I’ve had an epiphany regarding fan-out wafer level packaging (FOWLP).

Epiphany: “A usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something.”

In FvT’s piece “Spotlight on FOWLP, Monolithic 3D IC, and 3D TSVs,” (13 May 2015) I am quoted saying: “Show me where monolithic or FOWLP is … can’t seem to find it.”

I wasn’t alone in my thinking; we read in the same piece that, regarding FOWLP, “Rozalia Beica, Yole Développement [now Dow Chemical] says it’s still too soon to tell, and that it will depend on the particular product. For example, she said Yole just had some teardowns done on top smartphones and still didn’t find a single FOWLP inside.”

Readers, the merits of FOWLP (and by extension fan-out panel level packaging)  are so obvious to me now I blush at my naïveté of a little more than one year ago.

“Invention has its own algorithm: genius, obsession, serendipity, and epiphany in some unknowable combination.” (Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker, 12 May 2008.)

Fan-out packaging is a genius invention that serendipitously accommodates heterogeneous integration in a cost-conscious way, where 3D IC processes find difficulty, and, as a result of my FOWLP epiphany, I am now obsessed.

s7edgeNot obsessed enough to purchase a Samsung Galaxy S7. (“System Plus Consulting recently performed a Reverse Costing® on a high-volume FOWLP component found during the teardown of the Samsung Galaxy S7, Qualcomm WCD9335 Fan-Out WLP Audio Codec.”)

I’m an Apple man.

iPhone 7jpgBut definitely obsessed enough to be waiting, pins and needles, for the first Apple iPhone 7 teardown, where it will be revealed that which has been promised. (“Apple’s iPhone 7 Processor is using game Changing Technology with an ASM Chip.”)

I am named after St. Paul the Apostle, née Saul before his famous epiphany.

And I think this is The Big Reveal – Fan-Out Wafer Level Packaging, née eWLB, shipping in smartphones today is about as big a deal as I can imagine, one that seemingly happened almost overnight.

An epiphany.

From Santa Clara, CA, thanks for reading. ~PFW


Paul Werbaneth

Paul Werbaneth is a long-time Contributing Editor at 3D InCites. Since entering the semiconductor industry…

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