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2016 Comparison of Application Processor Packaging

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Icone report 2016 Comparison of Application Processor Packaging

Comparison of main players AP: Apple A10 with inFO vs. Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 with MCeP packaging technology vs. HiSilicon Kirin 955 & Samsung Exynos 8 with standard Package-on-Package

Five major players are sharing the smartphone application processors (AP) market. Among them, Qualcomm, Apple, Samsung and HiSilicon propose the most powerful AP. They use almost the same technology node for the die, and the innovation is now at the packaging level. During this year, we observed different technologies inside the four main smartphone flagships: classic Package-on-Package (PoP) developed by Amkor for the Kirin 955 and for the Exynos 8, Molded Core Embedded Package (MCeP) technology developed by Shinko for the Snapdragon 820 and integrated Fan-Out packaging (inFO) developed by TSMC for the A10.

Located under the DRAM chip on the main board, the AP are packaged using PoP technology. The Apple A10 can be found in the iPhone 7 series. The HiSilicon Kirin 955 can be found in the Huawei P9 and the Samsung Exynos 8 as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 can be found in the Samsung Galaxy S7 series depending on the world version (US and Asia for the Snapdragon and International for the Exynos).

2016 comparison application processor packaging System Plus Consulting

In this report, we highlight the differences and the innovations of the packages chosen by the end-user OEMs. Whereas some AP providers like for HiSilicon or Samsung choose to consider conventional PoP with embedded land-side capacitor (LSC), others like Apple or Qualcomm use innovative technologies like Fan-Out PoP and silicon based Deep Trench LSC or embedded die packaging with advanced PCB substrate. The detailed comparison between the four players will give the pros and the cons of the packaging technologies.

This report also compares the costs of the different approaches and includes a detailed technical comparison between the packaging structure of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, the Samsung Exynos 8, the HiSilicon Kirin 955 and the Apple A10.


           2016 comparison application processor packaging System Plus Consulting 3                    2016 comparison application processor packaging System Plus Consulting 2












Table of contents



Company Profile and Supply Chain

Smartphone Teardowns: iPhone 7 Plus, Huawei P9, Samsung Galaxy S7


Physical Analysis

> Physical Analysis Methodology
> A10 inFO Packaging Analysis
  - Package view and dimensions
  - Package opening
  - Package cross-section

> Kirin 955 PoP Packaging Analysis
  - Package view and dimensions
  - Package opening
  - Package cross-section

> Snapdragon 820 MCeP Packaging Analysis
  - Package view and dimensions
  - Package opening
  - Package cross-section

> Exynos 8 PoP Packaging Analysis
  - Package view and dimensions
  - Package opening
  - Package cross-section

> Package Opening Comparison
> Package Cross-Section Comparison 




















> Die Comparison
> Package Land-Side Decoupling Capacitor Comparison
  - LSC capacitor view comparison
  - LSC capacitor footprint comparison
  - Embedded LSC capacitor cross-section comparison
  - Soldered LSC capacitor cross-section comparison

> Summary of the Physical Data


Manufacturing Process Flow

> Global Overview
> Packaging Fabrication Unit


Cost Analysis

> Synthesis of the Cost Analysis
> Supply Chain Descriptions
> Yield Hypotheses
> PoP Die Cost Analysis
  - Wafer cost
  - Die cost
  - Package manufacturing cost


Cost Comparison between Apple A10 inFO, HiSilicon Kirin 955 PoP, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MCeP & Samsung Exynos 8 PoP


About the authors


System Plus Consulting specializes in the cost analysis of electronics, from semiconductor devices to electronic systems.


Created more than 20 years ago, System Plus Consulting has developed a complete range of services, costing tools and reports to deliver in-depth production cost studies and estimate the objective selling price of a product.


System Plus Consulting engineers are experts in:

  • Integrated Circuits 
  • Power Devices & Modules 
  • MEMS & Sensors
  • Photonics 
  • LED 
  • Imaging 
  • Display 
  • Packaging 
  • Electronic Boards & Systems.

Through hundreds of analyses performed each year, System Plus Consulting offers deep added-value reports to help its customers understand their production processes and determine production costs. Based on System Plus Consulting’s results, manufacturers are able to compare their production costs to those of competitors.

System Plus Consulting is a sister company of Yole Développement.


More info at 













































  • Detailed photos

  • Precise measurements

  • Manufacturing process flow comparison

  • Supply chain evaluation

  • Manufacturing cost comparison

  • Comparison of the Apple A10, HiSilicon Kirin 955, Samsung Exynos 8 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 820