5G packaging brings innovative technology and 2.6 billion dollar opportunities for SiP business.
Key features of the report
- Global smartphone market forecast (2020-2026) including breakdown by air standard: 3G, 4G, 5G sub-6GHz and 5G mmWave
- 5G Packaging Market forecast by units and revenue with breakdown by various RF modules: 5G sub-6GHz RF Front End module (PAMiD, DRx), 5G mmW AiP, 5G mmW discrete antenna, 5G mmW FEM
- Antenna in Package (AiP) market forecast by units, revenue, and wafer starts
- AiP market forecast describing various scenarios: with or without fan-out packaging
- 5G packaging substrate market forecast by different RF modules, including AiP
- RF front-end multi-die SiP roadmap, challenges, and technology requirements for 5G sub-6GHz and 5G mmWave (>24 GHz) bands, including antenna-in-package (AiP) trends
- An analysis of supply chain changes and opportunities for 5G in smartphones, focusing on RF SiP manufacture and assembly, including package substrate
Objectives of the report
5G Packaging for Smartphones 2021 is a new report which focuses on both the module and component packaging for 5G Sub-6GHz and 5G mmWave. The objectives of this new report are as follows:
- Discuss drivers and dynamics for 5G options: 5G mmWave and 5G sub-6GHz, and investigate the disruptions and opportunities there from
- Focus on various SiP architectures in the RF front-end of cellphones.
- RF front-end SiP market forecast in revenue, wafers, and units
- Interconnect trends forecast for RF SiP
- Analyze various developing RF SiP architectures for sub-6GHz and mmWave frequencies, the advantages, and suitability thereof
- Provide an RF front-end multi-die SiP roadmap, the challenges, and technology requirements for 5G sub-6GHz and 5G mmWave (>24 GHz) bands, including antenna-in-package (AiP) trends
- Analyze supply chain changes and opportunities for 5G in smartphones, focusing on RF SiP manufacture and assembly, including package substrate
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Glossaries 2
- Table of contents 4
- Report objectives 5
- Scope of the report 7
- Definitions 11
- 3 Page Summary 15
- Executive summary 19
- 5G Market Drivers & Dynamics 48
- Evolution of 5G networks, applications, implementation timeline, disruptions, and opportunities
- 5G Packaging Trends 68
- Technology & trends, RF Front End module SiP architectures, requirements, challenges, roadmap, interconnection trends
- 5G Packaging Market Forecasts 90
- Cellphone forecast by type & air standards, 5G RF component packaging market at wafer-level & SiP level, RF SiP forecasts in units & market by type of SiP modules
- Packaging for 5G mmWave including AiP 111
- AiP trends, antenna key parameters, design for mmW & sub-6 GHz, , AiP market forecast, technology challenges, flip-chip vs. fan-out
- Players and Supply Chain 136
- Player landscape and positioning, company strategies, packaging supply chain of key RF Front End module suppliers
- 5G Packaging Technology trends by Players 154
- 5G Packaging Substrate Material Trends 167
- Technology trends, suppliers, market forecast
- EMI Shielding Trends for 5G Packaging 195
- Summary & Outlook 204
- Appendix 207
5G technology brings innovation in RF packaging
The various RF active & passive components in mobile are assembled in the SiP or remain discretes. LTE evolution has led to complex architecture in mobile phones, mainly due to carrier aggregation. Meanwhile, RF’s board area and available antenna space have been reduced, leading to a densification trend that sees more handset OEMs adopting power amplifier modules and implementing new techniques, i.e., antenna-sharing between LTE and WiFi.
