In the News


Bruce Hueners Named President of Palomar Technologies

Click here to enlarge image

CARLSBAD, CA - Palomar Technologies, supplier of precision automation equipment and process development for microelectronic assembly, has named Bruce W. Hueners as the company’s president. Most recently COO, Hueners has been with Palomar since 1981, when it was Hughes Aircraft.

Hueners’ experience extends to the microelectronics, microelectronic packaging and interconnects, microwave and RF, and optoelectronics fields. He collaborated on the development of laser interferometric measurement and die attach and wire bond systems and processes, has written over 50 technical papers, and serves on the editorial board of Advanced Packaging Magazine. As a member of Board of Directors of the San Diego World Trade Center, he represented San Diego on their recent trade mission to China.

“As an industry and Palomar veteran, Bruce is well-qualified to help shape Palomar in the coming years.” says Gary E. Gist, chairman of Palomar Technologies.

The great debate: SoC vs. SiP

Click here to enlarge image

SAN JOSE, CA - System-on-chip (SoC) or system-in-package (SiP): which technology is preferable? At a recent event, titled “Semiconductor Industry Outlook: System-on-Chip Defines the Battle Lines”, the obvious viewpoint prevailed. Jim Walker represented the packaging industry and SiP in a lively debate at the Gartner’s briefing, while Bryan Lewis represented the SoC side.

Walker focused on time-to-market, an area where SiP comes out ahead. Other advantages to SiP include the ability to test each subcomponent separately, a lower cost than SoC for low to medium volumes, and ease of use with mixed technologies - combining analog and digital, or silicon and gallium arsenide, which is easier within a package than within a die. He admitted that SoC has advantages of higher performance and a longer product life-cycle, but quipped, “It better have a longer life-cycle since it takes so long to make it.”

Lewis focused on SoC market size, the increasing number of new designs, and performance. He mentioned that SoC is lower cost than SiP when not mixing device types or process technologies. Lewis countered Walker’s comment that cell phones contain 10 multichip packages by noting that the SoC market brings in four times the revenue of the SiP market due to cellular handsets. The cellular phone is a prime example of the option for SoC and SiP to co-exist, and Walker and Lewis agreed both technologies hold an important role. When asked what they thought the next-generation Motorola RAZR phone will contain, the speakers’ response was fewer discrete passive devices and an increase in both SiPs and SoCs.

The most economical approach for a product depends on the product lifecycle and requirements like clock speed and form factor. The trend is in adding functionality in a device first enabled by SiP, and once the design cycle is complete to be taken over by SoC. One example is Intel’s first 65-nm dual-core microprocessor, which has been released as a 2-chip module. The long-term goal for the product is a single SoC. Walker said packaging innovations that could turn the tables on SoC are wafer-level packaging and through-silicon vias to interconnect stacked die which achieve better performance in a SiP. Lewis noted, however, that the 90- and 65-nm nodes provide more real estate on a chip than previously available, allowing more subsystems on a chip without increasing die size. Technologies such as embedded flash memory and RF will also aid the SoC market.

Debate moderator Bob Johnson polled the audience on which technology is “better,” and which technology they thought would dominate revenue by 2010. SoC won the second vote. It also won the first vote, but had it been a packaging industry event, the result may have been different.

Focus on MEMS

MEMS Market to Double in 4 Years

BERLIN, GERMANY - MST/MEMS sensors and actuators will consolidate their position in IT markets for read/write heads and inkjet heads, and will create new opportunities in areas such as microphones, memory, micro-energy sources, and chip coolers, according to the NEXUS Market Analysis for MEMS and Microsystems III, 2005-2009 report.

Market researchers expect the automotive sector to remain in the forefront with high-volume safety products such as air bags and tire pressure monitoring systems. The consumer electronics segment, forecast to almost quadruple its share from 6% of the MST/MEMS market in 2004 to 22% in 2009 (a CAGR of 50%), will provide a major boost to the market. Experts see rear- and front-projection TVs for home theater and HDDs serving the increasing storage requirements of digital equipment such as DVD recorders, digital cameras and camcorders, and portable MP3 players. Cell phones, another driver, already feature motion sensors and are amenable to a variety of additional sensors and functions like liquid lenses for camera zoom, fingerprint sensors, microfuel cell power sources, gas sensors, and weather barometers.

Microdisplays (e.g., from Texas Instruments), are predicted to nudge the stable market for inkjet heads into third place.  Of the 26 products analyzed in the new report, 14 will have market volumes over $100 million, and new products such as microfuel cells, fingerprint sensors, and liquid lenses will be together worth $250 million in 5 years.

The Network of Excellence in Multifunctional Microsystems (NEXUS) was initiated by the European Commission to promote microsystem technology (MST) and pursue MST adoption by European industries to strengthen and secure Europe’s competitiveness in world markets. During the past 9 years, it has become an independent non-profit association operating for the benefit of its membership.

EVG Celebrates Golden Anniversary and 15 Years of MEMS

ST. FLORIAN, AUSTRIA - 2006 marks the 25th anniversary for EVGroup (EVG), a global supplier of wafer bonders, aligners, photoresist coaters, cleaners, and inspection systems for the semiconductor, MEMS, and emerging nanotechnology markets.  

