Minding Our Business

Welcome to a new year of Advanced Packaging!

This year we are increasing the scope of our coverage of the packaging world by adding a focus on business issues. The first thing you might notice is “Data Bank” on our last page. There we are providing monthly updates to some key industry figures, plus a summary of what different analysts have to say about the state of the business. We found ourselves tracking this internally and thought that our readers also would be interested in that kind of resource.

Additionally, we are starting a new column called “Packaging Trends” that will include more detailed reports on business-related news. We will hear from Jim Walker of Gartner Dataquest in that spot regularly, and I will be kicking it off this month with a review of the status at some packaging subcontractors.

Why are we doing this? At one point last year while putting together the news section for an issue, I realized that all the biggest news was business-oriented — alliances, deals, financial reports, industry projections, personnel moves — rather than technical in nature.

My first thought at the time (and as a career-long engineer) was that the industry had gotten off track and lost sight of the technology as the heart of it all. I soon realized, though, that these business developments are just as important. With semiconductor packaging becoming a more complex and mature business, the alliances and other dealings are absolutely critical to the industry's progress.

Wafer-level packaging, chip/package co-design, multichip integration … these and many other crucial areas would seem to be entirely technical, but their success relies as much on business as on new technology. Companies need to be working together and be acutely aware of the marketplace and industry health to make anything like that succeed. The recent past is too full of great technology that was a flop because of poor timing in the marketplace or a lack of understanding of the business issues involved. I've tripped over a few of those things in my own career — some misadventures with multichip modules of a decade ago and optical data storage a few years later are examples.

So, we hope that this information is useful to you. We at Advanced Packaging want to help the collective knowledge in our industry in any way that we can, and from what we've learned, this is a step in the right direction.

Thanks for reading,

Jeffrey C. Demmin
[email protected]


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