5G added even more complexity requiring more densification in front-end modules to enable 5G sub-6GHz & mmWave band integration. A single die is cost-efficient for components like tuners or discrete filters. For high-end phones, SiP technology is preferred for performance efficiency. Before 2018, LGA SiP was used in the RF industry. 4G LTE in smartphones used multi-die SiP (10-15 dies, utilizing flip-chip balls or Cu pillars or wire-bond to connect various components to the organic coreless substrate) for FEM, as well as for filter banks and diversity receive modules. BGA has since been widely adopted thanks to the double-side packaging development. As an example, the recent version of the integrated RF SiP (MB/HB PAMiD) in the iPhone 12 is almost 50% smaller than the first mid/high-band PAMiD. Thanks to innovation, such as EMI shielding, Flip-Chip PA, or Double Side Molding BGA, Broadcom managed to integrate the same system in a smaller footprint. Double-side BGA packaging technology brings advances in component density with a new type of internal shielding and isolation of critical components using the PCB substrate. Players like Broadcomm, Qorvo & Skyworks implement stepwise innovation in RF SiP, moving from LGA to DSBGA to DS-MBGA, whereas Murata directly implemented DS-MBGA for system integration & miniaturization.
RF system integration & miniaturization trends require innovation at various levels for 5G packaging in mobile. RF Front End module supporting 5G sub-6GHz utilize modifications of existing flip-chip laminate-based SiPs with a similar bill of materials: incremental innovation. On the other hand, 5G mmW brings disruptive packaging with the entry of new packaging architectures and platforms: fan-Out WLP and glass substrate interposers competing with advanced organic substrate flip-chip packages with new low-loss dielectrics.
Antenna technology and placement is one of the most critical challenges for 5G semiconductor systems. At mmWave frequencies, long paths from semiconductor packages to antennas represent high losses, making it desirable to integrate the antenna into the SiP. Higher frequencies require smaller antennas (mm instead of cm), which, from a footprint point of view, would be easier to integrate into SiPs. Various packaging solutions based on flip-chip & fan-out technology with different architectures are proposed for integrating antenna elements with RF components for 5G mobile communication.
Because of the low cost, higher yield, and mature supply chain, laminate substrate-based flip-chip will dominate the 5G mmW cellular market. Fan-out WLP/PLP is a promising solution for AiP integration because of its high signal performance, low-loss, and reduced form factor. However, it is costly, the supply chain is not yet mature, and has technical challenges (double-sided RDL,TMV, shielding, etc.).
Apple implemented a different antenna architecture to support 5G mmW communication: one AiP module and one discrete passive antenna. The AiP module (located on phone edge) is designed by Apple and manufactured by USI and Murata. Apple source RF transceiver ICs & PMICs from Qualcomm. A discrete passive antenna (mounted on the rear side of the rear main board) is larger than the AiP (for higher gain) and is driven by the Murata mmW FEM located on the opposite side of the rear main board. We believe Apple will continue to use similar antenna structures for the future iPhones supporting mmWave.
Shielding of the circuitry from antenna radiation is needed while at the same time ensuring the antenna is not blocked and can achieve clear reception/transmission. Along with laminates, ceramic and glass have also emerged as choice package substrate materials. To choose a package substrate material for 5G mmWave, requires a compromise between electrical properties, cost, processability, and supply-chain readiness. Because of the cost & material/ assembly supply chain readiness, organic laminate dominates the market, followed by ceramic and glass.
5G Packaging for mobile will bring ~$2.6B opportunity by 2026
The RF components in the mobile are packaged at two levels: 1st-level packaging of various RF components like filters, switches, and amplifiers at die/wafer level, which includes RDL, RSV, and/or bumping steps; and 2nd-level SiP packaging performed at the SMT level where various components are assembled on SiP substrate along with passives. The 5G packaging market was $0.52B in 2020 and is expected to grow at 31% CAGR to reach ~$2.6B in 2026. The 5G packaging includes the RF modules (PAD, DRx FEM, etc.) and AiP for 5G sub-6GHz & 5G mmW connectivity. 5G sub-6GHz RF Front End module accounts for 67% of the total 5G packaging in 2026, followed by 5G mmW FEM, mmW AiP, and mmW discrete antenna. The AiP assembly market for mmW communication in mobile will grow by 40% to reach ~$448M in 2026. AiP’s market share in the 5G packaging market will increase from 11% in 2020 to 17% by 2026. 5G packaging substrate market will grow at CAGR ~35% to reach ~$721M in 2026. Low-loss substrate is essential to support 5G mmWave mobile communication and is required for the mmWave SiP, including AiP & discrete antenna.
