[News] TSMC’s SoIC Demand Heats Up, Reports Suggest Significant Capacity Expansion

In the surge of AI advancements, a CoWoS expansion wave is rapidly underway, with TSMC showcasing ongoing ambitions in advanced packaging.

According to Monet DJ, recent industry reports suggest that TSMC is revising upward its capacity plans for SoIC (System-on-Integrated-Chips). By the end of this year, monthly production capacity is expected to jump from around 2,000 units in late 2023 to 5,000-6,000 units, addressing robust demand in the future for AI and HPC.

TSMC’s SoIC represents an industry-first high-density 3D chip stacking technology. Through the Chip on Wafer (CoW) packaging technique, it enables heterogeneous integration of chips with different sizes, functions, and nodes. Production has commenced at its advanced backend Fab 6 in Zhunan.

Quoting industry sources, Money DJ reports that SoIC’s monthly capacity was initially set to expand to 3,000-4,000 units this year from 2,000 units at the end of last year. However, it is now revised upward to 5,000-6,000 units, with a goal to double the capacity by 2025.

CoWoS, a mature technology with 15 years of development, is estimated to reach a monthly capacity of 30,000-34,000 units by the end of this year. TSMC is banking on its globally dominant 3D stacking technology with SoIC. The debut of major customer AMD MI300 utilizing SoIC with CoWoS is seen as pivotal. If successful, AMD could dominate the AI server sector, making TSMC’s SoIC a significant achievement.

Furthermore, Apple, TSMC’s largest customer, is reportedly keenly interested in SoIC. It is said to adopt SoIC with Hybrid Molding technology, currently in small-scale trial production and expected to enter mass production in 2025-2026. The plan is to apply it in products like Mac and iPad, offering cost advantages over current solutions.

As for another major customer of TSMC’s advanced packaging, NVIDIA, although high-end products currently favor CoWoS packaging, the industry anticipates the future integration of SoIC technology.

(Image: TSMC)

Please note that this article cites information from Monet DJ

[News] AMD Eyes CoWoS-like Supply for AI Chips with TSMC Full Capacity

TSMC operates at full capacity, AMD aims for AI chips reportedly seeks CoWoS-like supply chain.

In 2023, NVIDIA led the global AI chip development, and in 2024, the global demand for AI chips is expected to continue to surge due to the expansion of end-user applications such as PCs and mobile phones.

Meanwhile, AMD has not stopped in AI chip development either, with the expected MI300 products poised to heat up the global AI business opportunities. However, the key to supply lies in advanced packaging, and AMD will seek outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) service providers to offer support similar to CoWoS.

According to Taiwan’s Commercial Times, TSMC’s CoWoS capacity has long been fully loaded, and even if it expands production this year, it will mainly be reserved for NVIDIA. Market sources pointed out that TSMC will continue to increase CoWoS capacity to support AMD’s demand, but it takes six to nine months to establish a new production line. Therefore, it is expected that AMD will seek cooperation with other companies with CoWoS-like packaging capabilities. ASE, Amkor, Powertech, and KYEC are the first batch of potential partners.

TSMC has been outsourcing part of its CoWoS operations for some time, mainly targeting small-volume, high-performance chips. TSMC maintains in-house production of the CoW, while the back-end WoS is handed over to test and assembly houses to improve production efficiency and flexibility. This model will continue in the future 3D IC generation.

ASE and Amkor both received WoS orders last year. ASE has strengthened the development of advanced packaging technology and has a complete solution for the entire CoWoS process. ASE previously stated that it sees the strong potential of AI and expects related revenue to double in 2024.

According to reports citing market sources, the monthly production capacity of the ASE Group’s 2.5D packaging is about 2,000 to 2,500 pieces. Some experts believe that test and assembly houses will maintain the business model of TSMC or UMC providing the interposer. Therefore, in 2024, a significant increase in CoWoS production capacity is expected.

KYEC is responsible for testing Nvidia AI chips and is expected to benefit from AMD’s search for CoWoS-like capacity. Nvidia is currently KYEC’s second-largest customer.

KYEC’s testing of Nvidia A100 and H100 chips is mainly in the final test (FT), with a market share of up to 70%. KYEC provides comprehensive IC burn-in testing, has self-developed burn-in equipment, and has been in the industry for more than a decade, accumulating many patents and technologies.

AMD stated at the end of 2023 that AI chip revenue could reach US$2 billion in 2024, excluding other HPC chips. AMD pointed out that the annual compound growth rate of the AI chip market in the next four years will reach 70%, and it is estimated that it will reach US$400 billion in 2027.

(Image: AMD)

Please note that this article cites information from Commercial Times


[News] Samsung Boosts 2.5D Packaging Equipment to Compete for TSMC’s CoWoS Orders

Samsung, the Korean tech giant, has unveiled SAINT technology to counter TSMC’s advanced CoWoS packaging, aiming to benefit from the surging AI market. Market reports reveal that Samsung is strategically procuring a substantial amount of 2.5D packaging equipment, indicating a keen awareness of the soaring demand from AI chip companies like NVIDIA, reported by Korean media The Elec.

Samsung has acquired 16 sets of packaging equipment from the Japanese company Shinkawa. Currently, 7 sets have been received, with the possibility of additional orders based on future requirements. Samsung’s objective is to demonstrate its prowess in packaging and HBM technologies, seeking recognition and partnership with NVIDIA. As the limitations in NVIDIA’s current supply chain, especially due to insufficient CoWoS advanced packaging capacity in TSMC, Samsung emerges as a promising alternative for diverse supply chain.

