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Jul 13th, 2012
 
Analyzing the status of the patent situation of FOWLP technology is key to understanding the business situation
 
FOWLP Patent Analysis from Yole Développement released.
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Yole Développement announces its FOWLP Patent Analysis. FOWLP (Fan-Out Wafer Level Packaging) is the most innovative advanced packaging technology today, adopted for mobile phone and consumer electronics applications.

After several years of specific analysis for customers, Yole Développement has decided to publish its first analysis of the technical contents of patents: we have focused this first analysis on the FOWLP area, a new packaging technology which is changing the patent landscape for semiconductor packaging across a wide range of application spaces. “Yole Développement has developed a specific methodology to conduct our analysis, mixing Yole Développement technical and business knowledge with classical access to patent database,” explains Lionel Cadix, Market & Technology Analyst, Advanced Packaging at Yole Développement.

A complex patent landscape: a few companies with a lot of patents, a lot of companies with a few patents

 

10 companies dominate the FOWLP IP space, but more than 120 organizations have patents in this field and represent 232 relevant patent families and 249 related patent families (Yole Développement has discovered more than 1,000 patents). The Yole Développement analysis provides a database of all the relevant patents in an Excel file enabling multi-criteria search. The criteria are basically those we used for the technological segmentation: 
- Patent information (Patent publication number, title, abstract, …)
- FOWLP structure criteria
- Chip orientation
- Carrier shape
- Architecture details (2D structures, 3D structures, use of vertical interconnects, technology used, packaged devices)

The business models of the companies involved in the FOWLP IP space are very different: integrated device manufacturers, assembly services providers, fabless companies, IP companies, material manufacturers, equipment makers, have applied patents in the FO WLP area.

It is also interesting to note that the size of the players involved in this area is variable. We can find large companies like TSMC as well as start-up and small players like Megica. The FOWLP IP space is studied from different angles and the analysis provides analysis of patents filled by these different kinds of players including the most recent assignees.

This complete description of the patent landscape is included in the first part of the analysis and it provides all the background materials for the FOWLP patent landscape analysis.

The analysis provides a complete analysis of the patent landscape including geographic origins of the patents, company or R&D organizations that have been grated the patents, historical data on when the companies have applied patents in the last 20 years, inventors of the patents, expiration status, R&D collaborations…

Detailed analysis of the TOP10 FOWLP patent assignees
The analysis also provides a deep dive into each patent portfolio of the TOP10 patent assignees, including Infineon, ACE, Tessera, Samsung, Freescale, STATSChipPac, ASE, Amkor Technologies and STMicroelectronics.
For each of these companies, the analysis provides an in-depth analysis of the patent portfolio of these companies, highlighting the following points:
- Company patent portfolio evolution
- Countries of deposition and origin of the patents
- Top inventors
- Process flow developed by the company (for commercially available devices)
- Technical segmentation of each patent portfolio
- Patent portfolio analysis for each manufacturing process steps and architecture
- Main technical innovations
- Which patents are used today in production, which patents are here to prepare the future generation of FOWLP technologies (multi dies, panel scale FOWLP, PoP FOWLP,  TMV…)
- Remaining challenges for the company from Yole Développement analysis

This analysis of each company provides an in-depth view of the strengths and weaknesses of the patent portfolio of each company and the developments that are now implemented by these companies.

Unique technology analysis of the patent content and identification of the key patents
Based on Yole Développement analysis of the technology trends in FOWLP, the R&D of all the players worldwide and teardown of the devices in production, Yole Développement have been able to identify and analyze the most important innovations for each process step of FOWLP, from die placement to encapsulation, passivation to bumping…

For each part of the process steps of FOWLP, the analysis provides the related patents and the evidence of its use in real devices taking full benefit of teardown analysis provided by our partner System Plus Consulting,” says Lionel Cadix, Market & Technology Analyst, Advanced Packaging at Yole Développement.

For example, a strong focus is made on Infineon’s eWLB technology as well as on the 2nd generation FOWLP patents describing new architectures using the eWLB solution (please see also the full reverse analysis carried out by System Plus Consulting: Infineon Fan-out WLP Reverse Costing Analysis).

As a synthesis, the analysis provides a ranking of the most important patents to highlight which of all the analyzed documents are blocking, which company owns such patents and the content of each patent.

Unique methodology developed by Yole Développement
Based on requests on Micropatent, and several other database, Yole Développement has developed a unique methodology to define a technical segmentation of the patent landscape and define which patents are the most innovative, either to prepare the future or to be used already in production. “Yole Développement, by mixing its technical knowledge, business understanding and patent search, is able to provide unique analysis and added value you will find in this analysis,” adds Jérôme Baron, Business Unit Manager, Advanced Packaging at Yole Développement.

More information about the analysis here.

 

 
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