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WLCSP/Fan-In Has Been Selected By Apple For Its Latest iPhones

December 1, 2020

“WLCSP/Fan-In packages are here to stay as they offer “best in class” solution for mobile applications,” asserted Vaibhav Trivedi, senior technology and market analyst, advanced packaging at Yole Développement (Yole). “WLCSP/Fan-In solutions are increasing scalability and offering best cost with reliable performance.”

Generally speaking, the global WLP market was worth US$3.3 Billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at an 8.9 percent CAGR to reach US$5.5 Billion by 2025. WLCSP/Fan-In was worth more than $2 Billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.2 percent to exceed $2.5 Billion by 2025.

Yole, the market research and strategy consulting company, and its partner, System Plus Consulting, research the advanced packaging industry all year long. Thanks to daily exchanges with leading advanced packaging companies, analysts develop an extensive expertise in the technology evolution and market trends. This knowledge is delivered through an impressive collection of technical and market reports and monitors. The WLCSP/ Fan-In Packaging Technologies and Market 2020 report is part of this compilation.

In parallel, System Plus Consulting analyzed in-depth the Apple iPhone 12 series and presents a dedicated teardown and bill of materials. In this analysis, the reverse engineering and costing company highlights the WLCSP packaging technologies selected by Apple for its latest smartphones.
What is the status of the WLCSP/Fan-In industry and the overall packaging market? What are the economic and technological challenge? What are the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak? Which are the leading companies to watch? How will the market and its supply chain evolve? Yole and System Plus Consulting analysts present today their vision of the WLCSP/Fan-In technologies and its applications.

What is the status of the WLCSP/Fan-In industry and the overall packaging market? What are the economic and technological challenge? What are the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak? Which are the leading companies to watch? How will the market and its supply chain evolve? Yole and System Plus Consulting analysts present today their vision of the WLCSP/Fan-In technologies and its applications.

In advanced packaging technologies, WLP is becoming more and more popular due to its promise of the smallest and thinnest form factor with reasonable reliability. Wafer level Fan-Out, or Fan-Out and WLCSP and Fan-In remain two powerful wafer level package families. Unlike Fan-Out, Fan-In offers the simplest process flow while providing thin, small form factors, easy to assemble, which populate many SiP and smartphone board assemblies. WLCSP also offers BSP while maintaining the same footprint as the die area.

Fan-In packaging is expected to reach new heights driven by the explosive growth of WLCSP form factors in smartphones, tablets and the wearable market in mobile and consumer segment. WLCSP package revenue is driven by rapid growth in earbuds and smartwatch markets in addition to 5G deployment where many devices such as antenna tuners are leveraging WLCSP form factors.

“Deca’s M-Series offers superior BLR performance and many OEMs have slowly started to look at this novel approach where the die is protected from all sides without “fanning out the I/Os,” explained Stéphane Elisabeth, technology and cost analyst at System Plus Consulting. “This entails some level of price impact, but many applications are being looked at due to better performance and a lower rate of field returns. Many OSATs have also started offering similar side mold process options to the customer with a slightly higher price than WLCSP.” 

The WLCSP platform initially was used with a high number of PMIC devices, however it has exploded to include various switches, antenna tuners, RF transceivers, filters, wireless charging IC, some CIS devices, and NFC controller type applications. The breadth of application envelope provided by the WLCSP platform is the most compared to any other packaging family, and it has the best cost structure and lowest cycle time.

The majority of WLCSP volume is driven by smartphone demand as it remains the biggest consumer for this platform. The WLCSP platform has replaced wafer level fan-out and FCCSP platforms whenever it is feasible from a performance and design standpoint.