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Mixed Outlook For Semi Biz


Both the IC and fab equipment industries have been enjoying a boom cycle for some time, but they could be facing speed bumps and possibly turbulence in the second half of this year and into 2019. In the first half of 2018, the industry was fueled by the momentum carried over from 2017. DRAM prices remained relatively high, which contributed to the revenue growth in the overall IC industry. M... » read more

New Transistor Types Vs. Packaging


Plans are being formulated for the rollout of multiple types of gate-all-around FETs and literally dozens of advanced packaging options. The question now is which ones will achieve critical mass, because there aren't enough chips in the world to support all of them profitably. FinFETs, which were first introduced by Intel at 22nm, are running out of steam. While they will survive 10/7nm, and... » read more

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

MIS Packaging Takes Off


Momentum is building for IC packages based on an emerging technology called molded interconnect substrate (MIS). ASE, Carsem, JCET/STATS ChipPAC, Unisem and others are developing IC packages based on MIS substrate technology, which is ramping up in the analog, power IC and even the cryptocurrency markets. MIS starts with a specialized substrate material for select IC packages. The MIS sub... » read more

Packaging Chips For Cars


As the complexity of automotive chips grows, so does the complexity of the package. In fact, packaging is becoming increasingly crucial to the performance and reliability of the chips, and both parts need to meet stringent safety standards before they are used inside a vehicle. This is true for all safety-critical applications, but for automotive in particular there are several key reasons w... » 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

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

Cheaper Packaging Options Ahead


Lower-cost packaging options and interconnects are either under development or just being commercialized, all of which could have a significant impact on the economics of advanced packaging. By far, the most cited reason why companies don't adopt advanced [getkc id="27" kc_name="packaging"] is cost. Currently, silicon [getkc id="204" kc_name="interposers"] add about $30 to the price of a med... » read more

Packaging Challenges For 2018


The IC packaging market is projected to see steady growth this year, amid ongoing changes in the landscape. The outsourced semiconductor assembly and test ([getkc id="83" kc_name="OSAT"]) industry, which provides third-party packaging and test services, has been consolidating for some time. So while sales rising, the number of companies is falling. In late 2017, for example, [getentity id="2... » read more

Fan-Outs vs. TSVs


Two years ago, at the annual IMAPS conference on 2.5D and 3D chip packaging, the presentations were dominated by talk of fan-out wafer-level packaging. There was almost no talk of through-silicon vias, which previously had been heralded as vital to 2.5D and 3DIC packaging. Fast forward to this month's 3D Architectures for Heterogeneous Integration and Packaging conference in Burlingame, Cali... » read more

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