High-Density Packaging Accelerates in Semiconductor Devices
With the imminent arrival of high-speed fifth-generation (5G) communications, which will enable Internet of Things (IoT) and autonomous driving, the applications of semiconductors have been expanding. Accompanying this expansion is the shift of manufacturing equipment to a phase one step higher, wherein smaller, space-saving semiconductor devices with lower power consumption using higher integration, are now required, and the acceleration of development of high-density packaging technologies.
According to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), global sales of semiconductors in April 2018 were US$37.6 billion, up 20 percent from April 2016. Sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment have also increased steadily. Global sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment in FY2017 were US$56.6 billion, an increase of 37 percent from FY2016. Sales increased in Korea, China, Japan, North America, and countries in Europe, according to Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI).
Commenting on the recent market trend of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, Toshiki Kawai, Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer, Tokyo Electron Limited, said at the consolidated financial settlement briefing for the term ending March 2018, "The expansion of applications of semiconductors has brought the equipment market to a phase one step higher since 2017." Kawai said the rise of the equipment market cannot be explained only by previous movements, which are dependent on the fluctuations of prices of DRAMs. Against this backdrop, there has been an expansion of demand for large-capacity, high-speed communications in preparation for the achievement of smart society in the 5G era, penetration of connected devices, and the expansion of the applications of semiconductors, including IoT, autonomous driving, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), healthcare, and entertainment. Semiconductor-related technologies that meet these applications have diversified and advanced at an accelerated pace, triggering the rise of innovative technologies.