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TSMC dominates the Fan-Out market: ASE and others are catching up


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The Fan-Out packaging market is experiencing strong growth and will reach US$3,425 million by 2026, with a15.1% CAGR 2020- 2026.

The revenues in 2026 for the main market segments are: US$1.613 million for mobile & consumer, US$1,597 million for telecom & infrastructure and US$216 million for automotive & mobility.

Today Fan-Out WLP and PLP is facing challenges related to heterogeneous integration of different elements at package level, being a part of “More than Moore” trend.

System-level form factor is expected to be reduced while bigger dies with higher I/Os density are being integrated.

At the same time Fan-Out package electrical performance and reliability are improved.

TSMC is the biggest player in the field capturing 66,9% of the market.

TSMC, ASE, JCET and Amkor market shares reach 95%.


“As part of advanced packaging, FO solutions have become critical and effective for foundries and IDM s, increasing device performance and bandwidth and reducing the gap between Silicon and substrate.” asserts Stefan Chitoraga, Technology and Market Analyst specializing in Packaging and Assembly at Yole Développement (Yole). He adds: “OSAT s are also following this trend, offering innovative FO Packaging solutions that help solve front-end challenges with the slowing of Moore’s Law, resulting in bigger dies to improve performance.”

In this dynamic context, Yole and System Plus Consulting, both part of Yole Group of Companies, investigate disruptive semiconductor technologies and related markets in depth. They point out the latest innovations in the packaging industry and underline the business opportunities.

Released today, the Fan-Out WLP and PLP Applications and Technologies 2021 report helps industry players to understand the evolution of the FO Packaging market and technology, its roadmap, its significance, and its solutions for the next high-performance applications. It describes what capabilities each FO platform is offering. Including market trends and forecasts, supply chain, technology trends, technical insights and analysis, take away and outlook, this study also delivers an in-depth understanding of the ecosystem and main players’ strategies.
In addition, the
HiSilicon Hi1382 Coherent Processor with ASE’s FOCoS report from the reverse costing engineering company System Plus Consulting, includes a full investigation of the component, featuring a detailed study of the FO-SiP solutions, including die analyses, processes, and package cross sections focused on the interfaces. It contains a complete cost analysis and a selling price estimation of the component.

What are the economic and technological challenges of the computing for datacenter industry? What are the key drivers? Who are the suppliers to watch, and what innovative technologies are they working on? What are the different existing technologies?

Yole and System Plus Consulting present today their vision of the FO WLP and PLP applications and technologies industry.

As analyzed by Yole’s team in the new Fan-Out WLP and PLP Applications and Technologies 2021 report, the FO Packaging market is experiencing strong growth of 15.1% CAGR (2020- 2026), from US$1,475 million in 2020 to US$3,425 million by 2026. This is led by HD FO and UHD FO – fueled by the adoption of high-performance applications.

More specifically, in 2020, FO revenue was heavily dominated by APE applications for smartphones and smartwatches.

In 2021, more revenue is expected from the UHD domain due to HPC applications. Cloud infrastructure, 5G, autonomous driving, and the artificial intelligence revolution will shape the packaging trend of the next decade, with a denser multilayer RDL-build-up approach being one of the solutions helping to meet More-than-Moore requirements at system-level. UHD Fan-Out will play a key role and is, therefore, going to experience the fastest growth compared to the other Fan-Out categories.

In FO packaging technology, a battle is raging between OSAT companies and foundries. OSAT companies are mainly supplying small components with FO technology. In high-end applications, the penetration of the technology started with TSMC in consumer applications in partnership with Apple.

Without a doubt, TSMC is the FO market leader by revenue. This is attributed to the penetration of the in FO package into the APE for Apple’s iPhone, which generated a new market segment, HD FO, in 2016. Till now, Apple still uses TSMC’s in FO for its latest iPhones. The foundry is also positioning its FO technology in High Computing segment with Nephos, among others, that chose TSMC’s inFO_oS technology for its high-speed switching device.