This new Yole report investigates in detail the 5G packaging market for smartphones and will cover various RF front-end modules to support 5G communication, such as : 5G sub-6GHz RF Front End module (PAMiD, DRx), 5G mmW AiP, 5G mmW discrete antenna, 5G mmW FEM. Regarding mmW AiP, the market forecast based on various scenarios is discussed depending on whether AiP is implemented using fan-out or not.
Players across the supply chain & from different business models compete to grab a share of the 5G packaging market
Despite a growing number of design companies trying to enter the RF front-end market, a few leaders have captured most of the market, where foundries and packaging houses now have an ever-stronger footprint. The RF front-end SiP supply chain for 4G was led by a few IDMs, like Qorvo, Broadcom (Avago), Skyworks, and Murata, that outsource part of SiP assembly to OSATs. Qualcomm emerged as a serious RF front-end player for 5G solutions, especially 5G mmWave (with multiple wins at various mobile OEMs) and is expected to maintain its dominance in the future. In fact, Qualcomm is the only player providing complete solutions for 5G, including modem, RF Front End module, antenna module, and application processors. Qualcomm, being fabless, outsources all its SiP assembly, which results in more business opportunities for OSATs. Other players like HiSilicon, Samsung, and MediaTek entering the RF market will also increase outsourcing opportunities.
Murata is another very strong player which is maintaining its dominance in the 5G RF market. Recently, Murata entered the mmW AiP/antenna supply chain of Apple.
IDMs are focusing more on RF front-end solutions for 5G sub-6Ghz, which also require packaging innovations like closer placement of components, double-sided mounting, conformal/ compartmental shielding, high-accuracy, and high-speed SMT, etc. This requires investment in new tools & processes. We believe the burden of high investment in assembly technology will motivate firms to outsource more to OSATs.
5G packaging, especially mmW AiP, also provides opportunities for foundry players like TSMC who developed the fan-out based (InFO_AiP) packaging for antenna integration with RFIC. EMS players include Foxconn, which entered the RF packaging market through its subsidiary ShunSin Technology. mmW AiP is a high growth market and is attracting various substrates players who are looking to add assembly capability. The whole supply chain for SiP packaging including manufacturers (OSATS/Foundries/IDMs), substrate suppliers, substrate core, prepeg, build-up, RDL dielectric materials suppliers, mold compound, thermal interface materials, interconnect materials, plating tool, EMI shielding, molding equipment and die attach tool suppliers benefit from the 5G packaging market.
Amkor (J-Devices, Nanium), Acco, Ajinomoto Fine-Techno, Apple, Applied Materials, ASE Group, ASMPT (NEXX), AT&T, AT&S, Avago Technologies, Besi, Broadcom, Cavendish, Daeduck Electronics, Deca Technologies, Dupont, Ericsson, Evatec, Foxconn, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Google, Henkel, HiSilicon, Hitachi Chemical, Huawei, Huatian, Ibiden, Infineon, Intel, JCET/STATS ChipPAC, Kinetics, Kinsus, Kyocers, Kulicke & Soffa, Lenovo, LG Electronics, LG Innotek, Marvell, MediaTek, Mitsubishi Materials, Mitsui Kinzoku, Murata, Nepes, NXP Semiconductors (Freescale), NGK/NTK, NTT Docomo, ON Semiconductor, OPPO, Panasonic, Peregrine Semiconductor/Murata, Powertech Technology, Qorvo (RFMD, Triquint), Qualcomm (RF360), Rogers, Samsung Electronics, Samsung Electromechanics (SEMCO), SJSemi, Shinko, Skyworks Solutions, Soitec, Spreadtrum, SPIL, Sprint, TDK-EPCOS, Tongfu Microelectronics, Towa, TSMC, Unimicron, Unisem, USI, Wisol, Xiaomi, Yamada, ZTE and more…
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