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According to Digitimes, TSMC has taken steps to outsource a part of its CoWoS (Chip-on-Wafer-on-Substrate) 2.5D packaging process to OSAT companies such as ASE Group and Amkor Technology, especially low-volume, customized chips.

In the move, TSMC will only be responsible for the Chip-on-Wafer process, while its OSAT partners will take care of the on-substrate stage of packaging.

Given the lack of automation involved in the on-substrate packaging process, more manpower will be needed, thus driving TSMC to outsource it to OSAT partners with more relevant experiences. In addition, on-substrate packaging represents the least profitable stage of TSMC’s advanced packaging process. It is expected that a similar outsourcing model will be applied to TSMC’s 3D packaging technology in the future.

In September, TSMC’s head of Advanced Packaging Technology and Service, Dr. Marvin Liao, revealed that TSMC sought to integrate its frontend and backend processes via automation.

Introduced in 2012, TSMC’s CoWoS technology reportedly faces difficulties with wide adoption owing to its higher cost. CoWoS is a part of TSMC’s 3DFabric family, which consists of frontend and backend technologies. The frontend technology focuses on the 3D System on Integrated Chips (SoIC), while the backend process includes the 2.5D Chip-on-Wafer-on-Substrate (CoWoS) and Integrated Fan-Out (InFO) technologies.

Empowered by its latest advanced material handling system, TSMC was on track to build a fully automated smart factory that would integrate SoIC, CoWoS and InFO.

 

Source: ICSmart