Stéphane Elisabeth, PhD, Senior Technology and Cost Analyst at System Plus Consulting in the HiSilicon Hi1382 Coherent Processor with ASE’s FOCoS report comments: “In parallel, several players like ASE are working on industrial applications where the use of FO is expected to increase. In High Performance Computing the technology is trying to compete with interposer-based assembly. Today, OEM prefer the use of CoWoS technologies for GPU and DRAM assembly. But for applications like interfacing and switching, FO technology brought shorter interconnection providing high speed communication”.

Huawei, via HiSilicon, chose ASE’s FOCoS for its coherent processor, the Hi1382.

The Hi1382 is a processor included in the BBU BBU5900 for Huawei in two different layers.

One is in the universal baseband processor unit and one is in the Universal Main Processing and Transmission Unit. On both cards, the coherent processor manages the interface between the optical fiber module and the network processors. To ensure high speed interconnecting between the entities, ASE’s fan-out packaging technology has been selected and implemented. The technology allows heterogenous structure in the integrated circuit design by interfacing a SoC die based on 16-nm technology node with a transceiver die based on 28-nm technology node.

Today, heterogeneous integration is the defining trend of the next decade, with FO positioned as one of the key packaging solutions to solve front-end problems (slowing Moore’s Law). TSMC is aware of that and is diversifying its portfolio in advanced packaging, giving great importance to UHD FO solutions.

For Favier Shoo, Team Lead Analyst in the Packaging team within Semiconductor, Memory and Computing Division at Yole: “This strategy positions TSMC as a company encompassing two business models. First, it is a foundry producing front-end dies with advanced technology nodes. Second, it creates advanced packaging solutions to improve its dies’ performance and bandwidth, acting as an OSAT. This strategy, combined with huge CapEx for continuous development of new solutions, makes TSMC the biggest player in this field”.

InFO_SoW is one of its latest solutions that could be used by Cerebras for its WSE starting in 2021. Moreover, TSMC is expected to invest heavily to support devices for 5G deployment and HPC applications. After TSMC, ASE has the second-largest share of the market in UHD FO. It announced significant CapEx for its wafer-level packaging business, remaining a top OSAT after the acquisition of SPIL and USI. It has produced FOCoS for Huawei networking chips since 2016, which is a significant achievement. Other important players, such as Samsung, PTI, and JCET, will possibly penetrate the UHD FO market in the coming years and gain more market share.

In summary, dominant foundry business coupled with strong InFO product line-up and increased investment in its package infrastructure and innovative solutions, TSMC is in a robust position to keep and even expand its leadership.

All year long, Yole Développement (Yole) and System Plus Consulting publish numerous reports and monitors. In addition, experts realize various key presentations and organize key conferences.


Semiconductor industry: it is imperative to innovate. Advanced packaging is the path forward…
In this dynamic context and encouraged by 7 consecutive years of successful symposiums that have attracted more than 200 participants on average, Yole and its partner NCAP (National Center for Advanced Packaging) are proud to announce this year again, the online Symposium by Yole Développement and NCAP on Advanced Packaging Semiconductors – SYNAPS. 
More info.

Make sure to be aware of the latest news coming from the industry and get an overview of our activities, including interviews with leading companies and more on i-Micronews. Stay tuned!


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Acronyms :
CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate
FO: Fan-Out
IDM: Integrated Device Manufacturer
OSAT: Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test
SiP: System-in-Package
HD FO: High-Density Fan-Out
UHD FO: Ultra-High-Density Fan-Out
APE: Application Processor Engine
inFO_oS: integrated Fan-Out on Substrate
OEM: Original Equipment Manufacturers
CoWoS: Chip on Wafer on Substrate
GPU: Graphic Processing Unit
DRAM: Dynamic Random Access Memory
FOCoS: Fan-Out Chip on Substrate
BBU: Baseband Unit
SoC: System-on-Chip
InFO_SoW: Integrated Fan-Out System on Wafer
WSE: Wafer Scale Engine


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