the semiconductor industry is at the forefront of technological innovation, revolutionizing various applications such as artificial intelligence (AI), 5G communications, and high-performance computing (HPC). As
we venture into the generative AI era, there is an ever-growing demand for more powerful, compact, and efficient
electronic devices. In this pursuit, advanced packaging has emerged as a crucial enabler, pivotal in the More-than-Moore era. This article delves into the definition of advanced packaging platforms and how they shape the future of semiconductors. Advanced packaging (AP) refers to a diverse set of innovative technologies that package integrated circuits (ICs) to increase functionality, improve performance, and provide added value compared to traditional packaging methods, with different I/O density and I/O pitch depending on the targeted application’s requirements, performance, and cost (Figure 1).

In our recent Status of the Advanced Packaging report we consider the following as AP platforms: fan-out (FO) packaging, wafer-level chip -scale packaging (WLCSP), flip-chip ball-grid array (fcBGA), flip-chip CSP (fcCSP), system-in-package (SiP), and 2.5D/3D stacked packaging, including complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors (CIS) using hybrid bonding, high-bandwidth memor y (HBM), 3D-stacked dynamic random access memory (DRAM) (3DS), 3D system-on-chip (3D-SoC), 3D NAND, Si interposers and embedded Si bridges.

The significance of AP cannot be overstated, especially in the context of emerging technologies and applications.
The following sections present the main drivers fueling the need for AP.

AI and machine learning. AI applications require high-performance computing with low latency. AP platforms
like 2.5D/3D stacked packaging, HBM, and Si interposers allow for higher memory bandwidth and improved system integration, critical for AI inference and training tasks.

Generative AI era. The generative AI era emphasizes the ability of AI models to create new data, content, or solutions autonomously. This era demands highly efficient hardware capable of processing vast amounts of data and generating complex algorithms in real time, which is made possible by AP technologies.

5G communication. The rollout of 5G technology demands compact and efficient devices to accommodate complex communication systems. AP solutions like WLCSP and fan-out packaging enable smaller form factors, lower power consumption, and improved thermal management, making them ideal for 5G devices.

HPC. HPC applications, such as data centers and supercomputers, require fast and reliable processing. Technologies such as fcCSP and FCBGA offer superior electrical performance and higher I/O density, making them well-suited for HPC systems.

Read the full article here.