The MEMS packaging market will grow from US$2.56 billion in 2016 to US$6.46 billion in 2022, showing a 16.7% CAGR over this period, according to Yole Développement (Yole) report, MEMS Packaging 2017. Driven by the complexity associated with the move to 5G and therefore the increasing demand for RF filters in 4G/5G, the largest MEMS growth will be for RF MEMS, especially BAW filters. Optical MEMS including micro mirrors and micro bolometers are second with a 28.5% CAGR, driven by consumer, automotive, and security applications.

As key player, Yole Développement thought it was worth it collecting STATS ChipPAC’s feedback on the industry. Therefore, we interviewed John Miranda (JM), Director, Product and Development Engineering at STATS ChipPAC. He shares his vision about future generation of MEMS packaging approaches.

Yole Développement: STATS ChipPAC provides MEMS packaging technologies, could you tell us more about your current activity in packaging and assembly but also in test? How long has STATS ChipPAC been in the MEMS packaging field? How would you describe these years?
John Miranda: STATS ChipPAC is currently working to serve several areas of MEMS applications that include microphones, RF tuners and switches, inertial sensors, pressure sensors, speakers, and MEMS mirrors. We’ve also complemented these activities by developing and expanding our sensing portfolio that includes fingerprint sensors and optical sensing (e.g., IR, LiDAR, biometrics, proximity). We have been in the MEMS packaging field for over 5 years and have added capabilities to process MEMS wafers/dies, resulting in the qualification of various MEMS packages. The complexity has grown significantly in the past few years as the drive towards MEMS integration and lower cost combined with performance and form factor requirements are pushing limits and driving innovation. Our MEMS business has primarily focused on assembly; however, in our continuous efforts to provide value-added services we have developed MEMS testing capabilities in collaboration with our MEMS customers.


YD: Yole ranked STATS ChipPAC as #3 OSAT as MEMS packaging player. Do you see more competition coming in the future or rather a specialization by OSAT? Even though, MEMS packaging represents only 5% on total packaging revenues, we see OSATs from Top 20 ranking (Cf. Status of Advanced Packaging 2017, Yole Développement). What motivates OSATs to be involved in this market?
JM: We believe that there will be more market competition not only among OSATs, but other experienced precision electronic component manufacturing companies. A decision to service the MEMS components business is the inherent acceptance of varied degrees of specialization, and increasingly so as companies consider sensor fusion, heterogeneous packaging, and photonics integration. Therefore, it is feasible that global competition for MEMS packaging could become specialized and segmented. To be competitive and a global leader in this space requires companies to have an experienced and knowledgeable staff, technology specific know-how, and state-of-the-art equipment and factory infrastructure to deliver products from R&D into high volume manufacturing.

To maintain global leadership an OSAT must aggressively drive to increase their market share, profitability and technological prowess. As MEMS technology has matured and moved into the mainstream, packaging requirements have evolved to satisfy sub-system and product level requirements. One might say that an OSAT’s opening to become involved in MEMs packaging is a scenario where their capabilities addressed these new market opportunities. OSATs are now recognized to be uniquely capable to support MEMS customers as they seek to achieve scalable, highly integrated, competitive form factor, and high performance components at the most efficient costs.

MEMS packaging market share


(Source: MEMS Packaging 2017, Yole Développement, October 2017)


YD: Yole has organized the MEMS around five main families which are inertial sensors, environmental sensors, optical MEMS, acoustic and ultrasonic and RF MEMS. Could you tell us on which type of MEMS sensor STATS ChipPAC is specialized?
JM: STATS ChipPAC has focused on MEMS based inertial sensors, pressure sensors, microphones, optical sensors, RF MEMS and fingerprint sensors. We support these types of sensors in wirebond leaded and laminate types of packages and in advanced wafer level packages such as our eWLB technology. To deliver these advanced packages has required the development of new manufacturing processes to delicately process and handle the MEMS from wafer form to die, and throughout the process of assembling and testing the MEMS package. In addition, our development of optical sensors has required the application of polymeric optical grade materials (i.e., clear molding compounds) and the development of unique molding technologies


YD: Consumer market driven by smartphones sales has been a long time business that contributed to consolidate OSATs business. In the last few years, it seems that new challenges are coming from automotive that require more sensors, especially for autonomous cars. Do you believe that automotive is a real opportunity for MEMS business?
JM: Absolutely, there are a growing number of opportunities for both MEMS based and non-MEMS sensors in the automotive market segment. Our company’s experiences with the automotive market include infotainment IC and components for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). In addition, to ensure our alignment with the automotive industry standards we are active in participating to the fullest extent with entities that influence MEMS applications for automobiles (e.g., Automotive Electronics Council (AEC) and others). OSATs are well positioned to service the automotive industry as they can leverage their deep experience in precision assembly, designing for automotive grade package reliability, advanced automated equipment sets and familiarity in taking automotive packages into high volume while achieving customer cost targets. One should recognize that it can be daunting for OSATs to not only become an approved vendor to a Tier 1 OEM, but successfully qualify a component for production. The most common opportunities for MEMS in automotive applications include MEMS Microphones, MEMS Inertial Sensors, MEMS pressure sensors, and optical MEMS.


