Fan-Out packaging growth is now a fact: Who can challenge TSMC to get market shares, and how would panel technology impact that?
FAN-OUT PACKAGING CONFIRMS ITS SUCCESS STORY… AND CREATES A COMPLEX MARKET
Many important questions face the Fan-Out Packaging world. Will the growth keep going? Who can challenge TSMC? Is panel technology coming? What will be the next killer application? This report will bring you the answers – and here is a preview of some: Fan-Out Wafer Level Packaging (FOWLP), and also Fan-Out packaging solutions not based on wafers, have been the hottest topic in the advanced packaging industry for two years, and that will remain true.
In 2016, TSMC’s InFO FOWLP solution was used to package Apple’s A10 application processor, which was implemented in the iPhone 7. It created huge interest in the platform and demonstrated its capability to address complex applications in large volumes. Its potential was confirmed by Apple when it chose InFO for its next application processor, the A11, in 2017. Could it mean Fan-Out packaging is going to spread all over the market? Will every Fan-Out supplier benefit fromthat? As usual in the advanced packaging industry, things are not that simple.
The Fan-Out packaging market can actually be split into two:
• The “core” Fan-Out market, including single die applications such as baseband, power management and RF transceivers.
• The “high-density” (HD) Fan-Out market, started by Apple’s Application Processor Engine (APE), which includes applications with higher counts of input-output (IO) connections such as processors and memory.
While both markets have great potential and are expected to grow fast, they have different drivers and can be addressed by different players. The core market is the main historic pool for FOWLP solutions, which initially to address Intel Mobile’s needs in 2009. Now, the technology has managed to convince several heavyweights in the industry, like Qualcomm, for numerous small size/ low IO count applications such as audio codecs, power management integrated circuits, baseband, radars, etc. Major Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test companies (OSATs) are well positioned in that market and have been supplying the technology for quite some time. Players include JCET/STATs ChipPAC, ASE, Amkor, especially after its purchase of Nanium, etc. With FOWLP being acknowledged for its advantages such as reducing form-factor size, flexibility in die embedding and electrical performance, the market is expected to grow steadily in coming years, especially in mobile applications.
The HD FO market is quite different. Applications targeted are higher-end and can have several thousand IOs, requiring the package to handle much more than the core market. The main application so far is in application processors, like Apple’s A10 and A11, which benefit from the thin profile of the package and its excellent performance. At the moment Apple is the only customer but expectations are high that others, (Qualcomm? Samsung?) will join them. In the future, other high-end applications may appear, seeking the high bandwidth capability of FO, such as high performance computing and networking.
The APE market is currently the main contributor to HD FO, and the supplier landscape is rather different to the core market. Only TSMC is involved so far and OSATs will probably have to wait a few generations before being able to enter the market.
The HD FO market is already worth $500M in 2017 and could reach more than $1B in coming years if players other than Apple are willing to switch to Fan-Out packaging.
With such great potential for high-density Fan-Out and solid growth of core Fan-Out, we also expect the supply chain to evolve. This report explains in detail the positioning and strategies of each player and the requirements of each market and its associated supplied chain.
Along with detailed roadmaps and supply chain analysis that explain the complexity and trends already showing potential in this highly promising market, this report also analyses manufacturing challenges. The main interest is always the same in manufacturing: cost.
Currently, companies are mainly trying to reduce cost by increasing the carrier size. Moving fabrication from wafers to panels could enable a drastic reduction. NEPES has already announced that it can produce Fan-Out-on-panel packages. Numerous players, such as ASE, are working hard to make that option available soon and get a share of the market. Figure 3 shows that wafer carriers are secure for the foreseeable future, but that panel production is expected to grow soon.
As panel FO is still at an early stage, lots of different solutions are being investigated to deliver costefficient lines. Panels being investigated include those used in printed circuit boards and liquid crystal displays, but their sizes have not yet been standardized, and many other developments are ongoing. There are lots of challenges ahead, including yield, warpage, financial sustainability, etc. This report analyzes and explains the status of the different players involved in panel manufacturing for Fan-Out.
NUMEROUS FAN-OUT FLAVORS
With such a buzz around Fan-Out packaging, many technologies available in the field are marketed as “Fan-Out” while being very different to each other. There are even technologies that are not considered Fan-Out packaging labeled as such. In order to not get lost in this offer maze a clear segmentation, and clear definitions are required.
This report analyzes in detail the strategies and offerings of the main players involved and describes Yole Développement’s assumptions on the success potential of all of them. It appears that despite having technologies as well-installed in the market as embedded Wafer Level Ball Grid Array numerous other technologies are appearing with different approaches, including chip-first, chip-last, faceup, face-down, etc. This variety is due to the fact that each player would prefer to have its solution dominating the others. Also, as mentioned above, numerous applications are potentially accessible to Fan-Out, which means some specific needs may differ. For example, automotive radars require much higher reliability and longer lifetime than mobile phone devices and therefore some fine-tuning of Fan-Out technologies.
- Overview of new Fan-Out technologies available and under development
- Comparison of different Fan-Out platforms and associated markets
- Update of commercialization status with market adoption for new applications, updated forecasts, and potential analysis update by technology
- Updated strategy analysis of main players and newcomers including JCET/STATS ChipPAC, TSMC, ASE, Amkor and Samsung Electro-Mechanics
- Updated market sizes, split by application
- Fan-Out-on-panel status update: Volume and market forecasts, player by player status and panel potential analysis
OBJECTIVES OF THE REPORT
- To identify and describe which technologies can be classified as “Fan-Out”
- To update the business status of Fan-Out technology markets
- To provide a market forecast for coming years, and estimate future trends
- To analyze key market drivers, benefits and challenges of Fan-Out packages by application
- To describe the different existing technologies, their trends and roadmaps
- To analyze the Fan-Out supply chain and landscape