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Market and technology drivers to bring 3D-IC to production

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SiP Global Summit 2013, 3D-IC and Substrate Pavilion, and Advanced Packaging Technology Symposium at SEMICON Taiwan 2013 showcase packaging solutions

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: With semiconductor technology moving toward systematic integration of stacked heterogeneous chips and 3D-IC becoming a mainstream trend, the latest developments will be featured at 3D-IC & Substrate Pavilion and Advanced Packaging Technology Symposium at SEMICON Taiwan 2013 (September 4-6) and the SiP Global Summit 2013 (September 4-6) at TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall in Taipei, Taiwan.

Design tools, manufacturing, packaging and testing solutions for 2.5D-IC process are available this year, and the most important issue is how to improve its throughput to enable 2.5D-IC mass production in 2014.

Taiwan is situated in the strategic location of the world's IC packaging and testing industry, with the world's largest packaging and testing company, ASE, as well as SPIL, PTI, and ChipMOS - the top ten in the world - reaching a global packaging and testing foundry market share of over 50 percent. Amkor and STATS ChipPAC have also set up plants in Taiwan. According to an ITIS second quarter forecast this year, the Taiwan IC packaging and testing industry will significantly grow by 15.5 percent, and the driving force is from growing demands from the networking, graphics, wireless, computing device, and mobile handsets markets.

Serving the growing demands of the networking, graphics, wireless, and computing device markets with 3D Integrated Circuits (3D- IC) is a challenging task for the semiconductor industry. Increasingly, there is a stronger focus on heterogeneous integration through System-in-a-Package (SiP) technology. According to Yole Développement, the market value of all the devices using TSV packaged in 3D in the 3D-IC or 3D-WLCSP platforms (CMOS image sensors, Ambient Light Sensors, Power Amplifiers, RF and inertial MEMS) was worth $2.7 billion in 2011. By 2017, the market value will hit almost $40 billion, representing 9 percent of the total semiconductor value.

TechNavio analysts forecast the global 3D-IC market to grow at a CAGR of 19.7 percent over the period 2012-2016. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the huge demand for memory-enhanced applications. To meet the exhilarating market demand, Taiwan's leading outsourced semiconductor assembly and test companies - ASE and SPIL - will expand their capex for increase bumping, flip chip and copper wire bonding capacity. ASE has set aside a capex budget of $0.7 billion and SPIL of $498.9 million for 2013.

"While 2.5D with TSV have been widely adopted in CMOS sensors and MEMS, affordable stacked memory is not yet available. In addition, many companies are also looking at alternatives to silicon interposers, such as glass interposers, to bring the price down. So, even 2.5D has been delayed and questions remain about its configuration at high volume." said Terry Tsao, president of SEMI Taiwan. "For heterogeneous integration of memory and logic, the industry still needs design tools, thermal solutions, continued work on wafer bonding and de-bonding, and accepted test methodologies, to name a few requirements. The SIP Global Summit will explore these barriers and opportunities to accelerate 3D IC's beyond today's applications."

Given the growing importance of packaging and testing in the global semiconductor supply chain, SEMI will hold the SiP Global Summit 2013 from September 5-6 under the auspices of SEMI's Taiwan Packaging and Testing Committee as well as major international enterprises and research organizations.

This two-day SiP Global Summit 2013 will consist of two major forums: 3D-IC Technology and Embedded Technology with representatives from 20 of the world's best IT firms slated to share insights into 3D-IC, TSV, silicon interposer and embedded substrate technologies. Participants in the summit will include TSMC, ASE, SPIL, Unimicron, Amkor, Qualcomm, STATS ChipPAC, research institutes and market research organizations including Fraunhofer IZM and Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI).

3D-IC Technology Forum: The Power of Synergy. While the whole supply chain is preparing for 3D-IC readiness with a developing infrastructure and facilities to support its go-to-market ecosystem, the industry is looking forward to achieving a faster volume adoption and wider market penetration. This forum will provide further guidance on the path between 2.5D-IC and 3D-IC from both market and technology drivers. The core issues of yield, standardization and cost will also be addressed to ensure maturity for high-volume 2.5D/3D-IC production with TSV.

Embedded Technology Forum -- Bridging The Last Mile: Chip-to-Substrate Interconnections. Will "embedded die" be a cost-effective 3D solution? For potential mobile applications, embedded die has been considered another 3D-compatible technology and key element for miniaturization and ultra-thin 3D packaging. To explore the path forward to cost-effective 3D approach, the Forum gathers key contributors to share their latest achievements with technology progress in process and materials and re-visit the production readiness and cost structure.

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