Amkor looks to EU CHIPS Act for semiconductor packaging in Portugal

Amkor looks to EU CHIPS Act for semiconductor packaging in Portugal

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

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US semiconductor packaging giant Amkor Technology is highlighting the importance of its plant in Portugal for the European automotive supply chain.

The company works with Infineon Technology and ST Microelectronics to package chips for electrification, body electronics, and connectivity to ADAS and infotainment at its plant in Porto, Portugal, which it acquired with Nanium in 2017.

Nanium, which started out as Siemens Semiconductor, had developed a high-yielding, reliable wafer-level fan-out technology and by the time of the acquisition had shipped close to one billion wafer-level fan-out packages using a 300mm wafer-level packaging production line.

Amkor points to the need for the latest packaging technologies such as fanout and flip chip to be delivered as part of a European supply chain. This is a key requirement of the EU Chips Act to avoid relying on plants in Asia.

“Automotive semiconductor applications are evolving beyond wirebond and moving to flip chip technology,” said Kevin Engel, Amkor’s CVP, Flip Chip/Wafer Services business unit. “Amkor is the only high-volume, advanced packaging, Tier 1 OSAT (Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test) in Europe and offers these sophisticated capabilities in our Portugal facility.”

“Designs are moving to fan-out solutions with more chips integrated per package and to larger systems combining multi-die and wafer level chip scale packages that help automotive OEMs meet the challenges of the transition to smarter cars with increased connectivity and more advanced safety features,” he said. “Automotive quality test solutions are also a vital part of deploying these solutions in vehicles.”

Amkor points to the capabilities of the Portugal plant for local semiconductor manufacturers, and says the EU Chips Act continues to gain momentum.

“Amkor’s global support and local presence enable it to help the EU pursue its goals of ensuring supply chain stability and delivering the next-generation automotive solutions that will help it remain competitive,” it says. “At this pivotal time in the semiconductor industry, manufacturers and suppliers alike may be confronted with political, industrial, technological, and financial disruptions.”

Other manufacturers such as Alter Technology are also setting up volume packaging plants in the region. 

As part of its pitch for EU cash, Amkor is drafting in its customers, including GlobalFoundries (GF) which makes automotive chips in Dresden, Germany.

“Amkor Technology is a trusted partner of Infineon. With its proximity to our European automotive customers and being close to Infineon’s European package innovation centres, Amkor’s Portugal facility is well positioned and provides flexibility to further strengthen our global semiconductor supply chain,” said Alexander Gorski, Executive Vice President, Operations at Infineon.

“GF is committed to growing our European manufacturing ecosystem to support local and global customers, especially in the Automotive markets. Amkor’s plans to invest in OSAT services for the automotive industry in Portugal will provide much needed services within the EU and expand the US-European semiconductor supply chain,” said Mike Hogan, GlobalFoundries Chief Business Officer.

“Amkor’s Portugal facility will be an extension of ST’s supply chain network in Europe. Its services bring additional assembly and test capacity close to our EMEA back-end fabs located in Malta and Morocco, supporting our European and global customers,” said Fabio Gualandris, EVP and Head of STMicroelectronics’ Back-End Manufacturing and Technology organization.

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