A LG InnoTek researcher has confirmed that the company is planning to manufacture flip chip ball grid array (FC-BGA).
LG InnoTek research fellow Nam Sang-hyuck, speaking at a symposium held at the KPCA industry show for printed circuit boards at Incheon, said that the company has “now started FC-BGA,” implying that it has started investment into the sector to begin manufacturing the high value semiconductor boards.
“Two to three years ago, only South Korea’s Samsung Electro-Mechanics, Japan’s Ibden and Shinko [Denki], as well as Taiwan’s Nan Ya manufactured FC-BGA,” he said. “But now, South Korea’s Daeduck Electronics, Korea Circuit and us have all started FC-BGA,” Nam told audiences.
Out of flip chip boards, LG InnoTek had only manufactured flip chip chip scale package (FC-CSP) so far, which are used for smartphone application processors.
Nam said LG InnoTek is starting FC-BGA not for notebooks or desktops but for automotive components.
FC-BGA used for network servers will also have more added value compared to those used for notebooks and desktops, the researcher said.
LG InnoTek was focused on these high value sectors when it comes to FC-BGA and engine control units in cars have been developed with FC-BGA for a long time so South Korean companies will aim to expand in these sectors, he said.
LG InnoTek is expected to spend up to 1 trillion won in its FC-BGA business.
The company initially planned to spend 400 billion won to 500 billion won but LG Group has asked LG InnoTek if that will be enough to compete with Samsung Electro-Mechanics.
Intel had offered collaboration with Samsung Electro-Mechanics for the latter to manufacture FC-BGA.
The South Korean component recently decided to spend 1.1 trillion won in FC-BGA to supply the boards to a US chip company.
Daeduck Electronics and Korea Circuit are also expanding their spending in the sector. Korea Circuit’s customer is likely US’ Broadcom.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a shortage of FC-BGA; at the same time, FC-BGA manufacturers are seeing their unit production capacity decline as more of the boards have more layers, which increases difficulty and lowers yield rate.
Server FC-BGA market is led by Japan’s Ibiden and Shinko Denki. PC-BGA has more players, from Samsung Electro-Mechanics, Ibiden, Shinko Denki, Nan Ya, Unimicron and AT&S.
Flip chip attaches a solder to the chip through a process called bumping. The chip is than flipped and attached to the board. Compared to wire bonding used in older boards, this reduces the distance between the chip and the board, reducing electric signal loss and increasing I/O.