Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd. is entering high-tech semiconductor packaging markets.
Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd. is going to work with Samsung Electronics’ System LSI Business Department and develop FoWLP (Fan out Wafer Level Package) technology that allows chip packaging without PCB (Printed Circuit Board). It is heard that Samsung Electronics had had trouble securing customers because it did not complete this technology in advance.
Samsung Electronics has set a plan to actively respond to customers’ demands by working with Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd. Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd. is going to recover lack of exportation of PCBs by entering this packaging business.
According to an industry on the 12th, Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd. has received Samsung Display’s old 3rd line and 4th line, which are for producing LCDs, and is changing them into facilities for semiconductor package. Large amount of employees from Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd. and research teams from Samsung Electronics’ System LSI will be participating in this project. This is the first time Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd. is entering a semiconductor packaging business and it already sent out orders for package equipment from domestic and foreign businesses. First set of equipment will come in August. It is going to finish verification process of these equipment on whether or not they are able to mass-produce products and start operating them in early next year.
Samsung Electronics’ System LSI Business Department is going to have Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd. responsible for PMIC (Power Management IC), which is attached to AP, and package it through FoWLP and is going to expand range of packaging business towards AP and RF (Radio Frequency) chips in the future. It is heard that Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd. is going to establish second and third lines after operating first line.
Fan out is a technology that increases I/O within a package unit by pulling I/O (Input/Output) socket wiring out of semiconductor chip (Die), which is a step before packaging. As area of a chip has become smaller due to enhanced processes, it has become difficult to increase number of I/O sockets. Because size of a chip cannot be increased just because of I/O, fan out packaging technology is receiving attention recently. If this technology is used, there is no need for PCBs for package. Production cost can be reduced greatly and it is also possible to decrease area of a last package. A reason why Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd. is entering this business is also because it wants to respond to changes in markets such as reduction of demands for PCBs for package
Apple has decided to apply TSMC’s FoWLP technology called InFO (Integrated Fan Out) for A10 Chip, which is an AP for iPhone 7. It is heard that TSMC has a favorable position in securing supplies of Apple’s next chips by securing this technology. Apple is also applying FoWLP packaging technology for chips for ASM (Antenna Switching Module) and has ordered supplies from Japan’s ASM Chip suppliers and foreign semiconductor package test businesses. This indicates that there will be greater demands for FoWLP packaging in the future.
Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd. and Samsung Electronics are going to implement FoWLP through PLP (Panel Level Package) method. TSMC works on package RDL (ReDistribution Layer) work after putting a wafer that is manufactured on top of a circular supporting board. On the other hand, PLP uses a rectangular supporting board. It is predicted that old LCD production equipment (lithography and others), which used to be located at Samsung Display’s third and fourth lines, for Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd.’s FoWLP process with PLP method. Samsung’s goal is to achieve lower production cost than TSMC through larger processes. It is heard that Japan’s package business called J-Device is also actively introducing FoWLP technology with PLP method.
“Through this business, Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd. is able to supplement and offset reduction of sales from PCB business for package.” said a representative for an industry. “Looking at this situation from Samsung Group’s perspective, Samsung Group is showing its ambition to steal Apple’s supplies from TSMC through cooperation between its affiliates.”
Staff Reporter Han, Juyeop | email@example.com