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Viewpoint Index

January 22, 2018

VIEWPOINT 2018: Tony D. Flaim, CTO, WLP Materials Business Unit, Brewer Science
VIEWPOINT 2018: Tony D. Flaim, CTO, WLP Materials Business Unit, Brewer Science
Tony D. Flaim, CTO, Wafer-Level Packaging Materials Business Unit, Brewer Science
Fan-out processes captured much of the interest across all levels of the semiconductor packaging industry in 2017, including most major IDMs, foundries and OSATs. It will continue to consume much of their attention in 2018 as manufacturers sort out which forms of fan-out best respond to the high-volume needs of the market and then develop a robust equipment and material supply chain for production.

It remains to be seen whether panel-level fan-out will become a dominant mode of manufacturing. In all likelihood, it will become the pathway of choice for advanced printed circuit board and substrate manufacturers to enter the fan-out market since, in many ways, it simply represents an extension of what they already do well.

As a materials and process supplier, Brewer Science experienced strong interest in 2017 for temporary bonding technologies to enable the production of fan-out, 2.5-D, and a variety of MEMS, sensors and power device packages. Many of the packaging schemes for the latter devices involved arrays of individual dies being temporarily bonded to a carrier and then gang-processed at the wafer level prior to release.

We expect this mode of processing to keep growing in 2018 and beyond. We also witnessed exceptionally higher interest in laser-releasable adhesives for RDL-first fan-out fabrication because of its potential for offering interconnect density rivaling that of interposers at lower cost.

We view high-volume fan-out production as a door-opening advance for many new forms of packaging in which dies are embedded in, or bonded to, a plastic substrate to create flexible system-in-package (SiP) products. These SiPs will be suitable for wearable, automotive and point-of-use applications where the package must conform to a non-planar surface.

We are excited by this prospect and will begin expanding our product portfolio in 2018 to make available for the first time to the industry several classes of high-performance plastic materials that enable these new packaging forms.

Tony D. Flaim, , CTO, Wafer-Level Packaging Materials Business Unit,
Brewer Science