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Jul 29th, 2013
 
Consolidation seen coming in the IC industry
 
Marcus Lentz, industry analyst for Sematech, in his presentation “Semiconductor Industry update – Inflection Coming” at the recent ConFab show in Las Vegas took a look at some “major inflections “ coming in the IC industry. Since the status of the IC industry strongly impacts the future of IC packaging.
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Marcus Lentz, industry analyst for Sematech,  in his presentation “Semiconductor Industry update – Inflection Coming” at the recent ConFab show in Las Vegas took a look at some “major inflections “ coming in the IC industry. Since the status of the IC industry strongly impacts the future of IC packaging. iMicronews thought it was worth …A Closer Look.

If we look at the current state of IC scaling, there are differences in when different technologies reach certain nodes. 

Scaling vs year for logic, DRAM and NAND

At < 20nm nodes lithography dominates costs.

Lithography will dominate future nodes

Industry consolidation
Lentz sees significant IC Industry consolidation beyond 20nm  which will result in “2 IDMs and 3 foundries (Samsung included in both categories)” and “5-6 suppliers of memory”.
Consolidation is also occurring in materials suppliers with “photomask suppliers having decreased from 20 in 1990’s to 4 in 2010” . Similarly wafer suppliers have decreased from 24 at 150mm to 6 at 300 mm.  Only 3 suppliers are expected at 450mm.  

Silicon wafer suppliers vs wafer diameter

The same consolidation is happening to equipment suppliers as shown in the chart below . Each color represents a different vendor and the dark grey area represents multiple small suppliers. As of 2012 many of the market segments have 1 to 3 suppliers with combined > 80% market share ; several segments have 2 suppliers with > 90% market share and two segments have 1 supplier with > 75% share. 

2012 front end semi Equipment share

Intel has projected that 450mm will follow the previous trend of decreasing scaling costs.

Intel projects that 450mm will lower scaling costs

Lentz sees “Business financials limiting the number of companies that might play [in 450mm]. Meaning yearly revenue is not large enough to build the required > $6B fabs. He projects initially 4 early adopters with 8 – 12 eventual players . Many of those may be joint ventures to help offset the initial cost of the fabs.  

With diameters increasing, the number of semiconductor fab owners is decreasing

Consolidation is one of the basic expectations for a maturing industry. It is clear that the IC industry is in a significant consolidation mode. These trends can be expected to have a similar influence on the packaging  community as well.

 

 
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