- AZ Electronics
The Next Revolution for Semiconductor Packaging & Circuit Assembly Industries
The Semiconductor manufacturing industry is today facing more than ever the challenge to explore the so-called “More-than-Moore” 3-D integration route in order to pursue the continued aggressive scaling of the historical Moore’s Law. The whole Semiconductor industry supply chain is being concerned: from IDMs to Fabless and CMOS foundries, from OSATs to Substrate and Circuit Assembly players as well. We believe 3D integration with TSVs could accelerate even more current consolidation happening in CMOS wafer fabs and the shift toward a fabless foundry model. As the whole industry supply chain is being concerned, all players are at the moment positioning on the technology and evaluating about which 3-D technology platforms need to be invested and developed for their own business.
Times are bright for packagers from all across the world. A whole new infrastructure needs to be developed in the "Mid-end" of the semiconductor industry supply chain. New Technologies, Equipments and Advanced Materials coming both from the Front-end and the Back-end worlds are being developed and
will give rise to a new revival of the semiconductor packaging and circuit assembly industries. Our latest market forecasts show that 3D-TSV wafers will be shipped in millions and have the potential to impact as much as 25% of the memory business by 2015. If we exclude memories, our analysis show that 3D-TSV wafers could account for more than 6% of the total semiconductor industry by 2015.
This new study aims at giving a better understanding about the right timeline for the successful adoption of the Through Silicon Via (3-D TSV interconnect) technology across the wide range of its driving end-applications. The two reports further quantify the potential impact of 3-D technologies on the semiconductor manufacturing market (at the Device / Equipment / Material levels) and evaluate how the industry supply chain is likely to evolve in the 2009-2015 time frames.
Examples of major finding from this new market research study are:
- Motivations for going to 3-D are pretty clear and have not changed much since the technology has been successfully introduced into production for MEMS and CMOS image sensors already: it is all about achieving smaller form factor with increased package densities, to meet bandwidth, RF, power consumption performance improvements and to keep with further cost reduction. Cost is definitively set to be the strongest motivation to develop 3D technologies in the long run. Additionally, we do see several players being driven by reliability motivations: higher reliability systems can be manufactured through the vertical integration of several layers using 3-D TSVs instead of wire-bonds or Flip-chip interconnects, using 3D stacked wafer level optics instead of plastic injection molded lens modules. From many point of views, 3-D appears to be a strong enabling driver for the successful introduction of ever more integrated new systems into harsh and space constraint application environments such as in the Automotive, Bio, Telecom and Consumer markets among others.
- Roadmap per application: WL-CSP CMOS image sensors are on the point to leave their traditional edge interconnects configuration for going to "real" 3D-TSV architectures as soon as this year. Vias will be partially or completely filled, depending on via filling approach being developed (Copper for partial filling, Poly-Silicon or Tungsten for completely filled vias). Additionally, we clearly see the number of I/Os expanding to several hundreds of interconnects per chip with a trend to stack the DSP chips under the image sensor chip itself. MEMS will also take benefit from 3-D in order to combine the MEMS with its ASIC while Wireless SiPs will combine heterogeneous layers all together (built on different lithography nodes, different material substrates such as Si, GaAs, SiGe...). The market for 3-D stacked memories is imminent: it is primarily driven by RAM based memories first meanwhile more and more Flash memory is set to be combined in the future within MCP, PoP/SiP packages, cell-phone card-slots and SSDs. The question is now more about who will succeed to develop first the lowest cost process and will take the risk of the huge initial infrastructure investment required. Going further, Logic based 3D-SOCs are to set to take-off in the 2-3 years time frame for different applications. Indeed, this "true" type of 3D-IC integration will be achieved through the progressive segregation of several layers: 3D Partitioning of embedded memories, RF, Analog and I/Os layers from the logic base chip will be achieved in the most cost effective manner by reducing overall chip size areas. We are today confident that 3D-ICs will soon show more cost effective compared to traditional SOC approaches as it will enable to partition in a cost effective manner the different functions today all integrated into large area SOC dies. Beyond cost, these 3-D chips will additionally benefits from performance improvements as interconnect length will be shortened and repeaters will be removed. This will allow the CMOS industry to "virtually" go beyond to the 32nm node in terms of chip size, cost and performance.
