For me, SEMICON West is never complete until I’ve had my sit-down with Manish Ranjan of Ultratech. He follows the market, and somehow puts it all into perspective for me, often supporting my own intuition with hard data. Plus he’s a wealth of historical knowledge. This year, when he rattled off the date and year flip chip was invented (sure wish I’d written that down! April something, 1960, I think) I decided he was a better resource than Google, and he should now be referred to as “Manish, The Human Search Engine.” Here are some of the goodies he gave me this year.

End-product analysis shows that demand is being driven by mobile devices and we are experience what he called a “market moment”. Advanced packaging is a healthy place to be for lithography tool manufacturers, driven by gold bumps and solder bumps. 3D packaging will be the next great driver, including next-generation eWLB and TSV stacks in 300mm. Second-generation eWLB will integrate analog and wireless into the same stack. Manish says he’s surprised by the strong interest in memory going to 3D TSVs. We talked a bit about Elpida’s activities; “That’s fairly exciting, because it adds more strength to the market,” he said, adding that he expected it be adopted for logic, as indicated by TSMC and Qualcomm’s activities.

Here’s my favorite part; we discussed the ongoing comparison of TSV adoption to FC adoption. All in all, from introduction to mainstream, the adoption cycle for flip chip wafer level packaging (WLP) took 35 years. In Manish’s opinion, TSV will take less time than flip chip did to make it to market adoption. Why? Several reasons. First of all, with 3D TSVs, we aren’t starting from scratch, and can leverage existing infrastructure to leapfrog ahead. End products (remember those mobile devices driving market demand?) will require it. And in regards to CMOS scaling as the solution, the cost savings disappears at 22nm. “EUV is driving the industry to TSV,” he noted. In fact, he said when it comes to 3D TSVs, “Resistance is Futile.” Music to my ears. – F.v.T.

Francoise von Trapp

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