“2.5D and 3D Semiconductor Packaging: Pioneering Advanced Integration for Future Breakthroughs”
The landscape of semiconductor packaging has undergone a remarkable evolution, transitioning from the traditional 1D approach to the more sophisticated 3D realm. Positioned in between these two dimensions is the 2.5D packaging, which introduces wafer-level integration. The journey from 2.5D to 3D involves integrating diverse active dies stacked atop one another and packaged on a substrate.
This paradigm shift is driven by the pursuit of enhanced power, performance, area efficiency, and
cost-effectiveness. This article explores the key factors and advancements in 2.5D and 3D semiconductor packaging technologies, delving into their applications in high-performance computing (HPC)/artificial intelligence (AI), 5G/6G, automotive, and consumer electronics markets.
Key Applications in Advanced Packaging:
Advanced semiconductor packaging plays a pivotal role in various industries, including HPC/AI, 5G/6G, automotive, and consumer electronics. High-performance computing and artificial intelligence demand accelerators, high-end CPUs, high-bandwidth memory, and network switches equipped with co-packaged optics.
The 5G/6G landscape requires high-end silicon for computing and mmWave antenna modules. In the automotive sector, there is a need for advanced chips catering to autonomous vehicle (AV) computing modules, among other applications.
Interconnection Techniques in Semiconductor Packaging:
A critical aspect of semiconductor packaging is the interconnection technique. In the 2.5/3D domain, interposers made of silicon (Si), organic materials, and glass are commonly employed. The 2.5D packaging structure includes variations like 2.5D Si interposers, bridge embedded structures, and bridge fan-out configurations.
Development Trends in 2.5D Packaging:
The trends in 2.5D packaging are geared towards larger packaging areas exceeding 4000mm², cost reduction strategies, and performance improvements. However, challenges persist in each area, such as the reticle limit for Si interposer solutions, the higher cost of Si compared to organic and glass alternatives, and concerns related to device reliability, signal loss, redistribution layer (RDL), and bumping.
Innovative solutions are emerging, such as the shift from Si interposer to Si bridge structures, adoption of panel-level packaging for enhanced cost-effectiveness, and the application of refined manufacturing techniques to reduce RDL line/space (L/S) issues.
Market Dominance and Key Players:
Several industry giants are leading the charge in the realm of advanced semiconductor packaging technologies. Companies like TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) with InFO (Integrated Fan-Out) and CoWoS (Chip-on-Wafer-on-Substrate), Samsung boasting I-Cube, H-Cube, and FOPKG, and Intel leveraging technologies like EMIB (Embedded Multi-die Interconnect Bridge) and glass packaging have established dominance.
Additionally, key players like ASE (Advanced Semiconductor Engineering) with FoCoS (Fan-out Chip-on-Substrate), SPIL (Siliconware Precision Industries Co., Ltd.), and Amkor are actively involved in research to expand the 2.5D advanced semiconductor packaging technology portfolio.
Evolution of Bumping Technologies:
The evolution of bumping technologies has been a crucial aspect of semiconductor packaging advancements. Hybrid bonding, a technique reserved for high-end HPC/AI chips, demands an exceptionally flat surface to ensure acceptable yields. However, the reliance on front-end foundry tools in hybrid bonding results in significant cost increases for packaging processes.
Presently, TSMC, Samsung, and Intel emerge as the market leaders in advanced semiconductor packaging technologies. Their contributions to the development of InFO, CoWoS, I-Cube, H-Cube, FOPKG, EMIB, and glass packaging showcase their commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation in this dynamic field.
The journey from 1D to 3D semiconductor packaging technologies has ushered in a new era of integration and performance. The applications in HPC/AI, 5G/6G, automotive, and consumer electronics underscore the diverse and critical roles played by advanced semiconductor packaging.
As the industry continues to evolve, addressing challenges and exploring novel solutions, the collaboration between key players and ongoing research efforts will shape the future landscape of semiconductor packaging, unlocking new possibilities for technological advancement across various sectors.