Fan-Out Wafer Level Packaging is the most innovative advanced packaging technology today, adopted for mobile phone and consumer electronics applications. Analysing the status of the patent situation is key to understanding the business situation.
After several years of specific analysis for customers, Yole Developpement has decided to publish its first analysis of the technical contents of patents: we have focused this first analysis on the FOWLP area, a new packaging technology which is changing the patent landscape for semiconductor packaging across a wide range of application spaces. Yole Developpement has developed a specific methodology to conduct our analysis (described below), mixing Yole Developpement technical and business knowledge with classical access to patent database.
A complex patent landscape: 10 companies dominate the FOWLP IP space, but more than 120 organizations have patents in this field and represent 232 relevant patent families and 231 related patent families (Yole Developpement has discovered more than 1,000 patents). The analysis provides a database of all the relevant patents in an Excel file enabling multicriteria search. The criteria are basically those we used for the technological segmentation:
It is also interesting to note that the size of the players involved in this area is variable. We can find large companies like TSMC as well as start-up and small players like Megica. The FOWLP IP space is studied from different angles and the analysis provides analysis of patents filled by these different kinds of players including the most recent assignees.
This complete description of the patent landscape is included in the first part of the analysis and provides all the background materials for the FOWLP patent landscape review. It also provides a complete analysis of the patent landscape including geographic origins of the patents, company or R&D organizations that have been granted the patents, historical data on when the companies have applied patents in the last 20 years, inventors of the patents, expiration status, R&D collaborations...
The analysis also provides a deep dive into each patent portfolio of the TOP10 patent assignees, including Infineon, ACE, Tessera, Samsung, Freescale, StatsChipPac, ASE, Amkor Technologies and STM. For each of these companies, the analysis provides an in-depth analysis of the patent portfolio of these companies, highlighting the following points:
This analysis of each company provides an in-depth view of the strengths and weaknesses of the patent portfolio of each company and the developments that are now implemented by these companies.
Based on Yole Developpement analysis of the technology trends in FOWLP,the R&D of all the players worldwide and teardown of the devices in production, Yole Developpement have been able to identify and analyze the most important innovations for each process step of FOWLP, from die placement to encapsulation, passivation to bumping... For each part of the process steps of FOWLP, the analysis provides the related patents and the evidence of its use in real devices taking full benefit of teardown analysis provided by our partner System Plus Consulting. For example, a strong focus is made on Infineon's eWLB technology as well as on the 2nd generation FOWLP patents describing new architectures using the eWLB solution (please see also the full reverse analysis carried out by System Plus Consulting: Infineon Fan-out WLP Reverse Costing Analysis). As a synthesis, the analysis provides a ranking of the most important patents to highlight which of all the analyzed documents are blocking, which company owns such patents and the content of each patent.
Based on requests on Micropatent, and several other database, Yole Developpement has developed a unique methodology (described in the sample) to define a technical segmentation of the patent landscape and define which patents are the most innovative, either to prepare the future or to be used already in production. Yole Developpement, by mixing its technical knowledge, business understanding and patent search, is able to provide unique analysis and added value you will find in this analysis.
Advanced Chip Engineering (ACE), Infineon Technologies, Samsung, STATS ChipPac, Tessera, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE), Freescale, Semiconductor, Micron Technology, Megica, Qimonda, Amkor Technology, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (TSMC), STM, Fujitsu, Hynix Semiconductor, Agency For Science Technology & Research (ASTAR), Broadcom, NX P, Renesas Electronics, Xintec, Hitachi, Sony, Analog Devices, Flip Chip Technologies, IMEC, Jiangyin Changdian Advanced Packaging (JCAP), Mediatek Inc, Motorola, Nippon Steel, United Microelectronics Corp (UMC), Advanced Interconnect Solutions, Advanced Micro Devices, ChipMOS Technologies, IBM, Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), King Dragon International,National Hybrid, Nepes, Schott, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), Shinko Electric Industries, Siliconware Precision Industries, Sumitomo, Bakelite, Toyota Industries, Unisem Holdings, Visera Technologies, Yamaha, Yupei Technology, Agilent Technologies Inc, Altera, Apic Yamada, Aptina Imaging Corporation, Atmel, Cambridge Silicon Radio, Casio Computer, China WLCSP, Chipbond Technology Corporation, Cypress Semiconductor, Daimler Benz, Deca Technologies, Easetech Korea, Epic Technologies Inc, Epworks, Express Packaging, Systems, Fairchild Semiconductor, Fineart Technology, Formfactor,Fujikura, Georgia Tech Research, Ibiden, Invensas, IPdia, Kingston Technology, Kyocera Chemical, LSI Logic, Marvell, Maxim Integrated Products, Microasi Inc, Miji Electronic, Mitsubishi Electric, Nanonexus Inc, National University Of Singapore, NEC Electronics, Oerlikon, Panasonic, Petari Incorporation, Philips,Powertech Technology, Princo, Prisma Fibers, Qualcomm, Ricoh, Salmon Technologies, Sharp, Silicon Storage Technology, Texas Instruments, Thin Film, Module, Toppan Printing, Toray Advanced Materials Korea, Toshiba, Triquint Semiconductor, Tsinghua University, Ultratech Inc, Universiteit Gent, US National,Institutes of Health (NIH), Verigy (Singapore) Pte Ltd, Waters Technologies, Westinghouse Electric.