Driven by application diversification, IPDs (integrated passive devices) continue their promising growth.
DRIVEN BY MINIATURIZATION, HIGHER PERFORMANCE, AND LOWER COST, IPD DEVICES OFFER GREAT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE SMARTPHONE MARKET
Today, miniaturization and integration are key drivers in electronic devices. This is even more critical in several consumer applications, where thinner devices mean higher integration levels, necessitating low-profile components.
The thin-film IPD process offers finer pitch feature, better tolerance control, higher flexibility, and packages possessing higher integration than other commonly available technologies, i.e. PCB and LTCC technologies. These aspects explain IPD’s expansion over the last years, and its promising continued growth.
Today, electrostatic discharge (ESD) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) protection are IPD’s primary applications, but RF front-end modules requiring IPD baluns, diplexers, matching, etc. are fast-increasing too. Currently, consumer applications (especially smartphones) are the big consumers of IPDs in RF front-end modules, or for ESD/EMI protection. Miniaturization, low cost, and high-value precision are the added-values IPDs bring to these applications. Planar structure capacitors, inductors, and resistors are built using thin-film deposition technologies with highperformance results. A wide variety of dielectric and resistive materials are proposed by a large number of companies, depending on the desired performance of the IPD.
3D structure technologies have also been available for a couple of years now, especially for achieving excellent capacitance density values in silicon-trench capacitors. This new technology has opened new business opportunities for IPDs in other applicative markets, as was demonstrated
with the iPhone 7 and its A10 processor, which integrates several silicon-trench capacitors under the microprocessor’s bumps. In the digital & mixed signal market, integration density and miniaturization are the priorities - therefore conventional planar technologies can’t be used since the capacitance densities are currently far from what’s required.
In this report, Yole Développement explains each application’s different requirements, and the IPD technologies being used to answer increasing demand.
DESPITE SILICON’S DOMINATION IN THE IPD MARKET, ALTERNATIVE SUBSTRATES ARE DISRUPTING THE RF IPD MARKET
In 2017 the overall IPD market generated a revenue exceeding $750M, and is expected to peak at more than $1B by 2022. As of 2017, this market is driven mostly by the ESD/EMI IPDs market, which represents more than 60% of the total IPD market, followed by RF IPD. Mixed signal IPD did not represent a significant volume and is still an emerging IPD market.
Although it is difficult to predict the success of digital mixed signal IPD, we see a small penetration rate (driven mainly by decoupling applications) in smartphone processors, where miniaturization is a key driver. Moreover, a few medical applications also require decoupling capacitors in IPD format, where again miniaturization and high capacitance density are essential.
In terms of substrate material, although silicon remains the only mainstream solution for ESD/EMI IPD and digital mixed signal (presently 100% in these IPD commercial devices), there are a wide variety of substrates available for RF IPD manufacturing. Indeed, advanced requirements such as substrate loss are considered for RF applications. Also, due to the limitation in terms of insertion loss as well as dielectric loss for silicon, various alternative substrates such as glass and GaAs are being integrated into some RF IPD products manufactured by STMicroelectronics, Murata, Qorvo, and others.
Glass is an appealing choice for high-frequency applications requiring low dielectric loss and low insertion loss. Meanwhile, GaAs is especially advantageous for its smaller size and higher performance in terms of linearity and noise characteristics, especially at high frequencies. Consequently, we expect these substrates to take market share in the RF IPD market.
This report offers a comprehensive overview of the semiconductor substrates used in each IPD manufacturing process, a detailed analysis of technology trends, and a market forecast by IPD application type. Moreover, an IPD market forecast split by wafer size and substrate type has been calculated for the 2016 - 2022 timeframe.
DIFFERENT BUSINESS MODELS AND DIFFERENT EXPECTATIONS FOR A COMPLEX SUPPLY CHAIN
As mentioned earlier, IPDs have a variety of applications and high potential in numerous areas. This, combined with large range of solutions, creates a diversified supply chain - depending on the endapplication targeted. This diversity is actually even more complex considering the different types of manufacturers and their business models: pure players, OSATs, IDMs, foundries, etc. Many producer types can be involved in IPDs but with different resources and objectives.
IDMs/foundries use IPDs as options to complete their offers and make them more appealing for customers. The focus is not to make a pure business of IPD, but to use it as an added-value for their products. The most illustrative example is TSMC promoting its decoupling capacitors to save more space and increase efficiency in Apple’s processors – a solution that has opened the door for IPD in large volumes for advanced applications.
OSATs have a similar approach in terms of priority and promotion, but with different integration capabilities. Most OSATs have IPD offers in their portfolio and implement them upon customer request. Their solutions are either more standardized IPDs, or supplied from pure players to integrate them in packages afterwards.
Pure players like IPDiA (now part of Murata) are, by definition, pushing for the spread of IPD solutions. These solutions must convince customers that they are vital for implementing passives in their integration. In order for this to happen, IPDs must be seen either as an easily-outsourceable commodity or as a differentiator justifying new supplies. In both cases strong development is required, which pure players are pushing for.
This report analyzes the different business models, rationales for IPD manufacturing, and expectations for this market according to various offers.
OBJECTIVES OF THE REPORT
- Provide detailed information regarding IPD devices’ applicability
- Detailed analysis of the major applications using IPD today, and potential applications that could require an IPD substrate
- Offer an IPD device application roadmap
- Discuss the current status of IPD adoption in the market
- Present an overview of IPD manufacturing’s technological trends (substrate type, material type)
- Understand IPD devices’ key benefits and added-value
- Review the remaining challenges for IPD device implementation
- Provide market metrics at IPD market level for ESD/EMI, RF, and digital/mixed signal applications (2016 - 2022)
- Evaluate market developments in terms of market size (volume, value) and substrate sizes/formats
- Reveal a competitive landscape and identify key IPD players in technology development and manufacturing
- Analyze technology process, specification, supply chain, and value chain
- Status of the IPD industry, and evolution since 2012
- Update of our 2016 - 2022 IPD market forecast for RF IPD, ESD/EMI, and digital mixed signal IPD
- Update and market share for key 2017 IPD manufacturers: pure IPD manufacturers, OSATs,
IDMs, and foundries
- New analysis based on the competitive landscape and market share of IPD manufacturers, by IPD applications covered in this report (RF, ESD/EMI, digital mixed signal)
- Overall IPD market share - breakdown by substrate type
- New analysis of 2017 IPD market share by substrate type, for RF IPD, ESD/EMI IPD, and digital mixed signal IPD
- Key technical insights and detailed analysis of IPD solutions, trends, requirements, and challenges - by application