For 15 years, MEMS devices have used EVG equipment technology for automotive safety applications and in emerging wafer-level packaging (WLP) technologies. The era of “new-MEMS” will introduce application improvements that go above and beyond Moore’s Law.

“MEMS technologies driven by automotive, information technology, and telecommunication applications have successfully matured from lab to fab,” says Erich Thallner, CEO and founder of EVG. “For 25 years, we have been pioneering the equipment technology and establishing equipment industry standards in MEMS. Today, we are enjoying the transition of MEMS processing technology to 300-mm mainstream semiconductor. The era of “new-MEMS” has begun.” Thallner went on to thank EVG partners for helping the company to reach this milestone. “New-MEMS” applications provide a viable alternative to circumvent the “red-brick-wall” identified for future technology nodes in the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS).

SiliconPipe Founder to Give Keynote at Del Mar

Click here to enlarge image

DEL MAR, CA - Joseph Fjelstad, founder of SiliconPipe, was selected to deliver the keynote address at the Del Mar Electronics show, to be held April 26-27, 2006, at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. With the “Race to RoHS” entering the home stretch, Fjelstad will discuss the good, bad, and ugly aspects of the initiative. Those in attendance can expect a lively and entertaining view of this controversial topic.

Fjelstad, a 34-year veteran in electronic interconnection and packaging technology, recently accepted the 2005 Frost and Sullivan 2005 Excellence in Technology Award for Silicon Pipe. Prior to co-founding his current company, Fjelstad was with Tessera Technologies, a chip scale packaging company. At Tessera, he was appointed to the first corporate fellowship for his innovations for electronic interconnection products, medical devices and processes, which have yielded more than 150 issued or pending US patents. Fjelstad is an author, coauthor and editor of several books on electronic interconnection and packaging technologies; serves on the Advanced Packaging Magazine Editorial Advisory Board; and has written more than 200 articles.

Kyzen Appoints Authorized Distributor in People’s Republic of China

NASHVILLE, TN - Kyzen Corp., a provider of cleaning materials for electronics assembly and advanced packaging operations, announces its appointment of Kasion Automation Limited, based in Hong Kong, China, S.A.R., as an authorized distributor in the People’s Republic of China.

“We are pleased to have such an experienced partner as Kasion Automation Limited,” says Erik Miller, Asia-Pacific manager. “Abby Tsoi and his technical staff have many years of experience supporting their customers’ cleaning processes.” Miller added that Kaison’s first task will be to assist our Chinese customers with the implementation of Kyzen’s Aquanox A4630, a 6th-generation cleaning technology.

SEMI Announces SEMICON West 2006 Technology Innovation Showcase Competition

SAN JOSE, CA - The “call for innovations” has gone out from SEMI for the fourth annual Technology Innovation Showcase (TIS); held in conjunction with SEMICON West 2006. The three-day event runs Tuesday, July 11, through Thursday, July 13, 2006, at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. The application deadline is March 1, 2006.

The TIS offers a platform for companies, inventors, and entrepreneurs to unveil innovations to semiconductor manufacturers, suppliers and investors. “Bringing new technologies to the marketplace, no matter how innovative, can prove a costly challenge for many new companies,” says Vicki Hadfield, president of SEMI North America. “The Technology Innovation Showcase was designed to address these issues by offering new companies a lower cost of entry into the marketplace, while providing them a high level of relevant exposure among semiconductor manufacturers.”

Participants will include individual inventors, start-ups, academia, research institutions, and large companies who offer a solution to a real industry problem. Both the exposition and showcase will focus on four major technical themes: emerging technologies (energy systems, MEMS, nanotechnology); materials and scaling challenges for 45- and 32-nm process nodes; e-manufacturing (AEC/APC, DFM, automation); and advanced test, assembly, and packaging. In addition to the competition, the TIS includes technical presentations and displays from all participating companies.

For a complete list of rules and requirements, visit

Amkor Appoints New Chief Operating Officer

CHANDLER, AZ - Amkor Technology Inc., a provider of contract semiconductor assembly and test services, announced the promotion of Oleg Khaykin to executive VP and COO. Khaykin, formerly executive VP of corporate development and flip chip operations, will be responsible for sales and marketing; product development and management; and worldwide flip chip and wafer-level processing operations. He succeeds John Boruch as COO, who retired in December.

“This promotion recognizes Oleg’s outstanding contribution in managing our recent strategic initiatives,” says James Kim, Amkor’s chairman and CEO. “His sharp business acumen and strategic focus will be important leadership characteristics as we enter the next phase of Amkor’s growth.”

Advanced Packaging Welcomes Contributing Editor George Riley

Click here to enlarge image

NASHUA, NH - Advanced Packaging Magazine is pleased to welcome George A. Riley, Ph. D., to its editorial team as Contributing Editor. In addition to providing features on innovations in flip chip technology, Riley will contribute Packaging Trends columns and provide technical expertise.

Riley, founder of FlipChips Dot Com, a website providing free micropackaging technical information, is a consultant for flip chip development and serves on the Advanced Packaging Editorial Advisory Board.