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Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test

Fan-out materials; panel fan-out ballot; NY job fair.

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Packaging
Brewer Science has introduced the latest additions to its family of temporary bonding materials. The company also rolled out its new line of thin spin-on packaging materials.

The company’s temporary bonding materials are called BrewerBOND. The new products, called the BrewerBOND T1100 and BrewerBOND C1300 series, are combine to create a dual-layer system for temporary bonding and debonding of product wafers. The new system is developed for chip-first fan-out devices.

The spin-on materials, dubbed BrewerBUILD, is geared for redistribution-layer (RDL)-first fan-out wafer-level packaging. It meets the needs of chipmakers looking to transition from chip-first fan-out. “As industry requirements advance, Brewer Science continues to push forward the state of the art in our materials offerings,” said Kim Arnold, executive director of the Advanced Packaging Business Unit at Brewer.

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Several vendors are developing fan-out panel-level packaging (FO-PLP) technology. The problem is that vendors are developing products with different panel sizes. The FO-PLP Panel Task Force will be balloting its first specification for panel substrate in the upcoming cycle, which opens Sept. 5. The voting is open to all industry experts.

Universal Scientific Industrial (USI) and Cancon Information Industry have formed a joint venture. USI and Cancon will expand their cooperation in the design and production of high-performance server products. A member of the ASE group, USI provides design, material sourcing, manufacturing, logistics, and after services of electronic devices/modules.

SEMI and TechSearch International announced a new edition of the Worldwide OSAT Manufacturing Sites Database. The database tracks facilities that provide packaging and testing services to the semiconductor industry.

Fab tools
Veeco Instruments has announced that John Peeler, chairman and chief executive, will transition to the role of executive chairman, effective Oct. 1. William Miller, currently president, will become chief executive and will join the company’s board. Additionally, Shubham (Sam) Maheshwari will be named chief operating officer and will continue in his role as chief financial officer.

Linton Crystal Technologies (LCT) has announced the development of a Czochralski (CZ) process crystal grower capable of producing 600mm diameter crystals. The KX320/600 was designed for the semiconductor and specialty machined parts industries. “This is the largest commercially available CZ grower in operation,” said John Syring, senior sales and process engineer with LCT. “While it specifically meets the needs of the client for whom it was designed, it should prove valuable to anyone in the semiconductor or machined part industries looking to increase productivity and profitability.”

Chipmakers
Intel is organizing a networking event or job fair in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Intel’s Technology and Manufacturing Group is organizing the event.

TSMC has approved capital appropriations of approximately US$4,488.09 million for purposes including: ”1) construction of fab facilities; 2) installation, expansion, and upgrade of advanced technology capacity; 3) conversion of logic capacity to specialty technology capacity; 4) conversion of mature technology capacity to specialty technology capacity; 5) expansion and upgrade of specialty technology capacity; 6) expansion of advanced packaging technology capacity; 7) fourth quarter 2018 R&D capital investments and sustaining capital expenditures.”

Market research
The China IC Ecosystem Report reveals that front-end fab capacity in China will grow to account for 16% of the world’s semiconductor fab capacity this year, according to SEMI. This share will increase to 20% by the end of 2020. “With the rapid growth, China will top the rest of the world in fab investment in 2020 with more than $20 billion in spending, driven by memory and foundry projects funded by both multinational and domestic companies,” according to the report announced by SEMI.

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IHS Markit’s U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) registered a figure of 54.7 in August, down from 55.3 in July. The PMI is based on questionnaires, which are sent to purchasing managers in a panel of around 800 manufacturers. The indices vary between 0 and 100. The PMI is a weighted average of the following five indices: new orders (30%), output (25%), employment (20%), suppliers’ delivery times (15%) and stocks of purchases (10%).

August data indicated a strong overall improvement in the health of the U.S. manufacturing sector, but production rose at the weakest rate for almost a year. “Manufacturers reported the smallest output rise for almost a year in August, suggesting production growth could be as weak as 0.2% in the third quarter,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit. “Exports remain the key source of weakness for producers, with foreign orders barely rising in August after two months of modest declines. The strongest growth is being seen in consumer-facing companies, reflecting robust domestic demand, in turn linked to the strong labor market and buoyant consumer confidence, though even here growth has slowed.”