Flip Chip technology is expected to reach $25 billion market value and wafer demand of 32M (12”eq.wafers) in 2020, supported by the wider adoption of Cu pillar technology. That growth will be led by Moore’s law pushing beyond the 28nm node and ‘More than Moore’ evolution in next generation DDR and 3DICs. The market will be driven mainly by mobile-wireless, consumer and computing applications, including continuous growth in the LED and CMOS image sensor segments.
Drivers for Flip Chip growth: Advanced node integrated circuits (ICs), LEDs, and CMOS image sensors
The volume of devices packaged using Flip Chip technology will double from 16 million (12”eq) wafers per year in 2014 up to 32 million wafers per year in 2020.
This will be driven by mobile and wireless – specifically smartphones – LEDs and CMOS image sensors (CIS). Demand will also come from consumer applications, such as tablets, smart TVs, and set top boxes, computing and high performance/industrial applications, including networking, servers, data centers, and high-performance computing.
Yole expects steady growth for traditional ICs such as CPUs, GPUs and chipsets for desktop/laptop applications, which were early adopters of flip-chip technology.
Gold (Au)-plated wafer bumping will grow, driven by the demand for IC display drivers for 4k2k ultra high definition TV and high resolution and large screens for tablets and smartphones. We expect capacity to expand at a CAGR of 4%, from 4.3M to 5.4M wafers from 2014 till 2020.
Yole expects a slight decline in Au stud bumping capacity from 304k to 293k from 2014 to 2020 mainly due to radio-frequency devices moving from Flip Chip to wafer level chip scale package (WLCSP). However, emerging applications such as CIS camera modules and high-brightness LEDs will increase demand for stud bumping.
The emergence of “middle end -process” infrastructure for 3DIC and 2.5D interposer platforms will mainly benefit foundries and integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) and to a lesser extent outsourced semiconductor assembly and test companies (OSATs). The evolution of the 2.5D interposer platform will see a shift of value from substrate suppliers to front-end foundry.
Because of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), only four key players remain in the Au bumping market for display driver ICs. Taiwanese companies Chipbond and ChipMOS control almost two-thirds of the market. According to Yole’s analysis, new players will not enter this business because of strong competition and high entry costs.
Copper (Cu) pillars move towards pitch limitation
Flip Chip assembly technology provides various benefits such as high I/O counts, fine pitch interconnection, and superior electrical and thermal performance. This drives its application across specific segments.
The maximum growth in flip-chip bumping capacity will come from Cu pillars, driven by the finer pitches, higher I/O counts, lithography nodes below 28nm, emergence of 2.5D/3D packaging, increased current density and thermal dissipation needs. In the meantime lead-free solder bumping is expected to grow at just 2% CAGR as OSATs and foundries converting their existing solder bumping lines to Cu pillar lines.
With the scaling of the Flip Chip pitch, OSATs are presently pushing the envelope of C2 mass reflow bonding with capillary underfill to pitches as low as 50µm by formulating engineered materials and improving assembly processes. However, if the pitch reaches or falls below 40µm Thermo Compression Bonding (TCB) will be the key option because of its high placement accuracy.
TCB will be adopted first in high volume manufacturing by IDMs like Intel, who can bear the high cost of ownership, followed by memory suppliers for their next generation memories based on through-silicon via technology.
Intel has recently qualified ASM’s high throughput TCB bonder for assembly of 14nm chips for their CPUs in applications such as data centers, servers, and high-end computing. We estimate Flip Chip bonders’ total market value will reach $435M in 2020, with a CAGR of 7%. Flip Chip bonders and underfill materials will become key in coming years. Therefore this report gives a complete and detailed analysis on TCB, advanced underfill materials, Flip Chip bonders and thermal interface materials.
Which companies will invest to support Flip Chip growth?
Demand for Flip Chip is expected to reach the current maximum capacity in 2017. Therefore, according to Yole’s analysis, new investment will be needed starting in 2018.
Since Cu pillar processing can be performed by standard foundries and IDMs, the supply chain may see some slight modification. Yole expects higher investment in Cu pillar 12” line wafer bumping lines from wafer foundries such as TSMC and SMIC. This change will affect OSATs’ wafer bumping revenue since foundries will gain market share.
OSATs will maintain their strong position in wafer bumping and assembly thanks to of their huge experience and low cost solutions. Their business model enables them to better control the supply chain, as they provide for the complete set of flip-chip services: package design and qualification, wafer bumping, substrate in-sourcing, assembly and final test.
However, big IDM players like Intel and Samsung maintain their dominance in terms of wafer bumping capacity. Yole expects that even in 2020 Intel will remain the highest-capacity player in Cu pillar wafer bumping.
Foundries and OSATs are also establishing joint ventures for wafer bumping to provide turnkey solutions to customers from chip fabrication to assembly at competitive cost.
What will China’s role be in Flip Chip? Chinese players are significantly increasing their presence in wafer bumping and Flip Chip assembly by mergers and acquisitions. JCET acquired STATS ChipPAC and FCI was acquired by Tianshui Huatian Technology Company Ltd. In that context this report gives insights on the future strategies that players may adopt.
- Updated market capacity and wafer forecast from 2014 to 2020
- Flip Chip players and 2014 ranking.
- Recent M&A
- Technology roadmap for Flip Chip bumping
- Updated information for Flip Chip on devices and applications
- Focus on LEDs and CMOS image sensors
The objectives of this report are to provide:
- Provide analysis and understanding of Flip Chip markets, player dynamics and key trends
- Provide market data on Flip Chip capacity forecasts in wafer starts and $M for 2014–2020.
- Identify future Flip Chip strategy evolution and opportunities
- Provide an overview of Flip Chip technology and trends