High-End performance packaging: what are the impacts of the big players on the supply chain?

Extracted from:
High-End Performance Packaging: 3D/2.5D Integration report, Yole Développement, 2020
Intel Foveros 3D Packaging Technology, System Plus Consulting, 2020


  • Market forecasts:
    The ultrasound sensing module market is expected to reach US$6.2 billion in 2025.
    Yole Développement (Yole) announces a 5.1% CAGR between 2019 and 2025.
  • Technology trends:
    Bulk sensors (PZT, quartz, …) are still the conventional technologies and remain the standard in several applications.
    PMUT technologies have a dominant position in consumer applications.
    TDK Chirp has proposed their MEMS ultrasonic ToF (PMUT) sensor for making social-distance-keeping tags as a response to COVID-19 guidelines for safety distances.
    On the CMUT side, the medical sector has traction for this technology, especially for medical imaging applications.
  • Supply chain:
    The competitive landscape is depending on the technology choice made by each company.
    Only few of them are either developing CMUT and PMUT solutions.
    Today the MUT industry is structuring, with players such as Qualcomm and TDK Chirp offering off-the shelf solutions or platforms.

“High-end Packaging technology options are increasingly rich and ground-breaking. WLPs are changing the standard of FE/BE supply chain.” asserts Favier Shoo, Team Lead Analyst, Packaging at Yole Développement (Yole). 
A middle zone between FE and BE, where bumping and packaging can be executed on the wafer-level, can be reached by OSATs, WLP houses and IDMs.

In this context, Yole investigates disruptive technologies and related markets in depth, to point out the latest innovations and underline the business opportunities.
In this regard, the High-End Performance Packaging: 3D/2.5D Integration report presents a comprehensive overview of the high-end technologies, classified as high-end performance packaging. According to Yole’s advanced packaging analysts, high-end performance packaging is defined as a forefront packaging technology, which value-adds device performance with high IO density (≥16/mm2) and fine IO Pitch (≤130µm). Yole’s report identifies and analyzes the key market drivers, benefits and challenges of high-end performance packaging technologies by application. With a detailed description of each technologies, their trends and related roadmaps, this study proposes an overview of the supply chain and analyzes the competitive landscape. In addition, this report provides detailed market figures and estimates future trends.
What is the status of the high-end performance packaging industry? What are the economic and technological challenges? What are the key drivers? And who are the major key glass material suppliers?
Yole presents today its vision of the high-end performance packaging industry.

As analyzed by Yole’s team in the High-End Performance Packaging: 3D/2.5D Integration report, big players like Intel, TSMC and Samsung have successfully tapped into the advanced packaging market’s growth. They have achieved faster time to-market than OSATs for high-end performance packaging, at historically unprecedented scale. This strategy of big players poses a direct, formidable threat to OSATs.
Big players have both FE and BE capabilities. As a foundry, TSMC can be fundamentally focused on just FE and BE hence the new focus on 3D SoIC. So TSMC can make decisions quickly and follow through its strategy effectively. Intel has been actively promoting and commercializing its high-end packaging technologies like Foveros, EMIB and hybrid bonding for future roadmap. Intel’s Foveros is a direct challenge with TSMC’s CoWoS. In this regard, Yole Développement’s partner, System Plus Consulting, released the Intel Foveros 3D Packaging Technology report.
According to Stéphane Elisabeth, PhD, Senior Technology and Cost Analyst at System Plus Consulting, part of Yole Développement (Yole):
“Intel has developed several interconnect technologies to enable heterogenous integration using chiplets. An early glimpse of the technology enablers was seen in 2018 on an Intel processor, then called EMiB . Today, Intel shows another way to interconnect dies in processor using an active interposer and Foveros technology”.
Although Samsung is leading TSV for HBM, it is not actively promoting logic 2.5D Interposers. Samsung and Intel need to ensure there is agreement from its design group all the way to system department. Any form of change is restricted by many locked-in legacies that slow down the progression for them to achieve a leading position in advanced packaging, which is typically viewed as risky and low priority.
Within high-end packaging, OSATs’ business is being cannibalized by foundries and IDMs. Moving forward, the fabless model may become more attractive thanks to cutting-edge turnkey services, such as the latest silicon node manufacturing technology coupled with advanced packaging. Fabless companies and design houses are looking to optimized packages for value for-money, especially for high-end applications. If big players can provide both quality and cost benefits, then OSATs may have to stay defensive in the existing packaging domain.

All year long, Yole Développement publishes numerous reports and monitors. In addition, experts realize various key presentations and organize key conferences.
Make sure to be aware of the latest news coming from the industry and get an overview of our activities, including interviews with leading companies and more on i-Micronews. Stay tuned!

CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate
IDM: Integrated Device Manufacturers
OSAT: Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test companies
FE: Front-End
WLP: Wafer Level Packages
BE: Back-End
EMiB: Embedded Multi-die interconnect Bridge