Advanced semiconductor packaging drives materials consumption through 2019

According to the newly released “Global Semiconductor Packaging Materials Outlook — 2015/2016 Edition,” the $18 billion semiconductor packaging materials will undergo steady single-digit unit volume growth for many material segments through 2019, including laminate substrates, IC leadframes, underfill, and copper wire. Segments such as wafer-level packaging (WLP) dielectrics will experience stronger unit volume growth over the same timeframe. The new report by SEMI and TechSearch International covers laminate substrates, leadframes, bonding wire, mold compounds, underfill materials, liquid encapsulants, die attach materials, solder balls, wafer level package dielectrics, and thermal interface materials.

Packaging materials are a key enabler to increasing the functionality of thinner, smaller packages consumed in smart phones and other mobile products. Many options are currently available to meet form factor requirements for mobile products such as stacked-die chip scale package (CSP), land grid array (LGA) and fine pitch ball grid array (FBGA) packages, package-on-package (PoP), wafer-level package (WLP), Quad Flat No-lead (QFN) and other packages, using both wirebond and flip chip interconnects.

Key observations include:

  • FO-WLP is emerging as a disruptive technology, changing the demand for the types of packaging materials used in the industry
  • Need for WLP dielectric materials for multi-layer redistribution layers
  • New materials for laminate substrates and underfill to pitch decreasing pitch and bump height trends in flip chip packaging
  • Improved mold compounds for warpage control and package reliability
  • For QFN packaging, cost optimization through enhanced designs and reduced plating area; higher lead counts (routable); improved power dissipation
  • Continued growth in copper and silver wire
  • Materials and processes compatible with tighter tolerances for higher density leadframes and substrate packaging, and for compact multi-die system-in-package (SiP) configurations

Constrained industry growth and the trend towards lower-cost electronics have reshaped the packaging material supplier landscape. Changes in material sets, the emergence of new package types, and cost reduction pressures have resulted in recent consolidation in various material segments. In addition, materials consumption in some segments is declining given the changes in package form factors and the trend towards smaller, thinner packaging (see Figure).

metal compound consump

Source: SEMI and TechSearch International, Global Semiconductor Packaging Materials Outlook 2015/2016 Edition

The findings in the report are based on over 150 in-depth interviews conducted with semiconductor manufacturers, fabless semiconductor companies, packaging subcontractors, and packaging materials suppliers throughout the world. The report covers details about the industry growth and trends for the various material segments. Information includes market size, regional data, unit trends, and market share. It includes previously unpublished data on revenue, unit shipments and market shares for each packaging material segment; a five-year forecast of revenue and units from 2015 to 2019; supplier rankings (for key segments) and listing (including new players); and an analysis of regional market trends and size. All of the information was derived from the SEMI Global Packaging Materials Outlook from 2015 to 2019 produced by SEMI and TechSearch International.

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