Polymeric materials market revenue will double over the next five years.
POLYMERIC MATERIALS: MASSIVE MARKET ADOPTION IN THE ADVANCED PACKAGING SECTOR
Driven by movements towards further miniaturization and higher functionalities, megatrend applications like artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, and augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) are creating huge business opportunities and contributing to the growth of advanced packaging applications. Indeed, these megatrend applications are fueling the next generation of advanced packaging platforms (high-density FOWLP, 3D stacked TSV memory, WLCSP, and flip-chip), which have reached a new level of complexity and now demand higher integration-level requirements. These lofty standards will strongly influence the increasing demand for advanced materials with new technical specifications, in order to achieve better performance.
With respect to materials, polymeric materials (due to their excellent electrical, chemical, and mechanical properties) are already being applied in large-volume manufacturing in some advanced packaging process steps, and will increasingly be implemented when adopting additional functionalities in the same field. The polymeric materials market generated revenue in excess of $700M in 2018, driven by dielectric material, and is expected to peak at ~$1,3B by 2023 with a 12% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) depending on the material type over this period. Polymeric materials growth will find support mostly from the expansion of dielectric material for more complex devices, followed by the broad introduction of polymeric temporary bonding material. The latter will be accelerated by the ramp-up of 3D stacked TSV in DRAM memory applications.
In this context, Yole Développement's report explains the dynamics of the polymeric materials market, as well as the advanced packaging platforms currently integrating polymeric materials. This report also offers: a detailed analysis of the polymeric materials market (by volume and value for advanced packaging); a market growth estimate for the 2017 - 2023 timeframe; and breakdowns by advanced packaging platforms and material function type.
DISPERSION OF POLYMERIC MATERIALS INTO DIFFERENT FUNCTIONALITIES THROUGHOUT THE PACKAGING SECTOR
Polymeric materials are primarily used to protect printed wiring boards (PWB) from moisture, handling, and environmental influences. However, over the last few years, polymeric materials have attracted significant interest in the microelectronics field, while also making serious inroads in the advanced packaging area, adopting numerous functionalities within various packaging platforms.
There are a wide variety of polymeric materials available to packaging manufacturers: PI, PBO, BCB, epoxies, silicones, and acrylic, all of which are defined by their constant dielectric, cure temperature, stress, etc. Today, polymeric materials in the advanced packaging industry have already found integration in major process steps: RDL, bump/UBM, through-silicon vias (TSV), and assembly levels, as well as at the bonding interface.For polymeric dielectric materials-driven RDL passivation and UBM re-passivation, polyimide (PI)- based material is often favored. However, it appears that PBO, with its high drop-reliability properties, is an appealing choice for thick RDL layers in a thickness range above >10um. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that warpage and stress are greatly reduced with PBO, especially for bigger wafer sizes (300 mm).
Looking ahead, the molding compound only used for FOWLP at the wafer packaging level is based primarily on an epoxy which requires a low-as-possible CTE in order to avoid the wafer warpage issues induced via CTE mismatch between mold and silicon. Also, the high adhesion between the polymeric molding material and RDL must undergo a reliability test.
From a technical point of view, liquid molding compound is today the dominant material applied at wafer level for FOWLP. Nevertheless, granular material could move ahead in the polymeric materials market for FOWLP at both wafer and panel level.
Meanwhile, temporary bonding materials differ not only in terms of material function, but also from one advanced packaging platform to another, since the challenges are different depending on the platform. For instance, selecting the right temporary bonding material for FOWLP depends on the molding compound itself with respect to mechanical stress, CTE, thermal conductivity, die shift, and wafer warpage, while topography and post-bonding processing are the main concerns for 3D stacked TSV. These are typically based on thermoplastic or thermosets. Alternative solutions like PI and PBO are being evaluated, but there are still some cleaning compatibility and removal issues to overcome.
Finally, regarding underfill material, the choice of a specific material and technique depends on a variety of parameters: end-application, thermal & reliability requirements, bump & pad metallurgy, die size, and silicon process node. For standard FC BGA/CSP at the assembly level, capillary underfill (CUF) is mostly used. However, due to further miniaturization and the gap between the substrate and the chip, pre-applied waferlevel underfill is also an option. Meanwhile, pre-applied underfills have gained a lot of traction for high-density applications (i.e. FOWLP and GPU) and for applications requiring large die-size in the range of 30X30 mm², while CUF is much more advantageous for small die-size (10X10 mm²) due to better flow.
