Insights From Leading Edge

IFTLE 190 TSMC Focus on Packaging; Samsung Licenses “3D” to GF; More on IBM and the Cloud

TSMC Packaging Plans

Digitimes reports that  TSMC plans to ramp IC packaging revenues to US $1 billion in 2015 and $2B in 2016 [link] . Based on this roadmap, TSMC would  become the 3rd leading  packaging company in Taiwan by 2016, trailing  only ASE and SPIL.

At the TSMC NA Technology Symposium April 222nd in San Jose,  TSMC described a wide range of  packaging offerings including  an integrated fan-out wafer level packaging (InFO-WLP) process which will start production by the end of the year and  an InFO PoP configuration which will enable stacking a wire-bonded multi-die package on top of an InFO-WLP. They also have a more standard WLCSP ( Wafer-level Chip Scale Package) that  will support devices with up to 800 pins.

Samsung licenses 3D chip manufacturing tech to GlobalFoundries

As I headed out of town to spend Easter with the grandkids last week, my phone pinged me with the following Reuters headline. “Samsung licenses 3D chip manufacturing tech to GlobalFoundries to win more orders” [link]

“Wow that’s great” I thought as I boarded the plane. A few hours later, now in Houston, I turned on my phone and quickly found the article. Down in paragraph three we find that they call their 3D technology “finFET.” Nothing in this article was incorrect and it’s not like we are the only community who are allowed to use the term 3D, but it sure does make things confusing. Recall the EE Times headline in 2011 “TSMC May Beat Intel to 3D Chips” where 3DIC was unknowingly being compared to FinFet. [See IFTLE 62, “3D and Interposers – Nomenclature confusion; Equipment Market Shift to Pkging Continues”]

Glad to report that EE Times learned its lesson and this time came out with a more appropriate headline than Reuters namely “Samsung, Globalfoundries Prep 14nm Process” [link]


More Info on IBM and the Cloud

IBM just reported its lowest quarterly revenue in 5 years on Wednesday as Reuters reports “…the company struggles with falling demand for its storage and server products.”[link]

We have recently discussed IBM semi business being for sale and their proactive move into the “cloud” space [ see “IBM Continues to evolve: Semi business up for sale, moving into the clouds”]

Revenue from their hardware business, which includes servers and systems storage, felled 23 percent to $2.4 billion. IBM warned that the hardware business may continue to face issues with their CFO commenting, “As we look to the balance of 2014, …our overall revenue growth will be impacted by the challenges in our hardware business.”

IBM has also lost its position as number two software make behind Microsoft Corp. with Oracle recently claiming that position.


As IFTLE has told you, IBM looks like they are betting the farm on cloud computing which allows their customers to stop using (and replacing) servers by moving to remote data centers run by 3rd party companies. They have recently bought two companies to expand their cloud business, Silverpop, a developer of cloud-based marketing software, and cloud-based database software startup Cloudant.

For all the latest on 3DIC and advanced packaging, stay linked to IFTLE…


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