By Dr. Phil Garrou, Contributing Editor
Before we take our first look at IMAPS 2016, let’s first look at some recent merger announcements and rumors which continue unabated.
ASE / Siliconware
Despite the recent approval by Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission the proposed merger between ASE and SPIL continues to be reviewed by anti-trust authorities in China and the US. It is reported that it is unlikely to gain approval from the two major markets until the end of 2017. [link] ASE and SPIL agreed to merge through the formation of a parent holding company. The holding company would own ASE and SPIL.
The merger would create the world’s largest IC assembly & test company and widen the market gap with rival rivals such as Amkor China-based Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics Technology (JCET).
Earlier in 2016 Digitimes reported rumors that Amkor is being targeted for acquisitionby China’s Nantong Fujitsu Microelectronics (NFME). NFME previously acquired an 85% share of AMD’s backend operations in Penang, Malaysia and Suzhou, China for $371 MM.
Qualcomm / NXP
As we discussed in IFTLE 306 [“Qualcomm acquisition of NXP ?...”] , Qualcomm agreed to acquire NXP Semiconductors for $38.5 billion. This will give Qualcomm a presence in the chips for smart cars market.
Siemens / Mentor Graphics
Siemens and Mentor Graphics announced that they have entered into a merger agreement under which Siemens will acquire Mentor for $4.5B. Siemens is acquiring Mentor as part of its Vision 2020 concept. Mentor is expected to complement Siemens offering sin mechanics and software with design, test and simulation of electrical and electronic systems. Mentor is generally viewed as a global leader in IC design, test and manufacturing; electronic systems design and analysis and automotive electronics. The deal will boost Siemens software revenue by about a third.
Samsung Electric to acquire Harman International
Samsung Electric has announced it will acquire Harman Int for $8B. Harman is best known for making car audio systems such as Harman/Kardon and JBL. Samsung’s interest is in Harmans “connected car” business which supplies navigation services, onboard entertainment systems and connectivity to the rest of the world.
Rumors from Asia
IFTLE hears that silicon interposers are still in short supply. Word is that Inotera has backed out of the business before they ever entered it. Recall ASE announced Inotera would be their supplier [see IFTLE 187 “…..ASE / Inotera 3DIC JV”]. So who will supply ASE now? Have they decided not to be a player in this market sector ?
If we look at who is really supplying, i.e. actually selling, silicon interposers (vs the lists put together by marketing companies that are pages long and include everyone who wants their names included) we are left with TSMC (per their CoWoS technology) and UMC who is supplying AMD. As Porkey Pig used to say in the cartoons I used to watch as a child “That’s All Folks!”
Is there any wonder why 2.5D is struggling to take off with only these two suppliers in the infrastructure?
Congratulations to “Doug” Chen Hua Yu – TSMC
Rumor from Taiwan is that TSMC’s Douglas Yu was promoted to VP based on the success of InFO. Note that Doug was also responsible in a large part for the commercialization and success of CoWoS. As IFTLE has stated before, Doug, who earlier in his career was responsible for on chip interconnect scaling, was moved to packaging and has been a real driving force there.
Rumors persist that TSMC will license their InFO technology to 1-2 OSATs when their current fab is near sold out. IFTLE hears that Amkor is pursuing this licensing aggressively.
The IMAPS 49th Int. Symp. on Microelectronics was held in Pasadena CA in October. For the next few weeks we’ll be looking at some of the key presentations from that conference.
Amkors Huemoeller certainly gave toe most relevant keynote “Creating Semiconductor Value through Advanced Packaging”. Nothing could be more in line with the theme of IFTLE for the past 6 years than the focus in the semiconductor industry shifting from the front end to packaging.
Huemoeller points to the fact that tier two OSATS simply do not have the scale or liquidity to invest what is needed to stay on the leading edge. He indicates that an investment of > $500MM / yr is required to just sustain current business.
**Remember the IFTLE credio “The leading edge is where you make the money” **
- investment in leading edge technologies creates scale and drives down costs.
He puts fort the following industry segments as driving packaging technology.
And lists the following as the “Big 5” packaging platforms:
- WLCSP is now showing > 30% penetration in high end smartphones.
We all know about the sensors in smartphones , but probably not the extent of sensors coming in automobiles:
SiP are basically today’s generation of what we used to call Multichip Modules in the 1990s. Amkor sees them requiring state of the art technology and driving heterogeneous integration with and without sensors.
Huemoeller sees the next gen of MCMs (or SiPs) being wafer based, since they will provide the best performance (power, electrical and thermal) and the thinnest form factor.
The following chart show how they see fan out packaging evolve into advanced SiP.
For all the latest in Advanced Packaging, stay linked to IFTLE…