Therefore, choosing the right polymeric material strongly depends on technical performance associated with functionality requirements and cost.
This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the different existing polymeric materials used for each advanced packaging process step, along with their status. Also presented is the maturity level of each polymeric material, by advanced packaging function. A technology roadmap showing the future steps for these polymeric materials solutions is included too.
MATERIALS SUPPLIERS PRIZE SPECIALIZATION AS A MEANS OF DIFFERENTIATING THEMSELVES AND SUCCESSFULLY COMPETING IN THE ADVANCED PACKAGING FIELD
The polymeric materials market is diversified and fragmented into varied suppliers like HD Microsystems, JSR Corporation, Merck, DOW, Nagase, Asahi Kasei, Henkel, Hitachi Chemical, Sumitomo Bakelitej, TOK, Brewer Science etc. including several polymeric materials suppliers focused on one specific material. Each company has developed expertise in a specific material or two, but not all of them. Thus there is no clear leader amongst materials suppliers across the different functions and sectors – rather, one supplier is dominant in each material category.
Looking ahead, most materials suppliers involved with advanced packaging originate in myriad fields, from agricultural to pharmaceuticals, and span the entire materials range for microelectronics. Lucrative microelectronics business opportunities drive M&As between materials suppliers entering from different industries in a quest to acquire share in advanced packaging.
Some materials vendors utilize different strategies to skip a step in the advanced packaging polymeric materials process:
- In an effort to evolve towards greater diversification, some materials suppliers have reshuffled the landscape through M&A - i.e. Nissan Chemical’s acquisition of Thin Materials, which allowed Nissan Chemical to enter the temporary bonding materials field.
- In the hopes of acquiring market share in other regions, recent acquisitions have transpired amongst materials suppliers aiming to expand their market reach: for example, Mactac America, which acquired Lintec Corp.
- Others are already seasoned specialists in materials for microelectronics, and maintain their leadership role by consistently enhancing their product portfolio.
On the other hand, Chinese polymeric materials suppliers (i.e. Kempur) coming from the integrated circuit business are trying to penetrate the advanced packaging market by leveraging their materials line to meet current packaging requirements. Many of these new Chinese players, which still lack significant market share, benefit from strong subsidies offered by local governments. This could help them compete with the top players in the midterm.
Yole Développement's report provides a map of the key polymeric materials involved in each polymeric material function and advanced packaging process step, as well as the material types offered. This report also provides quantified, detailed market share for major materials suppliers, segmented by process step and material functionality.
OBJECTIVES OF THE REPORT
- Detailed analysis of the major advanced packaging platforms using polymeric materials that could require the use of polymeric materials
- Polymeric materials roadmap for the advanced packaging platforms
- Give the current status of the polymeric material adoption and the various type of polymeric material available on the market
- Provide an overview of the technological trends for polymeric material
- Understand the key benefits and added value of the polymeric material in the field of advanced packaging
- How does polymeric material differ from the other alternative material solutions
- Understand what are the remaining challenges of the implementation of the polymeric material in the field of advanced packaging
- Offer market metrics at polymeric material market level for advanced packaging applications (2017-2023)
- Evaluate market developments in terms of market size (volume, value, quantity), by material function and by advanced packaging platform
- Provide a competitive landscape, identify key players in technology development and manufacturing
- Give an overview of who is doing what, and specificities of each market
- Polymeric materials market - status and evolution since 2012
- Update of our 2017 - 2023 polymeric materials market forecast, including market value and quantities for advanced packaging: WLCSP, FOWLP, FC BGA/CSP, 2.5D interposer, and 3D stacked TSV
- Global polymeric materials market overview, segmented by advanced packaging application and material function: dielectric material, bonding stacked material, molding compound, underfill, photoresists, and temporary bonding material
- 2017 - 2023 global polymeric materials market forecast, in market value and units: split by advanced packaging platform and material function
- Update regarding key 2017 polymeric materials suppliers
- New analysis based on the competitive landscape and market share of polymeric materials suppliers, by material function