OSAT Consolidation Continues


Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) and Siliconware Precision Industries Ltd. (SPIL) are beginning the process of uniting the two companies, which are among the largest outsourced semiconductor assembly and testing contractors in the world. For now, the companies will continue to operate separately, while their shares are traded under the ASX symbol on the New York Stock Exchange. ASE I... » read more

The Case For Chiplets


Discussion about chiplets is growing as the cost of developing chips at 10/7nm and beyond passes well beyond the capabilities of many chipmakers. Estimates for developing 5nm chips (the equivalent 3nm for TSMC and Samsung) are well into the hundreds of millions of dollars just for the NRE costs alone. Masks costs will be in the double-digit millions of dollars even with EUV. And that's assum... » read more

The Race To Mass Customization


The number of advanced packaging options continues to rise. The choices now include different materials for interposers, at least a half-dozen fan-outs, not to mention hybrid fan-out/3D stacking, system-in-package, flip-chip and die-to-die bridges. There are several reasons for all of this activity. First, advanced packaging offers big improvements in performance and power that cannot be ac... » read more

Toward High-End Fan-Outs


Foundries and OSATs are working on more advanced fan-outs, including some with vertically stacked die inside the package, filling a middle ground between lower-cost fan-outs and systems in package on one side and 2.5D and 3D-ICs on the other. These new [getkc id="202" kc_name="fan-outs"] have denser interconnects than previous iterations, and in some cases they include multiple routing layer... » read more

Looking At Test Differently


Wilhelm Radermacher, executive advisor at [getentity id="22816" e_name="Advantest"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss how the impact of rapid market changes, advanced packaging approaches and increasing complexity on test strategies and equipment. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: As we move into new markets where use models and stresses on devices are dif... » read more

Fan-Out Wars Begin


Several packaging houses are developing the next wave of high-density fan-out packages for premium smartphones, but perhaps a bigger battle is brewing in the lower density fan-out arena. Amkor, ASE, STATS ChipPAC and others sell traditional low-density fan-out packages, although some new and competitive technologies are beginning to appear in the market. Low-density fan-out, or sometimes cal... » read more

Follow The Moving Money


Semiconductor economics are changing by market, by region, and by product node and packaging type, adding new complexity into decisions about which technology to use for which products and why. Money is the common denominator in all of these decisions, whether it's measured by return on invested capital, quarterly profits, or long-term investments that can include acquisitions, organic growt... » read more

Advanced Packaging Still Not So Simple


The promise of advanced packaging comes in multiple areas, but no single packaging approach addresses all of them. This is why there is still no clear winner in the packaging world. There are clear performance benefits, because the distance between two chips in a package can be significantly shorter than the distance that signals have to travel from one side of a die to another. Moreover, wi... » read more

What’s What In Advanced Packaging


Ever open the body of your smartphone (perhaps unintentionally) and see small, black rectangles stuck on a circuit board? Those black rectangles are packaged chips. The external chip structure protects the fragile integrated circuits inside, as well as dissipates heat, keeps chips isolated from each other, and, importantly, provides connection to the circuit board and other elements. The manufa... » read more

What’s Missing In Packaging


The growth of advanced packaging on the leading edge of design is inching backwards into older nodes. With most technology—tools, methodologies, materials and processes—this is business as usual. But in packaging, it's both counterintuitive and potentially problematic. The main reason that companies began investing in advanced packaging—OSATs, foundries, chipmakers such as Intel and Qu... » read more

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