Driven today mostly by BSI CIS, the 3D TSV equipment & materials business will be supported by 3D stacked memory’s expansion
Technology and application drivers will change over the years, but TSV integration will continue growing
Currently supported mostly by 3D stacked BSI CIS, TSV integration growth will be led mainly by 3D memory applications and new products integrating TSV interconnects in the imaging segment.
Indeed, 3D stacked BSI has been the TSV market’s real driver for a couple of years now. However, with the entrance of 3D hybrid technology (which does not require any TSV interconnects), we expect a decrease of 3D stacked BSI in the TSV market by 2019.
This potential TSV decrease within BSI CIS could be hastened by the 3D single-photon avalanche diodes (SPAD) developed by STMicroelectronics. This is a new approach in time-of-flight that will benefit from 3D hybrid technology by moving the digital pixel into the secondary chip.
While Sony is the current CIS leader and the pioneer of the hybrid stacking method (which was adopted for the first time in the Samsung Galaxy S7 rear camera module), it is too early to fully describe the strategy of other key actors like TSMC/Omnivision and ON Semiconductor, and whether their path will lead to 3D stacked BSI or 3D hybrid stacked.
Another scenario could happen in the next few years and impact the TSV market in a different way. With more complex structures in the BSI CIS field being considered today, some CIS manufacturers might remain on 3D stacked BSI by combining this technology with 3D hybrid stacked for the next generation of products based on multi-stack structure. In this case, 3D hybrid stacked will not compete with 3D stacked BSI, leading to a continuous increase of 3D stacked BSI and 3D hybrid stacked.
Even if the TSV market is impacted by the penetration rate of hybrid stacked technology replacing 3D stacked BSI, the TSV market will probably recover and be compensated by the increasing adoption of 3D stacked memory devices in high-end applications. These applications will be driven by Asian memory manufacturers and the fresh wave of TSV interconnect adoptions in new areas like fingerprint sensors and ambient light sensors for mobiles and wearables.
In this context, this report explains the TSV market’s dynamics, as well as the applications currently integrating TSV interconnects. It also provides insight into the TSV market’s future evolution and a detailed analysis of the impact made by the latest technologies introduced to the market.
Will hybrid bonding’s introduction considerably impact the equipment & materials market for 3D TSV applications?
From a business point of view 3D TSV was expected to ramp-up faster, but has instead been delayed. The industry went in the “FO WLP direction” instead. Consequently, the equipment market for 3D TSV did not represent significant volume. Some equipment manufacturers providing systems for 3D TSV decided to leverage their tools to FO WLP, since their expectations for 3D TSV at this time were quite low and it made more sense for them to look at areas which presented business opportunities.
Today’s equipment market generated a revenue of more than $170M in 2016, driven by BSI CIS applications. Meanwhile, the materials market will grow from $109M to a peak of $232M by 2022. Materials growth will be driven mostly by the expansion of 3D stacked memory’s next generation, which is becoming more complex and thus requiring additional advanced materials like photoresists and filling materials to achieve better performance. The equipment market’s revenue is expected to decline by 2019 due to the BSI CIS entrance of hybrid stacking, which does not involve any TSV interconnections and thus does not require an investment in equipment dedicated to TSV manufacturing. If 3D hybrid bonding is considered an alternative technology to 3D stacked BSI, it would then have an impact and cause a decline in the overall TSV equipment market. However, we expect the 3D TSV equipment market to recover by 2020, with growth being compensated by the expansion of 3D stacked memory as well as TSV’s penetration in the sensors area, i.e. fingerprint and ambient light sensors.
Equipment types such as PVD, CVD, and DRIE will follow the trend of the overall equipment market for 3D TSV. However, though the quantity of 3D TSV equipment invested in is likely to decrease for BSI CIS (which today is the largest TSV adopter), some equipment types such as permanent bonding and temporary bonding & debonding will not follow the same trend and will not be affected by the overall 3D TSV equipment market’s decline.
On one hand, with leading permanent bonding equipment vendors having developed tools supporting process fusion bonding and hybrid bonding, CIS manufacturers will continue to invest in new equipment and have the flexibility to perform either one technology or the other, or both technologies for their future products. Consequently, the permanent bonding market will continue to grow and is expected to be consolidated by 2020 -2021.
On the other hand, temporary bonding & debonding is not applied for BSI CIS in HVM. Therefore, whatever strategy the CIS manufacturers decide on, it will positively impact the overall equipment market for 3D TSV. That said, the temporary bonding & debonding market is expected to grow in the next few years, driven by memory manufacturers willing to support the ramp-up of their latest high-performance stacked memory devices.
This report offers a comprehensive overview of the equipment and materials used in 3D TSV manufacturing, along with a detailed analysis of technology trends and a market forecast by process step type involved in the TSV process flow. Moreover, an equipment & materials market forecast has been calculated for the 2016 - 2022 timeframe.
Due to the low market compared to the overall semiconductor equipment market, there has been no real increased competition in the 3D TSV equipment industry
Compared to the overall semiconductor equipment market which stands for several billions of dollars, the 3D TSV industry is a small niche representing millions of dollars. The 3D TSV equipment market is occupied by a variety of smaller equipment suppliers that have targeted and captured this field of niche applications (compared to the overall semiconductor equipment market). As such, the 3D TSV equipment market is highly concentrated under the control of equipment vendors coming from two different categories:
- Top-tier semiconductor equipment suppliers like AMAT and LAM Research, coming from the front-end area, which mostly support the TSV Via middle
- Specialist equipment vendors like EV Group and SUSS Microtec that have developed expertise in very specific equipment lines, or vendors like SPTS/Orbotech in specific non-mainstream applications
This situation is also due to the specificities of TSV architecture. Front-end equipment suppliers tend to support TSV Via middle while equipment suppliers coming from very specific applications mainly support TSV Via last. Another reason is that some 3D TSV manufacturing process steps represent a rather small piece of the overall equipment market. Therefore, front-end suppliers are essentially prohibited from this market because it does not justify the technology efforts needed to gain market share in a small field.
Comparatively, the 3D TSV material market is much more fragmented, with several materials suppliers focusing on one specific material category. Competitive landscape and major 3D TSV equipment and materials suppliers’ market share are quantified and detailed in this report.
Objectives of the Report
This report’s objectives are to:
- Provide market metrics at equipment and materials levels (from 2016 - 2022) for 3D TSV applications
- Show market share for the key 3D TSV equipment & materials suppliers
- Offer key technical insights into current process steps and future equipment and materials, as well as challenges
- Furnish a better understanding of TSV manufacturing’s process flows (TSV Via middle, TSV Via last) and technological trends
- Convey a clearer idea of the equipment & materials industries for each process step
- A stand-alone equipment & materials report focused exclusively on 3D TSV products
- Update of our 2016 - 2022 equipment & materials market forecast for 3D TSV
- Overview and status of the equipment and materials applied today for each TSV process step
- A more in-depth analysis of the different equipment and materials used in TSV manufacturing, by process step
- A complete update of our equipment & materials forecasts, segmented by process step
- New analysis based on the competitive landscape and market share for all main equipment & materials suppliers for 3D TSV applications
- Update of key 2016 equipment & materials suppliers
- Key technical insights and detailed analysis of equipment & materials solutions, trends, requirements, and challenges (by TSV process step)