- We believe that different 3-D technology platforms need to be developed as they will serve different application needs and will correspond to different players in the supply chain:
- - 3-D WLP Encapsulation platform is today already in production in CMOS image sensors with via through the backside of the wafer. It will expand to Power amplifier modules as well. MEMS package are more complex as most of these applications will need a full-hermetic cavity through the use of getters and more specialized bonding technologies.
- - 3-D TSV Stack platform is being primarily developed for stacked memories and logic 3D-SOCs later on. If via-last will account for a large portion of the market, we see a clear trend towards via-first configurations and smaller vias size approaching 1-5um diameters with 500-2000 interconnects per chip typically.
- - 3-D interposer Module platform is already in very small production for several MEMS applications in order to combine the ASIC & MEMS chips together in a true WLP approach (The silicon interposer acts here in direct replacement of the organic substrate). This technology platform is likely to expand rapidly into many SiP application spaces. In most cases, the silicon 3D interposer is used as a "companion chip" module for the 3D integrated system. Benefits of such 3-D silicon interposers include outstanding intrinsic thermal properties (CTE) of the silicon package/substrate/board and the potential to scale to unlimited interconnect pitches. Furthermore, they leverage the possibility to be more and more "engineered" among time with the capability to integrate passive devices, to form cavities or even to build micro-cooling channels for cost efficient thermal management modules. More generally, 3-D silicon interposers must be low cost and may be handled or manufactured by IDM's subcontractors if the confidentiality value chain can be ensured. We do see totally different players emerging in this business: from MEMS, CMOS silicon foundries, substrate to circuit assembly players as well.
- - There are several barriers to entry for full scale 3D IC integration. It includes Test, 3D EDA Design tools, Thermal management and 300mm equipments availability .
Regarding Test, issues are closed to be solved as many solutions are currently being developed and evaluated (double-side probe stations, BIST with JTAG, interconnect redundancies...) However, as contact probe test technologies will tend to be more and more limited with via pads density increasing, they may not scale to future pad dimensions pitch shrinks. Moreover, as one portion of the industry is going towards W2W configurations with thin wafers, new requirements are emerging for testing without damage at the wafer level to ensure the electrical functionality of the TSV, RDL and Bump pad structures prior to the stacking of each layer. As a consequence of this, a lot of companies are requesting for contact-less testing technologies (based on optical or wireless methods). Technology and equipments are being developed for wafer surface inspection, open/shorts electrical testing and 3-D System level functionality validation. The landscape is completely different regarding the availability of 3D EDA Design and Thermal Management software tools. We are seeing a lot of effort being done in this area at the moment. However, we believe it is a real challenge for the industry to get the tools ready by 2011.
The availability for 300mm 3D-TSV equipments is just a question of time. First 300mm tools clusters have been shipped this year for production pilot-lines. Our latest analysis shows that the Equipment Market for 3D-TSV manufacturing tools will rapidly expand above 1B$ by 2013. 3D-TSV Equipment forecasts have been realized over the 2006-2015 time period both in units and in M$. They include shipments and sales forecasts for Wafer Bonders / Chip Bonders / Etching-Drilling / Plating / Lithography / Deposition-Coating / Temporary Bonding / Grinding-Thinning / Inspection & Metrology / Test tools.
Meanwhile, the 3D-TSV Market for Advanced Materials is forecasted to break the 1B$ volume by 2015. Our analysis include sales in Volume and in M$ for Advanced Photo-resists / Adhesives / Gas / Advanced Substrates and Specific Chemistries.
- An overview of the different 3D & TSV packaging approaches (SoC, SiP)
- What are the market drivers and market forecasts for 3D ICs & TSVs
- The 3D IC & TSV players, roadmaps
- The evolution of the business models (OSAT, IDMs, wafer fabs ?)
- How the adoption of 3D stacking & TSV could significantly change the standard semiconductor process
- The 3D IC & TSV wafer, equipment & material market forecasts
- An analysis of the COO for different technical solutions
Who should buy this report?
- This report targets both devices manufacturers and packaging companies as 3D & TSV will be such a breakthrough for packaging than developments are running whatever the activity of the semiconductor companies.
- This report is of great interest for equipments manufacturers as well, as new investments are planned in a close future for implementing all the 3D & TSV technological steps.
So, whatever is your responsibility, R&D, production, marketing or business development, the Yole 3D IC & TSV report will give you a deep insight for markets and technological challenges for 3D & TSV integration.
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