SEMICON Taiwan’s Packaging Punch

System in package and stacked die generate buzz as traditional scaling becomes more difficult.

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SEMICON Taiwan packed a punch, setting several new records and new heights in 2015. This year marked the 20th anniversary of SEMICON in Taiwan and was the largest SEMICON in Taiwan ever, with a Nobel Prize winner (Professor Shuji Nakamura, 2014’s winner) keynoting the Executive Summit, Taiwan’s President Ma speaking at the hugely attended Gala Dinner, and 2015 on track for TSMC to be the world’s largest CapEx spender (outspending Intel for only the second time in history).

But even with all of that, often the buzz at SEMICON Taiwan was all about the package. With traditional device feature scaling becoming more expensive and difficult, packaging innovation has been increasingly relied upon to extend Moore’s Law, reduce device size and cost, and provide radical shape factors to pioneer new product applications (Apple Watch, for instance).

If there was any doubt that packaging packed a punch, see these photos of of Tien Wu, COO of ASE, an OSAT leader in package development, coming out of the SEMICON Taiwan press conference. Tien Wu is largely regarded as packaging rockstar, but he may have received a bit more attention at that moment as his appearance was soon after ASE, and later, Hon Hai/Foxconn announced plans to purchase or swap large blocks of SPIL (Siliconware Precision Industries Co., Ltd.) stock, another leading Taiwan-based OSAT.

Tien Wu, COO of ASE Group

Tien Wu, COO of ASE Group

Packaging, and its increasingly important role was everywhere and was also the focus of two heavily attended SEMICON Taiwan programs. The Advanced Packaging Technical Symposium focused on More-than-Moore and Advanced Package issues. Speakers from Yole, Amkor, ASM, SPIL, Asahi Kasei, SPTS, Xcerra, ASE, and Lam presented trends on packaging platforms that are experiencing the highest growth and interest in the industry. WLCSP, flip Chip, fan-out and embedded die technologies, and 3D-IC were covered. Teardowns of the latest packaging technologies from lower cost (WLCSP) to more complex (3D stacked) platforms were also presented.

The SiP (System in Package) Global Summit 3D-IC Technology Forum was a two-day deep dive on SiP topics. As Dr. C. P. Hung, VP Corporate R&D at ASE Group, opened the first day’s session, while 3D-IC pushed-out vs. some earlier expectations, this pause led to new and productive alternatives. For example, flip chip originally was just slated for next generations in 2.5D FCBGA and 3D FCBGA, but now additional options have emerged, such as HB-PoP, FanOut PoP, Glass Substrate, and 2nD with Advanced Substrates. And with that introduction, the Forum was off and running.

SEMICON Taiwan SIP Global Summit 3D-IC Technology Forum

SEMICON Taiwan SIP Global Summit 3D-IC Technology Forum

The SiP Global Summit 3D-IC Technology Forum day 1 program included Cisco’s take on 3D-IC’s role in system integration; AMD and Hynix presented their development of GPU and 2.5 HBM (High Bandwidth Memory) respectively; Altera presented the role interconnect technology for cost effective 2.nD packaging, among a broad and deep program that also included presentations by Leti, ASE, Applied Materials, Amkor, Teradyne, and Cadence; and followed by a panel discussion moderated by representatives from ITRI, Lam Research, SPTS, UMC, and Altera.

Packaging may have packed the punch, but SEMICON Taiwan was itself a star. The exhibition show floors were packed to the point where it was difficult to push through some aisles. Taiwan marked its 20th anniversary with a surge in its continued growth. 2015 was a record year with over 700 exhibiting companies, more than 1,500 booths, and over 43,000 (estimated) attendees. This year SEMICON Taiwan fully occupied both floors of Taipei’s Nangang Exhibition Center. There were more than 20 business and technical forums in addition to three days of TechXPOT and Product Launch Center presentations, crowned by the Leadership Gala dinner exceeding 600 guest capacity. All in all, it was SEMICON Taiwan was a great package!

Professor Shuji Nakamura SEMICON Taiwan 2015

Professor Shuji Nakamura SEMICON Taiwan 2015

Martin Anstice, Lam Research; Nicky Lu, Etron Technology; Tien Wu, ASE Group; Taiwan President Ma; Denny McGuirk, SEMI; Su Lin, Hermes Epitek; Terry Tsao, SEMI

Martin Anstice, Lam Research; Nicky Lu, Etron Technology; Tien Wu, ASE Group; Taiwan President Ma; Denny McGuirk, SEMI; Su Lin, Hermes Epitek; Terry Tsao, SEMI

Other upcoming major events for Asia include the SEMI Vietnam Business Mission 2015 in Hanoi on Sept 21-23, PV Taiwan 2015 on October 14-16, and the International Technology Partners Conference (ITPC) in Maui, Hawaii on November 1-4.

SEMICON Taiwan 2016 will be held from September 7-9 in Taipei.