Packaging is an essential 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.
There are many types of packages in use today, and more either in research at universities or ready for production—everything from complex stacked die with through-silicon via to fan-outs and complex systems on chip. Packages also come in different materials, can be standard or custom, and they can have active or passive cooling.
Packages used to be considered a fairly non-critical part of the semiconductor design. They are now essential on every level, and there is a race on between foundries and OSATs to grab a larger share of this market as complexity and profitability increases.