In the News

Updated International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors Explores Key Issues and Trends Through 2018
SAN JOSE, CALIF. — The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) has released the 2003 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). The ITRS reaches into the future to 2018, exploring key issues and trends in semiconductor technology. The purpose of the ITRS is to provide a reference of requirements, potential solutions and their timing for the semiconductor industry. This is accomplished by providing a forum for international discussion, cooperation and agreement among leading semiconductor manufacturers and equipment suppliers, software suppliers, and researchers from universities, consortia and government labs.

“The global, cooperative efforts of the ITRS have fostered collaboration among international consortia, universities and research institutions around the world,” says SIA.President George Scalise. “We hope that the 2003 ITRS will further contribute to shared R&D investments so that the financial weight of pre-competitive technologies can be equitably shared by the whole industry.”

“A big issue during the formulation of the 2003 ITRS.was whether 2003 or 2004 would be the year of production for the 90-nm technology node,” says Robert Doering, Texas Instruments' senior fellow, Silicon Technology Development. “The conclusion was to leave it in 2004, a return to a 3-year-per-node pace.”

SIA collaborated on the ITRS with International SEMATECH.

A copy of the 2003 ITRS is available on the Web —

STATS, ChipPAC Sign Merger Agreement

SINGAPORE — STATS and ChipPAC (Fremont, Calif.) signed a definitive merger agreement, in a stock-for-stock transaction, that may result in one of the world's largest independent semiconductor assembly and test solutions companies.

The boards of directors of both companies approved the agreement, which is expected to close by the second quarter of 2004, although it is still subject to regulatory approvals and a shareholder vote.

The new company will be headquartered in Singapore, and expects to pull in more than US$1 billion in revenue in 2004 by providing leadership in mixed signal testing and advanced packaging technologies.

Under the agreement, STATS and ChipPAC shareholders will own approximately 54 percent and 46 percent of the combined company, respectively, on a fully converted basis. Charles Wofford, chairman of STATS, will become the chairman of the new company. Dennis McKenna, chairman and CEO of ChipPAC, will be the vice president. Tan Lay Koon, president and CEO of STATS, will serve as president and CEO.

The new company is considering renaming itself STATS ChipPAC Ltd.

ASAT to Provide LGA Technology to Fudan

PLEASANTON, CALIF. — ASAT Holdings Ltd. and ASAT Inc., global providers of semiconductor package design, assembly and test, are providing flip chip land grid array (LGA) technology to Shanghai Fudan Microelectronics Co. Ltd. (Hong Kong, China) for multimedia applications.

“We believe ASAT is the only semiconductor assembly and test company offering flip chip LGA technology in China,” says Neil Mclellan, chief technology officer of ASAT Inc. “Fudan's decision to integrate ASAT's flip chip technology into its multimedia products validates our commitment to expand our flip chip capability. With high speeds, increased I/O and bump density requirements, the demand for flip chip technology continues to rise.”

In other ASAT news, following a critical analysis and an independent audit of its manufacturing systems, the company has achieved ISO/TS 16949:2002 certification at it Hong Kong facilities. This certification is valid for 3 years.

ASE Acquires NEC Electronics' Packaging and Testing Operations

KAWASAKI, JAPAN — NEC Electronics Corp. and ASE Inc. (Taipei, Taiwan) have formed a strategic partnership that includes ASE's acquisition of NEC Electronics' IC packaging and testing operation in Takahata, Yamagata, Japan, as well as a 4-year service agreement for ASE to provide IC back-end manufacturing services to NEC Electronics. The transaction is scheduled for completion by May 31, 2004.

The Takahata operation, approximately 360 kilometers north of Tokyo, will be renamed ASE Japan Co. Ltd. (ASE Japan). Jason Chang will be the chairman of ASE Japan, and Nobukatsu Manabe, former associate senior vice president of NEC Yamaguchi Ltd., will be the president of ASE Japan. The new company's revenue is expected to surpass US$165 million in its first year.

NEC and ASE also are discussing future strategic cooperation in a number of areas, including production technologies and intellectual property.

Tessera Licenses Advanced Packaging Technology to Oki

SAN JOSE, CALIF. — Tessera Technologies Inc. and Oki Electric Industry Co. Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) have signed a licensing agreement. Oki and their subcontract assemblers plan to use Tessera's semiconductor packaging technology in devices such as microcontrollers and ASICs.

The technology available to Oki under this license covers a broad range of chip scale and multichip package types, including IC devices packaged in “face-down,” “face-up,” “fold-over,” “stacked” and “system-in-package” (SiP) formats, using many different types of materials, including packages using either tape and laminate substrates. These package types are marketed by Tessera as MicroBGA for face-down orientations, MicroBGA-F for face-up orientations, and MicroZ for multichip solutions.

Oki is the tenth Japanese semiconductor company to become a Tessera customer, according to the company.

In other Tessera news, 2003 was a record year for the company. They finished off the year with $37.3 million in total revenue, up from $28.3 in 2002.

Amkor Sees Surge in Demand for Stacked Packages

CHANDLER, ARIZ. — Amkor Technology Inc., citing accelerating demands for advanced packaging solutions for cell phones and other handheld applications, is expanding capacity for stacked chip scale packages (S-CSPs). Amkor's factories in Korea and Japan already produce stacked packages, and the company plans to install S-CSP capacity in its factories in Taiwan and China.

