LYON, FRANCE – Following high-volume adoption of TSMC’s InFO and further development of eWLB technology, a wave of new players and FO WLP technologies may enter the market, says Yole Developpement.

TSMC’s FO WLP InFO product will be used to package the Apple A10 application processor, implemented in the new iPhone 7 series. Production starts in 2016 and represents a big change in the fan-out industry, according to the research firm.

In terms of volume, capturing the Apple processor market is an asset for fan-out technology, with more than 200 million units of the iPhone 7 phones expected to be sold. In addition, processors require thousands of connections, while the fan-out market is focused on limited I/O count applications, says Yole.

The fan-out market will be split in two types:  the core market, including single die applications, and the high-density market, with much potential, according to Yole.

Mobile customers have high expectations of miniaturization and higher integration, while keeping costs low, which leads to WLP for cost and performance and system-in-package for integration and functionality. FO WLP has proven its ability to reach these targets, says the research firm.

There is an urgency to develop line widths and spaces down to 2/2µm and below, developing multiple RDL layers, integrating multiple dies and dealing with subsequent warpage and yield concerns, says Yole. Different processing approaches attempt to implement best practices for known good die and known good RDL to increase overall yield. Other known challenges such as die shift have not been fully resolved yet.

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