High performance computing (HPC) sector is expected to lead the growth of chip fan-out packaging market this year, according to data from Yole Development.
Application processors (AP) for smartphones and smartwatches accounted for the majority of the fan-out packaging market last year.
Starting this year, fan-out packaging will see an increased uptake from HPC, which will lead to ultra high density (UHD) fan-out area leading the growth.
UHD fan-out accounted for 39% of the market in 2020 but this is expected to jump to 52% in 2026, according to the market research firm.
Meanwhile, high density (HD) fan-out accounted for 37% of the market in 2020 but will also account for 37% in 2026.
Fan-out packaging technology can delay Moore’s Law while increasing the chip performance, Yole said.
UHD fan-out technology will be applied to the cloud, 5G, autonomous cars and AI chips and will lead the packaging trend for the next 10 years, the firm said.
The fan-out market was worth US$1.475 billion last year. It will grow 15.1% a year on average up to 2026 to be worth US$3.425 billion.
By sector, in 2026, mobile and consumer will account for US$1.613 billion of the market, while telecom and infrastructure will take up US$1.597. Automotive will account for US216 million.
Fan-out packaging puts the I/O connection terminals outside of the die. By shortening the terminal length between the chip and the main board this way, electrical and heat efficiency increases.
UHD fan-out has redistribution layer applied, which allows for an even greater number of I/O connections. As chip boards are no longer needed, the chip can be 50% thinner. Since 2016, Apple applied TSMC’s fan-out technology to its AP, successfully reducing the thickness of its iPhones. TSMC’s fan-out has been used up to iPhone 12.
There is intensifying competition between foundry companies like TSMC and outsourced assembly and testing companies in the fan-out packaging space.
TSMC is investing heavily in packaging to support 5G and HPC chips, Yole noted. ASE was also planning to announce a US$2 billion investment plan, the firm said. Samsung, PTI and JCET will also be able to secure market share in UHD fan-out market going forward, Yole added.