South Korean semiconductor package company NEPES has commercialized Fan-out panel-level packaging (FOPLP) technology, one of the more controversial topics being discussed in the advanced semiconductor packaging world.
NEPES. a company involved in advanced semiconductor assembly and packaging technologies, started mass-producing of FOPLP packages this month for a company that produces analog semiconductors for Smartphones. NEPES established a mass-production system by converting its Cheongju Campus's equipment that is related to LCD TSP (Touch Screen Panel) into equipment for producing semiconductor PLP.
NEPES is expanding its business as it tries to attract new customers through FO-PLP technology. Semiconductor companies that deal with RF, analog, analog-digital mixed signal, and PMIC (Power Management Integrated Circuit) could be potential customers.
Interest around FOPLP is being driven by perceived cost advantages and productivity benefits, as panels allow for parallel processing of more units during the same period of time. While a year ago the main concern was insufficient volume to justify the development of a panel-level supply chain, the increased adoption of fan-out wafer-level packaging (FOWLP) across various applications has changed that perception. Fan-out is already in production for wireless devices, power management units and radar devices, and it has been more recently adopted for application processing units in mobile devices, with other applications following closely behind. As the industry clamors for lower cost options, moving to panels seems to be a solution with high potential.
Samsung Electro-Mechanics is also currently developing PLP technology with a goal of commercialize it during second half of this year.
TSMC was the first one to commercialize Fan Out technology. Application processors (AP) of Apple's upcoming iPhones will be packaged through TSMC's Fan Out technology called InFO (Integrated Fan Out) technology.