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ADVANCED PACKAGING IS THE NEW INTEGRATION PROCESS IN SEMICONDUCTORS
Packaging is a fundamental part of semiconductor manufacturing and design. It affects power, performance, and cost on a macro level – and the basic functionality of all chips on a micro level. The package is the container that holds the semiconductor die – as well as the foundation on which functionalities are integrated, in addition to front end manufacturing. The packaging may be developed by separate providers, the Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test (OSAT) companies. Leading-edge foundries are also expanding their packaging efforts. The package protects the die, connects the chip to a board or other chips, and may dissipate heat. And of course, it is the platform for integration.
There are two types of semiconductor packaging. The first is “classical” packaging for simple components, like TO, SIL, QIP, or QFN package. It has become the most successful package type because of its simplicity, performance and price. The other is advanced packaging, a trend in semiconductor packaging that started many years ago in a spirit of miniaturization. This trend was obviously driven by mobile devices such as laptops and mobile phones which demanded “near die size” type of packages in order to eliminate package cost and area.
Advanced packaging is a general grouping of a variety of distinct techniques, including 2.5D, flip chip, Wafer-Level Chip Scale Package (WLCSP), 3D IC, Fan-Out Wafer Level Packaging (FOWLP), hybrid bonding and System in Package (SiP). All of these packages come in different materials such as polymer, ceramic, silicon. They can be standard or custom. They present active or passive functionalities such as heat dissipation for example.
At the industry level, from Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test (OSAT) companies to IDMs (Integrated Design Manufacturer) and foundries, the need for semiconductor packaging has established a complete equipment and materials supply chain behind. Those semiconductor companies are developing and manufacturing the building blocks of the packaging industry.
Due to this complexity, packages are now considered a fairly critical part of semiconductor design. They are now essential on every level, and there is a race on between foundries including TSMC, Samsung and Intel, and OSATs, like ASE and Amkor. Those companies grab a larger share of this market as complexity and profitability increases.
Due to strong, megatrend-driven momentum, advanced packaging’s share of the total semiconductor market is continuously increasing. Therefore, it has emerged as the most favorable and dynamic business segment and is pulling in big players from all levels of supply chain.
Smartphones, big data, 5G, and the Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution have spurred unprecedented growth for the semiconductor industry over the past 15 years. As we look into the future, Moore’s Law will continue to slow down as silicon transistor scaling continues to be very costly, with only a few players remaining to invest in the necessary capital infrastructure. Packaging, and especially advanced packaging, is thus enabling further integration, bypassing the limit of Moore’s Law and enabling innovation diversification in the industry.
It is in this dynamic context that Yole Group maintains daily collaboration with the leading advanced packaging companies and attendant supply chain to identify technical challenges and business opportunities.
Advanced packaging technologies are everywhere, and at Yole Group, we provide you with a relevant and valuable understanding of this arena through a wide range of technology, market, reverse engineering and costing analyses.
Yole Group has a deep understanding of semiconductor advanced packaging technologies. Our analysts keep tabs on the industry, identifying the latest innovations starting from materials, equipment, processes, and supply chain changes, all the way to the evolution of business models.
By tracking the leading advanced packaging companies, we highlight their technology choices and the strategy they set up to reach their objectives, as well as their interactions with front end manufacturing, substrates and Printed Circuit Board (PCB) evolutions. Supplier market shares of the packaging companies such as TSMC, Semco, Samsung Electronics, Amkor, JCET, ASE w/SPIL, PTI, Nepes, SPIL, Huatian, TFME, SK Hynix, Sony are deeply analyzed. Yole Group also offers insights on CAPEX and capacity, per supplier.
We provide you with an up-to-date snapshot of the market, market shares and technology trends, through a wide collection of reports, monitors and teardowns. We identify and analyze the key advanced package types such as Flip Chip Chip Scale Package (FCCSP), Flip Chip Ball Grid Array (FCBGA), Wafer-Level Chip Scale Package (WLCSP), fan-in and fan-out packages, 3D-stacked packages and System in Packages (SiP). We detail the market forecast up to wafer, and include Average Selling Price (ASP) per market segment. Overall, we deliver a relevant and accurate description of the end-product/device application and key process-technology mixes, taking full benefit of Yole SystemPlus reverse engineering and teardown capabilities.
Growth momentum in semiconductor packaging is not about to wane. At Yole Group, we estimate the market will be worth over $100 billion by the next five years! A strong push in semiconductor advanced packaging development, led by industry giants like TSMC, Intel and Samsung, are driving this growth.
Semiconductor packaging, especially advanced packaging one, is moving from package integration to substrate level integration, to fulfill the needs of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and device makers. This has given the likes of the industry giants the ability to flex their muscles in the advanced packaging segment, in parallel to investments from Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test (OSAT) like ASE, Amkor and JCET. All these players have emerged as the key innovators in new technologies. Because of the high resource requirement (in both CAPEX and skilled labor), innovation in packaging technology will be led by these major players.
Mobile and consumer constituted the main market segment of the total advanced packaging market by revenue today, with a predicted growth of over 8% by the next five years. Meanwhile, automotive and more generally transportation is the fastest growing segment in the advanced packaging market by revenue. The telecom and infrastructure segment is also playing a key role in the advanced packaging industry, with growth mimicking that of the mobile and consumer segment.
Data processing needs are continuously growing. Heterogeneous functions with the likes of data storage, data processing and sensing all have to be integrated into the same package. Front-end manufacturing has performance and cost boundaries. These are the context in which packaging and advanced packaging supply the core elements that fulfill Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and module maker needs, as well as Integrated Device Manufacturers (IDM).
One example to illustrate this? The growing need for data processing in datacenters, high performance computing, and also autonomous driving, is pushing processing requirements beyond the limits of what the CPUs, GPUs, SoCs, APUs, FPGAs, ASICS, DSPs, MCUs are able to deliver.
Integration at the packaging and substrate levels is therefore needed to achieve the right functionalities. Such evolution is driving more than $10 billion of investment from substrate manufacturers. This is leading foundries and IDM, as well as OSATs, to fulfill the market’s needs.
One of the main changes in the last years has been the reuse of front-end semiconductor processes like lithography, deposition, etching and cleaning to deliver back-end services. The challenges driven by the interconnections between a device or multiple devices and the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) for system integration cannot be solved without developing multiple in-between approaches to catch up with higher number of I/O, smaller interconnections and heterogeneousness of the devices. And this is just the start… of another cycle.