Technology innovation is driving fan-in wafer level packaging adoption with more and more applications

Fan-in WLP is experiencing continuous growth and attracting new applications, according to Yole Développement’s (Yole) latest report “Fan-in Wafer Level Packaging: Market & Technology Trends.” Indeed fan-in WLP technology confirms its presence on the semiconductor market with indisputable benefits linked to cost and form factor. Technology innovation continues and widens the sphere of possibilities of fan-in WLP solutions.
“Fan-in Wafer Level Packaging: Market & Technology Trends” report proposes a deep analysis of the fan-in WLP technology trends with a dedicated roadmap and an overview of latest technical innovations. Under this report, the “More than Moore” market research and strategy consulting company, Yole, also reviews the potential disruptions including new market drivers, infrastructure, expanding business models, new entries, competing packaging solutions, and analyzes the impact on the supply chain.

Although seemingly out of the spotlight, fan-in Wafer Level Packages (WLP) remain a highly important and constant presence with unmatchable advantages in cost and form factor. Fan-in WLP holds 16 percent of the total number of packages, while serving 4.4 percent of the wafer market at only 1.5 percent of the total semiconductor revenue.

“Fan-in WLP is forecasted to continue a stable growth, with a market of $5.3B in 2014 and a CAGR between 2014 and 2020 of 7 percent,” explained Andrej Ivankovic, Technology & Market Analyst, in the Advanced Packaging and Semiconductor Manufacturing team, at Yole. And he added: “The total wafer count in 300mm equivalent wafers is reaching 4 million with a projected CAGR of 8 percent while the unit number is found at 36 billion with a projected CAGR of 9 percent.”

Throughout the past few years, MEMS and CMOS image sensors have been increasing their share compared to analog, mixed signal and digital ICs and are now accounting for more than 50 percent of the total revenue.

The leading applications by wafer demand in the analog/mixed signal/digital domain are BT+WiFi+FM combos and RF transceivers followed by PMU, audio/video codecs, DC/DC converters, ESD/EMI IPD. MEMS devices are led by digital compasses, RF filters, accelerometers and gyroscopes. CMOS image sensors are strongly positioned in 2nd place by overall fan-in application rankings. In total 41 applications and their evolution are analyzed in more depth within Yole’s report. Yole’s data include breakdowns of MEMS, CMOS image sensors and analog, mixed signal and digital devices.

From a technology viewpoint, innovation continues in order to extend fan-in WLP capability, as summarized in Yole’s figure below.

fan in wlp fig 1

Click to view full size.

“Current bump pitch in high volume is mostly at 0.4mm with 0.35mm already present as well. Particular effort is being made to increase the die size and I/O count” says Santosh Kumar, Senior Technology & Market research analyst, Advanced Packaging and Semiconductor Manufacturing at Yole. Max I/O count in high volume is heading above 200 and announcements have been made for high volume production up to 800 I/Os. The die size sweet spot ranges up to 7mm x 7mm with 8mm x 8mm and 9mm x 9mm qualified and ready.

Yole’s technology & market analysis contains an in-depth analysis on the outlook for bump pitch, die size, I/O count, minimum line width/space, package thickness, RDL dielectric materials, who is developing which technology and the main challenges to be overcome for the evolution of fan-in technology. Fan-in WLP is still on track of technology innovation.

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Optoelectronics, sensors/actuators, and discretes growth accelerates

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