YD: There is a trend in putting more sensors into a same package. We have seen it happening for inertial sensors with 6- and then 9-axis but also for environmental. Do you believe that this sensor fusion trend will spread? What are the reasons behind?
JM: Sensor fusion is and will continue to be an important design consideration for OEMs and their product designers. OEMs face real competitive pressures from markets that continuously demand new features and higher performance expectations at a competitive price. Consider sensor fusion which is being introduced and planned for automobiles. We already see sensor fusion applications in automotive Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that integrate and process data from motion/position sensors, environmental sensors, cameras, radar, LiDAR and ultrasonic sensors. We also see the sensor fusion concept applied to industrial sensing which integrates chemical sensors, motion sensors, visible and infrared cameras, and more. OSATs can play a big role in offering innovative MEMS and sensor packaging solutions for these and many other types of sensor fusion applications.

The sensor fusion trend will not end, and for OSATs it provides new opportunities to enable their customers to efficiently consider the design-in of multi-sensor packages. The future will continue to proliferate sensors into every part of our daily lives that includes our clothing, wearables, home appliances, automobiles, offices, public spaces, and more. It becomes easy to see how important a technology company like STATS ChipPAC is to a future that will demand sensing in almost everything and the sensing of most anything.

MEMS packaging market report forecast sensor type

(Source: MEMS Packaging 2017, Yole Développement, October 2017)


YD: Yole sees more complexity in the package due to the needs to integrate several sensors in a package rather than disruptive change. Could you comment on next-gen packages? What trends do you see? What will be the next package implementation at STATS ChipPAC?
JM: STATS ChipPAC believes the next generation packaging for MEMS integration will use advanced wafer level packaging such as silicon on wafer stacking and fan-out wafer level packaging. The challenges that we can address are how to best integrate different types of MEMS, sensors, ASICs and passives into a single package. Traditional, laminate and leadframe based technologies result in an increase in form factor which impacts cost. At STATS ChipPAC we have the capability to create package solutions for 2D, 2.5D to 3D architectures. For MEMS packages we seek to leverage our experience in flip chip, System-in-Package (SiP), and wafer level packaging (eWLB, WLCSP). When considering the number of enabling technologies at our disposal, our team has the flexibility to design and decide with our customer the best MEMS and sensor package configuration to meet their needs. The trend toward high integration, heterogeneous packaging and wafer level processing will drive next-generation packages which must offer low assembly cost, competitive form factors, and optimal electrical and thermal performance.


YD: How do you see the future of STATS ChipPAC in the next 5 years? What major evolution do you see in the future at STATS ChipPAC in MEMS business?
JM: We believe we will see significant growth in market share in the next five years that will be driven by our value proposition based on our experience, IP, ecosystems, people and factory capabilities. We are focused on innovative MEMS and sensors using advanced packaging technologies to drive customer value and product performance. We see future growth coming from consumer, automotive, and healthcare with emerging market opportunities in industrial sensing and Internet of Things (IoT).

The evolution we see for OSATs is the emergence from the traditional business of semiconductor packaging offerings (low/mix high volume) to more complex technologies in emerging markets. For STATS ChipPAC our demonstrated commitment to MEMS and Sensor packaging is an area of growing opportunities. The challenge for OSATs is to seize these new market opportunities by escalating their R&D activities and service offering. The MEMS and sensor initiative for STATS ChipPAC signals the continuing trend for heterogeneous integration that now impacts optical MEMS, optical sensors, optics and photonics, and ASICs for optical signal processing.

Sources: logo yole petitlogo interview stats chippac yole JCET

image John Miranda interviewee statschippac yole John Miranda, Director, Product and Development Engineering, STATS ChipPAC
Dr. John Miranda is the Director of MEMS and Sensors for the Product and Development Engineering group at STATS ChipPAC. Dr. Miranda has pioneered, developed, and manufactured semiconductor products and advanced packages involving image sensors and mobile phone camera technology, wafer level cameras and wafer level optics, laser based scanning MEMS light engines for pico-projection, industrial infrared optical gas imaging (OGI) cameras, , LiDAR for automotive and unmanned systems, smart glasses and wearables pulse oximetry. Prior to STATS ChipPAC, Dr. Miranda held senior leadership roles in marketing, business development, and engineering at Micron Technology, Aptina, Konica Minolta, and Microvision. Dr. Miranda received his Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.



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