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Advanced Packaging

Performance-driven applications like PCs and smartphones are giving way to functional applications that are helping mold the semiconductor industry’s future. In this context, advanced semiconductor packaging is seen as a way to increase a semiconductor product’s value by adding functionality, maintaining/increasing performance, and lowering cost – and to this end, the printed circuit board (PCB) is no longer just an interconnection, but also an integration solution. With substrate-like PCBs (SLP) appearing in Apple’s latest iPhones, PCB and substrate manufacturers have started producing SLP and investing in modified semi-additive processes (mSAP). More details are offered in Yole Développement’s recent report, Status of Advanced Substrates 2018: Embedded Dies & Interconnects, Substrate-like PCB Trends.

Yole Développement’s expert, Emilie Jolivet, recently had the opportunity to exchange opinions with key people from SHINKO regarding market trends related to substrates/PCB and embedded die, and discuss SHINKO’s activities. Read on!


Emilie Jolivet (EJ): Yole Développement estimates that SHINKO ranks #20 in 2017 revenue among substrate and PCB makers. What is it like to be a substrate/PCB maker in 2018? Can you describe SHINKO’s business?
SHINKO: With the deployment of emerging applications like IoT devices, edge computing, 5G, AI, and vehicle electrification, this market will continue to grow, allowing substrate and PCB makers to increase their business opportunities. SHINKO has developed a unique global semiconductor packaging business that provides total solutions. Our major products and services include package substrates, lead frames, metal packages, heat spreaders, and IC/module assembly.

EJ: What are the big challenges currently facing the substrate/PCB industry?
SHINKO: Electronic devices continue to demand highly functionality, high integration, and small form-factor for substrates and PCB, in order to meet the requirements of emerging applications. Package substrate technology tends to cascade down to PCB and be adopted. The industry now faces a conflict between both technologies. 

EJ: Chinese companies are rapidly appearing on this market, with an average growth of 5% from 2015 - 2016. How much would you say this impacts the global substrate/PCB industry?
SHINKO: Chinese companies will increase their presence and market growth, leading to tough cost competition in some market spaces. SHINKO will contribute to market development by providing cost-competitive solutions and advanced packaging technologies.


Top 100 PCB Substrate manufacturers revenue per country Yole(Source: Status of Advanced Substrates 2018: Embedded Dies & Interconnects, Substrate-like PCB Trends - Yole Développement, March 2018)


EJ: 2017 was a key year for SLP adoption, since it was used in two flagship smartphones. Given that SLP manufacturing requires a process transition from subtractive to mSAP, do you see further applications for SLP, i.e. in computing or automotive?
SHINKO: SLP has achieved the miniaturization of mainboard on a smartphone by utilizing mSAP technology, which has been used in a substrate. High-end smartphones could lead to the spread of SLP, which could then spread to midrange smartphones. Meanwhile, electronic devices like VR, drones, and electronic control units in automotive (which have many sensors and communication functions, similar to a smartphone) might also apply SLP in the near future.

EJ: In recent years, new packaging platforms have been developed to solve integration challenges. On the fringes of FO-WLP trends, we see a couple of platforms, based on substrate usage, which offer solutions for package miniaturization and electrical performance. Embedded die is one of them, and it’s an interesting package in the sense that it offers integration solutions for a large variety of applications, from mobile to automotive. According to SHINKO, what is the sweet spot that will propel the embedded die package business?
SHINKO: Molded core embedded package (MCeP) is a kind of die-embedded package that can achieve a short lead-time and high yield by assembling confirmed good dies and substrates. MCeP has been used commercially as a package on package in mobile devices like smartphone and digital still camera for the last several years. SHINKO expects that MCeP will also offer solutions for package miniaturization and electrical performance in the automotive and module field.


