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STATS ChipPAC unveils novel wafer level manufacturing

Posted: 13 Mar 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:STATS ChipPAC? wafer level manufacturing? supply chain? WLP?

STATS ChipPAC Ltd has developed what it describes as a manufacturing method that delivers a high level of flexibility and cost savings for wafer level packaging (WLP). According to the company, FlexLine enables customers to simplify their supply chain across multiple devices, thereby achieving significant cost reductions that are not possible with a conventional manufacturing flow.

With conventional WLP, an IC is fabricated, packaged and tested while still in a wafer format to streamline the manufacturing process. WLP leverages the same semiconductor equipment infrastructure as wafer fabrication which is progressively more expensive for larger wafer diameters and finer silicon (Si) geometries. The costs associated with transitioning to larger wafer diameters have resulted in extreme pricing pressures on WLP, particularly for mature technology such as wafer level chip scale packaging (WLCSP).

"Growing demand for WLCSP in a range of advanced mobile products, from low-cost to high-end smartphones and tablets, is driving capacity constraints in the industry, particularly with 200mm wafers. This is causing extreme pressure on our customers to weigh the high cost of transitioning to more advanced silicon nodes against the need to achieve dramatic cost reductions for more competitive end products," said Chong Khin Mien, Senior Vice President of Product and Technology Marketing, STATS ChipPAC. "Capacity and cost challenges for WLCSP exist today in 200mm and 300mm wafer diameters and will inevitably intensify when the semiconductor industry transitions to 450mm wafers. This is an exciting time to drive a fundamental change in the manufacturing process for WLCSP."

STATS ChipPAC's FlexLine method is an innovative approach to wafer level manufacturing that provides freedom from wafer diameter constraints while enabling supply chain simplification and significant cost reductions that are not possible with a conventional manufacturing flow, noted the company. FlexLine seamlessly processes multiple silicon wafer diameters in the same manufacturing line without changing equipment sets or bill of materials used in the packaging process.

By normalising multiple wafer diameters to a uniform processing size through reconstitution, the original wafer diameters become irrelevant as this no longer dictates manufacturing capacity or limits process capabilities. When 200mm wafers are reconstituted into 300mm or larger panel sizes, customers have greater potential for cost reduction than conventional WLP manufacturing. As the panel size increases, the cost of producing wafer level packages drops significantly when compared to conventional WLP methods.

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