STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), STATS ChipPAC (SGX-ST: STATSChP), and Infineon Technologies AG (FSE/NYSE: IFX) announced that they have signed an agreement to jointly develop the next-generation of embedded Wafer-Level Ball Grid Array (eWLB) technology, based on Infineon’s first-generation technology, for use in manufacturing future-generation semiconductor packages.
ST and Infineon, two of the world’s leading semiconductor makers, have joined forces with STATS ChipPAC, a leader in advancthree dimensional (3D) packaging solutions, to fully exploit the potential of Infineon’s existing eWLB packaging technology, which has been licensed by Infineon to ST and STATS ChipPAC. The new R&D effort, for which the resulting IP will be owned by the three companies, will focus on using both sides of a reconstituted wafer to provide solutions for semiconductor devices with a higher integration level and a greater number of contact elements.
The eWLB technology uses a combination of traditional ‘front-end’ and ‘back-end’ semiconductor manufacturing techniques with parallel processing of all the chips on the wafer, leading to reduced manufacturing costs. This together with the increased level of integration of the silicon’s overall protective package, in addition to a dramatically higher number of external contacts, means the technology can provide significant cost and size benefits for makers of cutting-edge wireless and consumer products.
ST’s decision to work with Infineon to jointly develop and use this innovative technology, with its greater integration level of package size, marks an important milestone for eWLB on its way to becoming an industry standard for cost-efficient and highly integrated wafer-level packages. ST plans to use the technology in several products of its ST-NXP Wireless joint venture and in other application markets, with first samples expected by the end of 2008 and production by early 2010.
“The eWLB technology is an excellent complement for our next-generation leading-edge products, especially in wireless applications,” stated Carlo Cognetti, Director, Advanced Packaging Technology, STMicroelectronics. “The eWLB technology sets new milestones in innovation, cost competitiveness and dimensions and we believe that, together with Infineon, we will pave the way to a new powerful package technology platform.”
“We are pleased that ST has selected our trend-setting eWLB technology for its IC packaging and see this partnership as a great recognition for the excellence of our technology,” stated Wah Teng Gan, Vice President of Assembly & Test at Infineon Asia Pacific. “With ST as a new partner, and furthermore STATS ChipPAC as a well-known leader in 3D packaging solutions acknowledging our technology, we see a shift in the packaging industry towards the energy efficient and high-performance eWLB technology.”
“We are very pleased that Infineon and ST have selected STATS ChipPAC as a joint development partner to develop the next generation of eWLB technology and to manufacture products on both generations of eWLB technology,” said Dr. Han Byung Joon, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, STATS ChipPAC. “The depth of technical expertise at Infineon and ST, combined with the knowledge we have on driving integration technology and flexibility at the silicon level, are essential to delivering this breakthrough technology.”
eWLB is a revolutionary packaging technology, introduced by Infineon in fall 2007. It sets the benchmark in integration level and efficiency and paves the way to providing the industry and end consumers with a new generation of energy-efficient, high-performing mobile devices. With these new packaging processes the benefits of Wafer-Level Ball Grid Array (WLB) technology – namely, cost-optimized production and enhanced performance features – can be extended: All operations are performed at wafer level, as with WLBs, signifying concurrent processing of all the chips on the wafer in one step. The trend-setting package technology sets the benchmark in integration level and efficiency, namely a 30-percent reduction of dimension compared to conventional lead-frame laminate packages and an almost infinite number of contact elements.
Infineon Technologies AG, Neubiberg, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions addressing three central challenges to modern society: energy efficiency, communications, and security. In the 2007 fiscal year (ending September), the company reported sales of Euro 7.7 billion (including Qimonda sales of Euro 3.6 billion) with approximately 43,000 employees worldwide (including approximately 13,500 Qimonda employees). With a global presence, Infineon operates through its subsidiaries in the U.S. from Milpitas, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore, and in Japan from Tokyo. Infineon is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX).
About STATS ChipPAC Ltd.
STATS ChipPAC Ltd. is a leading service provider of semiconductor packaging design, assembly, test and distribution solutions in diverse end market applications including communications, digital consumer and computing. With global headquarters in Singapore, STATS ChipPAC has design, research and development, manufacturing or customer support offices in 10 different countries. STATS ChipPAC is listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (SGX-ST).
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today’s convergence markets. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2007, the Company’s net revenues were $10.0 billion.