How 2.5/3D Technologies Will Shake Up the Semiconductor Supply Chain and Cost Structure

At the 2015 3D InCites Awards Breakfast, which took place July 16, 2015 at the Impress Lounge during SEMICON West, Scott Jones, Director, Alix Partners presented a talk in which he described the positive financial impact interposer and 3D integration will have on the semiconductor manufacturing supply chain. He suggested we think like a fab owner when considering the benefits of implementing interposer and 3D processes. A fab view is necessary to understand the downstream impacts of integrating new technologies into the HVM environment, noted Jones.

Jones challenged us to look at how we measure the cost gap to see if the 2.5D/3D community can close that gap. He cited such benefits of 2.5D/3D approaches over continued scaling as a lower exposure to leading edge capacity issues, the ability to segregate scalable parts of a chip vs. non-scalable parts, the equipment utilization impact, and more. For example, Lithography costs are increasing at faster rates due to multi-patterning. 2.5/3D can lower exposure to leading edge lithography requirements. Jones walks us through the cost modeling he did to come to these conclusions in detail, and demonstrated a number of HVM comparison scenarios such as interposer, and wafer-to-wafer heterogeneous integration vs. die to wafer heterogeneous integration.

In his closing remarks, Jones offered some advice when considering the advantages of 3D integration. When thinking of the value of 2.5/3D TSV, think BIG! He recommended a holistic approach to understanding the impact on the entire fab, and to work with supply and operational planning group to understand the benefit of supply chain optimization. He recommended engagement with financial advisors, and leveraging total cost of ownership models as a tool to differentiate your offering and quantify the value. For years industry cost trends moved away from 2.5/3D applications and now it’s moving towards it. Be ready to meet it.

About Scott Jones

BIO PicScott Jones has 15-years of experience in consulting and the semiconductor industry. He is currently the Director & Semiconductor Practice lead at AlixPartners in San Francisco. Prior to his work with AlixPartners, Scott was a senior associate with JP Morgan in their Equity Research group, recognized as the number one research team on Wall Street in the technology sector. He began his career working with Intel Corporation as a finance manager in their Enterprise Products Group. Scott has also consulted with hedge funds and private equity firms on investment portfolio decisions and published extensive research on the technology industry. Scott received a BA in economics from Centenary College, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Arkansas, and a Juris Doctorate from the Santa Clara University School of Law. He is a licensed member of the California Bar Association.

At the request of attendees, we have made the presentation available for download here:
 How 2.5/3D Technologies Will Shake Up the Semiconductor Supply Chain and Cost Structure