Plus or minus 10 years

While putting together our 10th anniversary issue, it was great fun to look through old issues of Advanced Packaging to see what has changed and what hasn't in the past decade. One surprising discovery was that an industry analyst's prediction in 1992 for the number of

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IC packages to be made in 2000 was within 6 percent of the actual number. Perhaps it's easier to predict out eight years than one quarter, but that's another column to be written.

What was really interesting was the total lack of flip chip news in the first several issues of Advanced Packaging. We have all heard the story of flip chip being around for decades, with IBM, Delco and a few others leading the charge. I have come to assume that there has been constant development activity in preparation for when it really takes off, but I think that we have been spoiled by the amazing developments and proliferation of the technology in just the past few years. It is difficult to make the mental adjustment to the actual rate of progress on some of these technical fronts. We routinely underestimate ourselves.

To help highlight some of that kind of progress in the industry since Advanced Packaging first appeared, this month we are including excerpts and references from our first issues. You'll find them within articles and news items on related topics. It was hard to choose among the many related items from 1992. Thermal management was everywhere then, and the assumptions about known good die bordered on the amusing. (And speaking of humor, we chose NOT to reprint a 10-year old ad with a photo of the company's employees. We saw some youthful but still familiar faces.) Anyway, we hope that this helps you to understand a bit more about where we've been as an industry.

So, what will appear in Advanced Packaging in 2012? Will we see the convergence of wafer fabs and packaging facilities that we all talk about? Will the convergence even include board-level assembly? What will be that year's hot button? Will packaging as we know it even exist then, given the recent rate of change? My answers: “somewhat,” “not much,” “something biological,” and “yes.”

On the other hand, to quote an unusually honest basketball coach at this year's NCAA Men's Final Four, “Sometimes I have no clue what's going on out there. I mean, no idea.” I sometimes feel like that when I look back or ahead in the packaging world, and I wouldn't bet much on any prediction about what's going to be happening 10 years from now. I'll have a good time watching us get there, though. AP


Thanks for reading, Jeffrey C. Demmin
[email protected]


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