In The News


TechXSPOTs at SEMICON West 2006

SAN JOSE, CA - In response to the success of Technology Innovations Showcase (TIS), SEMI has expanded the idea, introducing TechXPOTs to SEMICON West 2006, July 11-14 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. Based on “a show within a show” concept, these four technology-focused areas will feature exhibits, displays, and exhibitor presentations on the specific topics.

The concept is an extension of the TIS and subsequent Emerging Technology Hall, which was launched 2 years ago to feature new and innovative companies that might otherwise be overlooked, says Stanley T. Myers, president and CEO of SEMI. “The idea behind the TechXPOTs was to grow the original concept to address even more critical issues and topics facing micro- and nano-electronics manufacturing, and to bring the energy and excitement of the Emerging Technologies Hall to other areas within the show,” he said.

Each TechXPOT focuses on a major theme - manufacturing beyond CMOS, advanced packaging and test, manufacturing productivity, and challenges in device scaling to 32 nm - that match priorities identified in the ITRS roadmap and through surveys of the semiconductor industry.  

TechXPOTs will feature presentations from relevant TIS winners, segmented according to their area of technology focus and technical contribution as it coincides with each TechXPOT, explained Myers.

The Emerging Technology TechXPOT, located in West Hall, Level 3 of the Moscone Center, focuses on emerging market opportunities in nanotechnology, microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS), and energy.

The Test, Assembly, and Packaging TechXPOT, located in West Hall, Level 2 of the Moscone Center, focuses on innovations in test, assembly, and packaging. Sessions include test roadmaps and design for test, organized by SEMI; user packaging roadmaps, organized by MEPTEC; fabless roadmaps, organized by FSA; and a lead-free seminar, organized by iNEMI and TechSearch International.

Located in the Esplanade Hall, the Manufacturing Productivity & Effectiveness TechXPOT will focus on innovations in electronic design automation (EDA) and e-manufacturing. Packaging professionals will be most interested in the sessions of this TechXPOT.

MEMS Revenue Slows Despite Increased Demand

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - More companies are realizing the value of microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS) in the development of “smart products,” reports Bourne Research, a market analysis firm that specializes in MEMS, nanotechnology, and the convergence of both. At the same time, revenue for 2005 has slowed despite the increase in orders for MEMS devices, according to a report by In-Stat.

As MEMS commercialization transitions from the automotive industry, where reliability standards are high and devices cost in the $20 to $70 range, to RF MEMS components and silicon microphones, which cost as little as $1, growth is expected to be slow. Typically, the MEMS market structure revolved around low-volume development of high-priced devices. Now that low-cost devices are in demand and being developed, volume will have to increase to meet the revenue, explained Marlene Bourne, principal analyst for Bourne Research. She added that cost of MEMS devices is down partly because safety requirements and sensing parameters aren’t as stringent in the lower-priced products using the MEMS devices. Inventory backlogs and weaknesses in key markets also contributed to the slow growth, according to In-Stat.

MEMS-based motion, pressure, and acoustic sensors are finding their way into toys, housewares, sporting goods, and clothing, reports Bourne Research. In addition, automotive and computing segments of the MEMS industry are projected to be displaced by communications and industrial markets, with communications being the overall driver, reports In-Stat. “These are interesting times in the MEMS industry,” says Bourne. “It’s clear to me that future growth will come from consumer products.”

Pac Tech GmbH Partners with Japanese Trading Company

NAUEN, GERMANY - Pac Tech GmbH, a provider of wafer-bumping and advanced-laser bonding equipment, announced that Nagase & Co., Ltd., a multi-billion-dollar Japanese trading company, has acquired a 60% share of Pac Tech GmbH and its subsidiary, Pac Tech USA, located in Santa Clara, CA, for an undisclosed amount, making them a controlling stockholder.

Left to right: Takahiro Okumura - manager, Wafer Bumping, Nagase & Co., Ltd.; Ghassem Azdasht - CTO and founder, Pac Tech - Packaging Technologies GmbH; Kazuo Nagashima - director and executive officer, Electronics Group, Nagase & Co., Ltd.; Elke Zakel - CEO and founder, Pac Tech - Packaging Technologies GmbH.
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Nagase has been selling Pac Tech equipment and technology licenses since 2002. The partnership will help both companies gain significant market share in the Pacific Rim, says Elke Zakel, Ph.D., president of Pac Tech GmbH.

“The combination of Nagase’s market presence and Pac Tech’s strong technology presence in Asia make for excellent synergy because it allows for Pac Tech’s sales efforts in Asia to be supported by Nagase’s sales infrastructure there,” says Thorsten Teutsch, president of Pac Tech USA.

Nagase expects sales of Pac Tech’s back-end equipment and materials in China and Japan to double over the next 3 years, according to Kazuo Nagashima, Nagase’s director executive officer. Sales reached 6 billion JPY in 2005.

Despite acquiring controlling stock, no infrastructure changes to Pac Tech GmbH are expected, other than with regard to financial decisions, noted Teutsch. “That’s a good thing for us,” he said. “Nagase has committed that Dr. Zakel will stay on as president for at least 2 years. They don’t want to interfere.”

Kulicke & Soffa Moves Headquarters

FORT WASHINGTON, PA - Kulicke & Soffa Industries announced the relocation of its corporate headquarters from Willow Grove, PA, to a new building in Fort Washington, PA, effective May 1, 2006.