Device Embedded Package MCeP Shinko Yole

(Courtesy of SHINKO)

 

EJ: Companies involved in your industry have multiple business models, and it seems that SHINKO is transitioning from substrate maker to OSAT, just like multiple substrate makers who have started offering packaging services. Can you comment on this?
SHINKO: The electrical system requires various technologies at wafer level, substrate level, and PCB level, respectively. Recently, the technical border has blurred, leading to conflict and technology diffusion amongst OSATs, substrate makers, and PCB makers. SHINKO has the advantage of embedded technology at substrate level, and as a substrate and IC/module assembly provider, which have been excellent fundamental technologies for a long time.

EJ: A few leading technologies based on embedded die package are included in SHINKO’s technology portfolio: MCeP, POL (licensed from GE), and i-THOP. This positions SHINKO to supply both low and very high-end demands, and benefit from the growth of several markets. What is the main application that uses the i-THOP process?
SHINKO: i-THOP’s first target is high-performance computing, i.e.  HBM with logic die. i-THOP offers a cost competitive solution against silicon interposers, based on the integration of  build-up substrate technology and  thin-film technology. Moreover, the customer can utilize the current supply chain because of the “chip-last” solution.

POL provides several advantages, including high electrical performance with lower resistance, and lower inductance by means of a copper vias interconnection structure. This wire bond-less structure enables a double-sided cooling system and package miniaturization. POL is expected to be applied in high-voltage and high-power industries.


POL Shinko Yole(Courtesy of SHINKO)

 


EJ: What do the next five years hold for SHINKO? Will we see new embedded die packages? 
SHINKO: SHINKO will continue providing leading-edge technology solutions like MCeP, i-THOP, and POL to meet the market demands of automotive, IoT devices, edge computing, 5G, and AI. Evolving these technologies will lead to new embedded or heterogeneous architectures, positioning SHINKO as a leading technology service provider.



i Thop Shinko Yole(Courtesy of SHINKO)

 

Interviewee
shinko logo
Personal computers, mobile phones, game consoles and so on.
These electronic products are indispensable in contemporary society, and their rapid dissemination supports people's abundant lives worldwide. IC chips may be said to be the brain of these electronic products. However, the chips cannot independently exert their innovative functionality. The chips work only when they are connected electrically to other devices, and semiconductor packages-SHINKO's mainstay products-have an important role in maximizing the potential functionality.
As an integrated manufacturer of semiconductor packages, SHINKO responds to technical challenges such as more compactness and higher functionality that are requested by semiconductor and electronics manufacturers to contribute to manufacturing products that make people's lives more abundant.

 

Interviewer

EmilieJolivet YOLE2016 Casual BD

Emilie Jolivet is Director of the Semiconductor & Software division at Yole Développement, part of Yole Group of Companies. These activities are covering package & assembly, semiconductor manufacturing, memory and software & computing fields.
Based on her valuable experience in the semiconductor industry, Emilie is managing the expansion of the technical and market expertise of Semiconductor and Software team. Daily interactions with leading companies allow Semiconductor & Software analysts to collect a large amount of data and cross their vision of market segments’ evolution and technology breakthroughs.
In addition, Emilie’s mission is focused on the management of business relationships with semiconductor leaders and the development of market research and strategy consulting activities inside the Yole group.
Emilie Jolivet holds a Master’s degree in Applied Physics specializing in Microelectronics from INSA (Toulouse, France). After an internship in failure analysis at Freescale (France), she took the position of R&D engineer for seven years in photovoltaic business and co-authored several scientific articles. Enriched by this experience, she graduated with an MBA from IAE Lyon and then joined EV Group (Austria) as a business development manager in 3D & Advanced Packaging before joining Yole Développement in 2016.

 

 

Sources:   Renesas logo icon sub  -   Yole Développement

 

RELATED REPORTS

Couv YD18010 Status of Advanced Substrates Report March 2018 ReportStatus of Advanced Substrates 2018: Embedded Dies & Interconnects, Substrate Like PCB Trends

Apple’s usage of substrate-like PCBs in the latest iPhone 8 and X will revolutionize the substrate and PCB markets. Get more

 

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