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Viewpoint Index

January 31, 2018

VIEWPOINT 2018: Stephen Hiebert, Senior Director of Marketing, KLA-Tencor
VIEWPOINT 2018: Stephen Hiebert, Senior Director of Marketing, KLA-Tencor
Stephen Hiebert, Senior Director of Marketing, KLA-Tencor
For KLA-Tencor's back-end semiconductor business, our 2018 focus will be primarily on the industry's most advanced wafer-level packaging platforms (fan-out WLP, fan-in WLP, 2.5D/interposer, and 3D-IC), sophisticated 3D packaging methods like SIP, evolving automotive packaging requirements and the need for larger packages for data servers.

Our strategy is to differentiate on defect detection performance, which aligns with the increasing inspection demands of these applications.

Wafer Inspection

In 2018, KLA-Tencor plans to introduce multiple new technologies to enable superior wafer inspection performance for advanced wafer-level packaging customers. We will release new defect detection algorithms to enable customers to achieve the highest sensitivity and resolution in either R&D or production environments.

We will also bring to market new substrate handling solutions that extend our high-performance inspection to additional applications.

Lena Nicolaides, VP/GM of KLA-Tencor's LS-SWIFT Division, elaborates: "With KLA-Tencor's leadership in semiconductor equipment process control, we are uniquely able to leverage technologies that have been or are being developed for front-end applications. As advanced wafer-level back-end customers ask for similar capabilities, we re-engineer our front-end solutions to meet back-end specific requirements."

Package Inspection

KLA-Tencor's component inspection tools have been providing the leading inspection technology at the lowest cost of ownership over the last 20 years. 2018 will feature new product and technology offerings to expand our defect detection capability with the introduction of 6-side SIP inspection, large form factor package inspection (up to 120x120mm) for larger server chips and capability for laser groove crack detection required for critical fan-in WLP processes.

To meet tighter reliability specifications resulting from new high-end automotive requirements, we will increase sensitivity, while maintaining the throughput required for production.

Industry Expectations

Overall we see a continued strong unit growth for semiconductor packages (>7% YoY), mainly driven by mobile, automotive and big data applications. Our expectations for the semiconductor industry in 2018 call for continued strength across major market segments.

Propelling this ongoing semiconductor growth is the new digital age where the value of data is continually increasing -- data creation, data storage, data analytics, and data transmission.

Stephen Hiebert, Senior Director of Marketing