Disruptive Impact of Fan-out WLP Growth Coming for Electronics Industry

Reading time ( words)

Fan-out wafer level packaging (FO-WLP) is a disruptive technology that will have a significant impact on the electronics industry in the coming years. WLP has seen strong growth, especially in the mobile devices, because it provides a low-profile package that meets the requirements of many smartphone makers. Billions of WLPs are shipped each year and FO-WLP adoption will drive the number even higher. In its new report, TechSearch International projects an 87% CAGR for FO-WLPs in unit volumes over the next 5 years.

As companies move to the next semiconductor technology node, smaller die are possible, allowing a greater number of die per wafer. At the same time the number of I/Os is increasing, and to route them a conventional WLP would require small diameter solder balls with fine pitch. Qualcomm has published information on the reliability challenges of going to ≤0.35mm pitch with a conventional fan-in WLP.

FO-WLP is an attractive solution that allows companies to continue taking advantage of the powerful economics of die shrink, while also meeting the small form factor, low-profile package requirements of mobile devices. FO-WLP is disruptive technology because there is no substrate and thin-film metallization is used for interconnect instead of bumps or wires. In the case of a face-up process, the die has a thick Cu post, but not a Cu pillar with a solder cap. The use of redistribution layers patterned with semiconductor technology makes it possible to achieve much finer feature sizes ≤5µm lines and spaces, than conventional organic substrate technologies.

With the use of FO-WLP for the logic bottom package in a package-on-package (PoP) configuration, the ultra thin target of <0.8mm PoP can be met. The only lower-profile PoP with memory and logic is a 3D IC memory and logic stack using through silicon vias (TSVs). Such an approach is costly, however and there are no thermal solutions for this stack in mobile applications.



Suggested Items

My View from CES 2021: Day 1

01/12/2021 | Dan Feinberg, Technology Editor, I-Connect007
What a difference a year makes. One year ago, those of us who cover and attend CES were going from one press conference to the next; this year, we are at home going from link to link. Confusing and challenging, yes, but there are some advantages: no masks, only five steps to get to a restroom, being able to have three of four events or more displaying on your screens at the same time and being able to download press kits as needed. So far, many new devices are being introduced, but of course, they are all online, so you wonder if some of them really exist or are truly operational as yet.

CES 2021: Just How Different Will It Be?

01/11/2021 | Dan Feinberg, I-Connect007
CES 2021 starts today and this year there is no need for an overpriced hotel room in Vegas, no long lines to get a taxi or board a bus, and no crowded exhibit halls (one good thing this year). On the other hand, you must decide ahead of time what you want to see and make a reservation or appointment if you wish to have time and access assured.

CES 2020: The Intelligence of Things

01/06/2020 | Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
Show week for CES 2020 starts well ahead of the actual exhibition dates because it is huge. The organizers of CES state that there are more than 4,400 exhibiting companies and nearly three million net square feet of exhibit space. On the floor, you can find 307 of the 2018 Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the week, I-Connect007 Editors Dan Feinberg and Nolan Johnson will bring you some of the most interesting news, products, and announcements from 5G to IoT, semiconductor developments, autonomous vehicle technology, interconnect, fabrication materials, and much more.

Copyright © 2021 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.