On the other hand, NVIDIA’s ambitious goal of achieving USD 300 billion in AI sector revenue by 2027 requires a reliable supply chain, as per reported by TechNews. To this end, Samsung is poised to supply its next-gen GPU, Blackwell, featuring HBM3 and 2.5D packaging. This move aligns with NVIDIA’s strategy to diversify its supply chain away from existing providers like TSMC.

For Samsung, this collaboration presents a significant opportunity to enter the thriving AI market. Success in this venture could not only bolster the financial performance of Samsung’s memory and advanced packaging divisions but also open doors to orders from players like AMD and Tesla. However, the key lies in how effectively Samsung meets the formidable market demand, particularly in semiconductor production, advanced packaging, and memory technology.

Please note that this article cites information from TechNews and The Elec

(Image: Samsung)

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[News] Strong Demand for AI Testing Boosts Revenue Outlook for OSAT like ASE Holdings, KYEC and Sigurd

The AI landscape witnesses a robust surge with the consecutive launches of AMD’s “Instinct MI300” series AI chips and NVIDIA’s upcoming “B100” GPU structure. This wave of innovation propels a flourishing demand for AI-related Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly And Test Services (OSAT), surpassing initial estimates by over 10%. OSAT companies like ASE Holdings, King Yuan Electronics (KYEC), and Sigurd are poised to experience a notable uptick in revenue, as reported by UDN News.

According to reports, AMD is launching the “Instinct MI300” series AI chips this week, and NVIDIA plans to unveil the next-gen “B100” GPU next year. This successive release of new AI products by the two giants is boosting momentum in related OSATs collaboration.

NVIDIA is gearing up for the 2024 launch of its next-gen Blackwell architecture B100 GPU, saying AI performance exceeding twice that of the H200 GPU under the Hopper architecture, signifying a substantial leap in computational prowess.

Positive Outlook in 2024 for OSATs Amid AI Chip Development

Industry source indicates that due to the AI extensive computation requirements, advanced packaging is gradually becoming mainstream. This involves stacking chips and packaging them on a substrate. Depending on the arrangement, it is divided into 2.5D and 3D packaging. The advantage of this packaging technology is the ability to reduce chip space while also reducing power consumption and costs.

It is said the surge in AI chip orders from AMD and NVIDIA has led to a bottleneck in TSMC CoWoS advanced packaging capacity. This unexpected demand has exceeded projections for related OSATs, including ASE Holdings, KYEC, and Sigurd.

In the case of ASE Holdings, its subsidiary Siliconware Precision Industries (SPIL) possesses the advanced packaging capacity essential for generative AI chips. Joseph Tung, CFO of ASE Holdings, notes that while AI currently in its early-stage and is set to drive explosive growth. As AI integrates into existing and new applications, the demand for advanced packaging is expected to fuel the industry’s entry into the next super growth cycle.

For KYEC, a significant expansion in AI chip testing capacity since Q2 this year positions the company to benefit from the surge in demand.

Sigurd’s COO Tsan-Lien Yeh addresses that, with the release of AI phones, recognizing the doubled testing time for phone chips, which now carry APU/NPU for AI computing compared to general 5G chips. Sigurd has upgraded its equipment to align with future customer needs.

(Image: ASE VIPack’s video)


[News] TSMC’s CoWoS Demand Surges from NVIDIA, Apple, AMD, Broadcom, Marvell, Monthly Capacity Up 120% in 2024

The demand for TSMC’s CoWoS advanced packaging is skyrocketing. Following NVIDIA’s expansion confirmation in October, there are reports in the industry that major clients like Apple, AMD, Broadcom, Marvell, and others are also placing additional orders with TSMC.

To meet the demands of these five major clients, TSMC is fast-tracking the expansion of CoWoS advanced packaging capacity. Next year, the monthly capacity will increase by about 20% more than the original doubling target, reaching 35,000 wafers, reported by UDN News.

TSMC has not commented on the capacity deployment for CoWoS advanced packaging. Industry sources believe that the substantial orders from TSMC’s major clients indicate a widespread growth in AI applications, driving the demand for chips such as GPU and AI accelerators.

In response to the continuous increase in AI demand, TSMC had previously announced the doubling of CoWoS advanced packaging capacity expansion for next year but did not disclose the monthly production capacity. Industry reports suggest that TSMC’s CoWoS advanced packaging capacity next year will not only double but will also increase by an additional 20% from the original target, resulting in a total monthly capacity of 35,000 wafers.

NVIDIA currently stands as the main large customer for TSMC’s CoWoS advanced packaging, securing almost 60% of TSMC’s related capacity, which is used in its AI chips such as H100 and A100. Additionally, AMD’s latest AI chip products are in the mass production stage, and the upcoming MI300 chip, expected to launch next year, will adopt both SoIC and CoWoS advanced packaging.

At the same time, Xilinx, a subsidiary of AMD, has been a significant customer for TSMC’s CoWoS advanced packaging. With the continuous growth in AI demand, not only Xilinx but also Broadcom has started increasing orders for TSMC’s CoWoS advanced packaging capacity.

(Image: TSMC)

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