With nearly 50 million S-CSPs shipped last year, Amkor expects production capacity to approach 50 million per quarter (depending on die-stack configuration) by the middle of 2004. The company's stacked packages, containing three or more active chips, accounted for more than 20 percent of its total S-CSP production in the fourth quarter of 2003. During 2003, Amkor's production of 3+ S-CSP rose to nearly four million in the fourth quarter from approximately 20,000 in the first quarter.

Amkor attributes its success with advanced die stacking to process expertise in wafer thinning, advancements of wire bonding and development of film-based die-attach and spacer technologies.

New Player in the MEMS Arena


MONTREAL, QUEBEC — Microbridge Technologies, a start-up company specializing in micro-systems technology, recently unveiled a fascinating new product at IEEE MEMS 2004 (January 25-29 in Maastricht, The Netherlands) — an adjustable micro-resistor they call the Rejustor. The device is based on conventional silicon IC technology, with a micro-heater embedded in a thermally isolated membrane suspended over a cavity in a silicon chip. The Rejustor allows precision electrical “trimming” of resistance values without the use of a laser. All adjustments can be carried out at low voltage and low current before or after packaging or even in-circuit after years of operation. The micro-resistors are particularly interesting for RF applications as passive adjustable resistors with low capacitance and excellent high-frequency performance.

Les Landsberger, Microbridge's chief technology officer, explained some of the adjustable-resistance capabilities, “Pairs of Rejustor devices can be resistance matched to typically better than 0.005 percent and their temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) can be adjusted to match another Rejustor to better than 2 ppm/°K. Or it can be adjusted to a precise mismatch in TCR to help temperature compensate electronic circuitry.”

“The combination of precision resistance adjustment and TCR matching or controlled TCR mismatch provided by the Rejustor takes analog and sensor design beyond today's capabilities to the next stage of precision performance over wide temperature ranges” said Nick Tasker, newly-appointed VP of Business Development at Microbridge. “A new generation of high-performance semiconductor IC devices is now possible.”

Devices will be available in discrete form or can be incorporated into analog, mixed-signal and system-on-chip IC designs. Microbridge announced in January that they have chosen X-FAB Semiconductor Foundries AG, of Germany, for the initial manufacturing of the Rejustor.

In December 2003, Microbridge announced the appointment of Dr. Adam Chowaniec as the chairman of the company's board of directors. “We are fortunate to be able to attract a chairman with Chowaniec's experience to our board of directors,” said Mike Foster, president and CEO of Microbridge Technologies.

Microbridge Technologies looks like a company to watch.


In John Lau and Katrina Liu's article, “Global Lead-free Soldering: Part I,” of January 2004 Advanced Packaging, p. 27, the following corrections should be noted.

In Table 1, the correct numbers under the Pb-free process should match Table 1.

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In Table 2, under the Preheat heading, the second bullet should read: “Temperature max (Tsmax) 150°C for Sn-Pb eutectic assembly and 200°C for Pb-free assembly.

In Part II, February Advanced Packaging, p. 26, the formula in the following sentence should be corrected to read, “Thermal fatigue life of solder joints (dominated by creep responses) may be predicted by the following equation: Nf = y (ΔW)φ ,”

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On p. 28, Figure 4 should match the correction above.

Movers and shakers


Kyocera International Inc. (San Diego, Calif.) has named Lic. Saul Garcia as president of its Kyocera Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. (KMX) operations in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. Garcia, was formerly the administration manager and general manager of KMX wireless phone assembly operations. The transition was made to allow Robert Wisler, president of Kyocera America, to focus on leading the growth of the company's microelectronic packaging business.

Tom Nash
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BTU (North Billerica, Mass.) has appointed Tom Nash as vice president of Marketing. In this position, Nash will oversee all facets of corporate marketing, working closely with the executive team on corporate strategy as BTU continues to expand its product and customer base.

Pleasanton, Calif.-based ASAT Holdings Ltd. and ASAT Inc. named Paul A. Emmett as vice president of test services. Emmett will be responsible for the strategic direction and expansion of ASAT's test services.

ST Assembly Test Services Ltd. (STATS; Singapore) has announced the resignation of Dov Oshri, its chief financial officer. Oshri cited personal reasons for his resignation. STATS' Vice President for Finance, Pearlyne Wang, will assume Oshri's responsibilities until a replacement is found.

Bhavesh H. Muni
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Henkel Technologies (Industry, Calif.) has promoted Bhavesh H. Muni to sales and marketing manager, Semiconductor Packaging. Muni will oversee North American marketing and sales for the semiconductor market and lead the company's packaging business efforts for this product niche.


August Technology Corp. (Minneapolis, Minn.), a supplier of inspection and metrology solutions, is expanding their Taiwan operations in Hsinchu to better serve the growing number of customers in the region. This expanded facility will provide the company's customer base in Taiwan with local customer training and support services, as well as demonstration facilities, all in a central location.

Unitive (Research Triangle Park, N.C.) has selected SUSS (Munich, Germany) lithography equipment to develop next-generation packaging processes. The equipment installation and process development will take place at Unitive's facility in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Integrated Packaging Assembly Corp., an IC packaging foundry located in San Jose, Calif., has announced its intention to become a major supplier of wafer-level packaging. Their packaging services include thin film processing, wafer bumping, chip singulation and testing.


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