Panel Level Packaging gaining momentum


An international consortium of 17 enterprises is taking the revolution in production technology to the next level: Making the transition from fan-out wafer level packaging to fan-out panel level packaging. Between 28 November and 30 November 2017, the members of the R&D consortium came together at the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM in Berlin to look back on and celebrate one year of productive research.

One year has passed since the kick-off meeting – a year that the SMEs and global players represented on the consortium have spent on establishing panel level packaging as the alternative for wafer level packaging to keep pace with the advances in chip miniaturization on the level of circuit boards. Alongside Fraunhofer IZM as the initiator and organizer of the consortium, leading SMEs and global players have joined forces for this purpose. The consortium covers the entire value chain in its three work streams: RDL, assembly and encapsulation. This technical development work is supported by the Consortium’s cost modeling and standardization capabilities.

The members now came together in Berlin for a three-day roundup and discussion of their shared development work. The project leader at Fraunhofer IZM, Dr. Tanja Braun sees 2017 as a turning point: “Over the course of this year, panel level packaging has moved from being a ‘maybe’ to becoming a ‘definitely yes!’” The mechanical engineer and researcher has had a chance to introduce the wider world to the work of the consortium and the developments at the institute at many conferences over the period. Recent forecasts by business consultants also confirm the consortium’s belief in panel level packaging as a key production technology of the future. Looking back at the process, Dr. Michael Töpper remembers: “One crucial step was to get agreement about the norms and standards. Discussions are focusing on panel sizes beyond current formats. A standard size is strongly intended and is considered the next big thing. A possible size might be in the range of 600 x 600 millimeters”. Michael Töpper works as a researcher at Fraunhofer IZM as part of the Institute’s business development team. The two-day closed session of the consortium was preceded by one day of public events, where interested businesses had a chance to catch up on recent developments. The participants included representatives of ASE Assembly Systems, Nepes and Panasonic.

Michael Töpper: “The great reception and active participation of leading industry brands like these is witness to how much attention the consortium’s work has been getting.” The public day was supported by the consulting firms Yole Développement from France and TeachSearch International from the United States, both of whom have been active proponents of the enormous progress made by Fraunhofer IZM in the field of panel level packaging at Fraunhofer IZM. The Panel Level Packaging Consortium was behind the most prolific research and development work by far in the year that is now drawing to a close.

  • Amkor Technology
  • ASM Pacific Technology Ltd.
  • Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik AG
  • Brewer Science, Inc.
  • Evatec AG
  • Hitachi Chemical Company, Ltd.
  • Intel Corporation
  • Merck KGaA
  • Semsysco GmbH
  • Unimicron Technology Corp.
  • Ajinomoto Group
  • Atotech Deutschland GmbH
  • FUJIFILM Electronic Materials U.S.A.
  • Mitsui Chemicals Tohcello
  • ShinEtsu Chemical
  • SUSS MicroTec SE
  • Meltex Inc.
Panel Level Packaging gaining momentum
© Fraunhofer IZM