Wafer-level packaging (WLP) and silicon adapter board business with TSV unlimited

Jerome Baron, an analyst with MEMS and semiconductor packaging at Yole Developpement, a French component research company, points out that in the "mid-end" field in the middle of semiconductor pre- and post-process, representative technologies include wafer-level packaging (WLP). And the use of TSV (silicon through hole) silicon adapter board, etc., hidden new business opportunities.

One of the reasons why the technology in the mid-end field has become important is the skyrocketing cost of package substrates. For example, flip-chip BGA (FC-BGA) chips cost $1, while package substrates cost most of $1 to $2. With the development of miniaturization, the chip area is shrinking, but the number of terminals on the chip is increasing, which makes the BGA substrate equipped with the chip extremely complicated, resulting in an increase in price.

Baron said: In order to solve this problem, the technology in the middle field such as WLP and silicon adapter board has received attention.

WLP is a technology in which a single chip is implanted in a resin wafer to form a rewiring layer by a wafer process. Since the re-wiring layer is used instead of the package substrate, "the substrate can be realized" (Baron). It has been used in the baseband processor of mobile phones, etc. It is expected to expand the application in the future.

The silicon adapter board is a high density silicon package substrate produced on an old semiconductor production line. There are currently high-cost issues, but in high-performance ASICs and FPGAs, it is highly likely that applications will be expanded in the future. Because the original organic substrate cannot meet the requirements of high performance and high density. There are business opportunities in the middle of the pre- and post-process, and it is expected that the representative technology WLP in the mid-end will achieve high growth rates.

Coreless substrates are attracting attention because the cost of package substrates is expected to be reduced by about 20%, but Baron believes that it will be replaced by silicon adapters in the future. The reason is that the difference in thermal expansion coefficient between the silicon adapter plate and the chip is small, and it is also easy to be used for the 3D-IC use of the three-dimensional laminated chip.

In addition to the professional manufacturers of the post-process, silicon foundry companies such as TSMC in Taiwan are also involved in this mid-end market. Therefore, the competition between the former process manufacturers and the post process manufacturers will become more intense in the future. Baron also pointed out that with the development of technology in the mid-range, the original package substrate manufacturers will greatly change the business.

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