“We had been in our Willow Grove facility for close to 20 years, and given the transition of manufacturing to Asia, combined with the need for a better facility for our engineers in the U.S., this new headquarters made perfect sense,” explained Scott Kulicke, president and CEO of Kulicke & Soffa.

Current email addresses and phone numbers will be maintained. The new corporate address is Kulicke & Soffa Industries Inc., 1005 Virginia Drive, Fort Washington, PA 19034.

SiliconPipe Welcomes Gerald “Skip” Fehr, Ph.D.

SAN JOSE, CA - SiliconPipe, an interconnection development company, announced that Gerald “Skip” Fehr, Ph.D. has joined its advisory team, bringing 40 years of IC packaging experience to the company.

“Skip’s knowledge of the IC packaging realm is unrivaled, and we look forward to having his guidance,” says Joseph Fjelstad, co-founder of SiliconPipe.

Fehr, who holds a doctorate in materials science and engineering, was co-founder and CTO of Integrated Packaging Assembly Corp. (IPAC and now OSE-USA), located in San Jose, CA. Prior to that, Fehr was director of IC package development and assembly at LSI Logic in Milpitas, CA. In addition, his industry tenure includes technical positions at Intel, Burroughs, Fairchild Semiconductor Inc., and Texas Instruments.

AP Interview with Gerald “Skip” Fehr, Ph.D.

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The semiconductor packaging industry has undergone some profound changes since the invention of the IC, and only a small handful of people can claim to have seen industry evolve up close and personal during that time. One of the select few is semiconductor industry veteran and consultant Gerald (Skip) Fehr, Ph.D.

Fehr has made an indelible impression on the industry since his completing his doctoral thesis. Advanced Packaging recently had the opportunity to interview Skip regarding his views on IC packaging - where it has been and where it is going.

AP - “You were co-founder and CTO of Integrated Packaging Assembly Corp. Where were you prior to that?”

Fehr - “Prior to founding IPAC, I was director of IC package development and assembly at LSI Logic. I was employee number 10 there. Before that, I was employee Number 32 at Intel. I also worked at Burroughs, Fairchild Semiconductor Inc., and Texas Instruments. I had the good fortune to have known both inventors of the IC - Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce. They were two of the most outstanding individuals I have had the opportunity to know personally.”

AP - With that background, you are likely to have participated in some significant developments. What notable developments first come to mind?

Fehr - “The most notable would include the development of surface mount packages (flat packages, etc.), the dual-in-line package family, array packages (PGA and BGA), requirements for high lead count, high thermal loads, and high-speed electrical signals. I think it truly amazing that packaging has always been able to meet the requirements of the chip. The industry has come from the days when the packaging engineer was told, “here is a new chip - what do you have that we can put it in?” to now when the total system is designed to work together.”

AP - What challenges do you see in the future?

Fehr - “Standardization of IC packaging. While processes are becoming more standardized, I believe there will actually be less package standardization in the future, in part because of the stated goal to co-design the IC with the package to meet future performance needs.”

AP - Is shared research on IC packaging a realistic goal?

Fehr - “Good question. If a single company does all the research, it could be challenging to get others to adopt unless it can be used across the board by all companies without great expense. The other side of the equation is that the developing will not likely want to give away their research. There are some unusual approaches to solving this problem in the works.”

AP Editorial Board Welcomes Amkor’s Christopher Scanlan

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NASHUA, NH - Advanced Packaging Magazine is pleased to welcome Christopher Scanlan, VP of package development at Amkor Technology Inc. to its Editorial Advisory Board. At Amkor, Scanlan leads the development of advanced package technologies, including flip chip CSPs, high-performance flip chip and RF modules, 3-D/SiP packages, and MEMS and biometric sensor packages. Prior to Amkor, he was responsible for flip chip CSP development and deployment at Motorola’s Advanced Interconnect Systems Laboratory in Tempe, AZ. At Motorola’s Power Products Division, he managed manufacturing engineering for IGBT hybrid power module products. Scanlan holds a B.S. and a master’s degree in materials science and engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he developed a multi-layer, transformation-toughening ceramic thin film material. Scanlan’s first contributed editorial is on page 52 of this issue.

API Electronics Group and Rubincon Ventures Sign Merger

NEW YORK, NY - API Electronics Group Corp., a manufacturer of electronic components and systems for the defense and communications industries, and Rubincon Ventures Inc. signed a definitive agreement to merge in an all-stock transaction, bringing the companies one step closer to the merger announced in March.

The newly formed company, API Nanotronics Corp., will focus on nanotechnology product solutions, said Phillip DeZwirek, chairman and CEO of API Electronics Group. API management will manage the combined company, and the board of directors will be controlled by API nominees.

Carsem Receives Supplier Recognition Award

SCOTTS VALLEY, CA - ELMOS Semiconductor’s Assembly Supplier of The Year Award for 2005 was awarded to Carsem, a supplier of turnkey packaging and test services to the semiconductor industry. This annual award is an acknowledgement of contributions made during the last year based on the recipient’s ability to meet ELMOS’ commercial, logistic, quality, technology, and responsiveness goals.

Reinhard Senf, COO, ELMOS, presented the award to S.W. Woo, COO, Carsem, at a ceremony in Ipoh, Malaysia.

ELMOS Semiconductor AG, headquartered in Dortmund, Germany, develops and produces customer-specific system solutions focused on semiconductors for automotive electronics.