Fan-in WLP is experiencing continuous growth and attracting new applications. Current capacities are full and additional volume is required. Technology innovation continues with increasing die sizes and reducing pitch.A new semiconductor era is on the horizon – what is the position of fan-in wafer level packages?
The semiconductor industry is facing a new era in which device scaling and cost reduction will not continue on the path they followed for the past few decades, with Moore’s law in its foundation. Advanced nodes do not bring the desired cost benefit anymore and R&D expenses for new lithography solutions and devices in sub-10nm nodes are rising substantially. Subsequently, new market shifts are expected in due time, with “Internet of Things” getting ready to take over pole market driver position from mobile. In these circumstances, where FEOL scaling options remain uncertain and IoT promises application diversification, in order to answer market demands, the industry seeks further performance and functionality boosts in package level integration.
Emerging packages such as fan-out wafer level packages, 2.5D/3D IC and related System-in-Package solutions together with more conventional but upgraded flip chip BGAs aim to bridge the gap and revive the cost/performance curve. In such an environment, what is the importance of fan-in wafer level packages, the current status of the fan-in WLP industry and how will the fan-in WLP market and technology evolve?
This report provides answers to these questions by performing an in-depth analysis on fan-in WLP market dynamics and technology trends.The continuously growing fan-in WLP market is attracting new applications
Although seemingly out of the spotlight, fan-in wafer level packages remain a highly important and constant presence with unmatchable advantages in cost and form factor. As pointed out in figure 1, fan-in WLP holds 16% of the total number of packages, while serving 4.4% of the wafer market at only 1.5% of the total semiconductor revenue!
Fan-in WLP is forecasted to continue a stable growth, with a market just short of 3 Billion $ (WLP services) in 2014 and a CAGR between 2014-2020 of 8%. The total wafer count in 300mm equivalent wafers is reaching 4 million with a projected CAGR of 8% while the unit number is found at 35 billion with a projected CAGR of 9%, as indicated in figure 2. Throughout the past few years, MEMS and CMOS image sensors have been increasing their share compared to analog, mixed signal and digital ICs and are now accounting for 25% of the total revenue.
The leading applications by wafer demand in the analog/mixed signal/digital domain are BT+WiFi+FM combos and RF transceivers followed by PMU, audio/video codecs, DC/DC converters, ESD/EMI IPD. MEMS devices are led by digital compasses, RF filters, accelerometers and gyroscopes. CMOS image sensors are strongly positioned in 2nd place by overall fan-in application ranking. In total 41 applications and their evolution are analyzed in more depth within the report. These include breakdowns of MEMS, CMOS image sensors and analog, mixed signal and digital devices.
Market dynamics – getting ready for the future
Although present for more than a decade, fan-in WLP are still on an evolutionary track increasing production and attracting new applications. Current market data indicate fan-in WLP manufacturing capacities are full and more volume is required in both 200 mm and 300 mm wafer sizes. Furthermore, the “Internet of Things” promises a wide range of new applications for which fan-in WLP would be an ideal match presenting an interesting opportunity to increase the demand further. How will the current capacities be increased, who will take lead in investments and what is the actual range of investments needed? Currently, majority of production is still done on 200 mm wafers with 300 mm wafer production projected to increase. An in depth analysis addressing these questions is done in the report, including competition analysis of business models (OSAT, IDM, WLP house, foundry), their market shares and prediction of future investment.
As illustrated in the non-exhaustive map of fan-in WLP manufacturers in figure 3, there are many players currently active on the market. The supply chain continues to develop with new companies entering this market and new business models being established. The competitive landscape is expected to increase as well as collaboration and partnership. The specialized wafer level packaging model, focused on fan-in and fan-out packages is emerging strong and competing with traditional OSAT leaders. Some new players are rising quickly, foundry involvement is no longer a small dent and new players from China are increasing activity on the market, bringing in a new type of competition with a strong support in capital and acquisition capabilities. In total, over 70 fabless and IDM companies implementing their design in fan-in WLP were identified, along with over 20 fan-in WLP manufacturing companies. All details are included in the report including competitive analysis of these players.
Fan-in WLP – still on track of technology innovation
From a technology viewpoint, innovation continues in order to extend the capability of fan-in WLP, as summarized in figure 4. Current bump pitch in high volume is mostly at 0.4 mm with 0.35 mm already present as well. Particular effort is being made to increase the die size and I/O count. Max I/O count in high volume is heading above 200 and announcements have been made for high volume production up to 800 I/Os. The die size sweet spot ranges up to 7 mm x 7 mm with 8 mm x 8 mm and 9 mm x 9 mm qualified and ready. The report contains more details on the outlook for bump pitch, die size, I/O count, minimum line width/space, package thickness, RDL dielectric materials, who is developing which technology and the main challenges to be overcome for the evolution of fan-in technology.
What's new compared to last edition?
- Capacity increase and investment analysis
- New market forecasts (wafers, units, revenue), from 2014 to 2020
- Breakdown by analog, mixed signal, digital, MEMS and CIS applications
- New technology roadmap, from 2014 to 2020
- New market shares by business model, wafer size and application
- Special section on fan-in market disruptions and related developments
- Section on industry innovation in fan-in WLP
- Complete teardowns and reverse costing on chosen fan-in packages in 3 high-end smartphones: iPhone 6+ / Samsung Galaxy S6 / Huawei Ascend Mate 7
- Data collection and analysis from interviews performed with 25+ companies
Objectives of the report
1. To provide a market overview of the fan-in WLP landscape
- Emerging and declining applications
- Forecasts until 2020: Revenue, wafer count, unit count
- Main players and supply chain analysis
- Market shares by business model, wafer size and applications
2. To provide analysis of technology trends
- Technology roadmap
- Latest technical innovations
3. To assess the future development of the fan-in WLP market
- Outlook on potential disruptions: new market drivers, infrastructure, expanding business models, new entries, competing packaging solutions
- Impact on supply chain and technology roadmap