Three Trends Expected to Influence Semiconductor Advanced Packaging
Packaging is a process in the semiconductor development cycle that involves the wrapping of the silicon wafer in a case.
A recent report from Technavio identifies three emerging trends that are anticipated to drive the global semiconductor advanced packaging market from 2017-2021. (Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.)
Packaging is a process in the semiconductor development cycle that involves the wrapping of the silicon wafer in a case, which offers support and protection from physical damage while preventing chip corrosion. Over the last 10 years, semiconductor packaging has evolved from chip-scale packages to system in package (SiP), package on package (PoP), wafer-level package, 2.5-D integrated circuit boards (ICs), and finally to 3-D ICs. The packaging market faces challenges in wafer size and node migrations.
The top three emerging trends driving the global semiconductor advanced packaging market, according to Technavio hardware and semiconductor research analysts, are: changes in wafer size, the integration of semiconductor components in vehicles, and increasing merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. “The semiconductor industry has seen a drastic transition in wafer size over the last five decades,” said Sunil Kumar Singh, a lead analyst at Technavio for research on semiconductor equipment. “The industry is focusing on producing larger-diameter wafers, which is expected to cut down the manufacturing cost by 20-25%. As of 2016, the semiconductor industry is using 300-mm wafers, with foundries investing in developing more such fabs. For instance, SK Hynix is building an M14 fab for the 300-mm technology in South Korea.”
The demand for 200-mm wafers is also expected to continue during the forecast period because semiconductor devices such as image sensors, microcontrollers, display drivers, and a few MEMS-based products like accelerometers still use 200-mm wafers for manufacturing. The industry is now planning to develop 450-mm wafer technology, with pilot production expected to start during 2019-2020.
“The electrification of automobiles, as well as the rising demand for automation in vehicles, is driving the semiconductor market in this sector,” said Sunil. “Semiconductor ICs are being used for several purposes in automobiles, such as airbag control, GPS, anti-lock braking systems, displays, infotainment systems, power doors as well as windows, automated driving, and collision detection technology.”
The need for these semiconductor devices to be of small size and the right form factor will drive the demand for advanced packaging solutions from the automotive sector. The automotive market is expected to grow, driven by the rising yearly car production numbers, generating significant demand for semiconductor devices. This will, indirectly, trigger the demand for advanced packaging solutions during the forecast period.
The semiconductor packaging market is registering an increase in the number of mergers and acquisitions. Existing vendors are taking the M&A route to increase their market share. This trend has been a continual one, with other leading players in the global market also investing in M&A.
For more information, visit www.technavio.com.