Ten team for Silicon Valley packaging R&D centre

Ten team for Silicon Valley packaging R&D centre

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Ten US and Japanese companies have formed a consortium to build a packaging R&D plant for next generation semiconductor packaging technologies.

The US-JOINT Consortium is led by Japanese materials firm Resonac, formerly Showka Denko, which has been involved in two other similar projects in Japan.

The other American and Japanese semiconductor materials and equipment companies in the consortium are Azimuth; KLA; Kulicke & Soffa; Moses Lake Industries; MEC; ULVAC; NAMICS; TOK; and TOWA. See below for their contributions to the project.

US-JOINT is an open consortium designed for end-customer collaboration to verify the latest requirements for semiconductor packaging of advanced devices and validate new concepts in development. 

R&D will take place at a new centre to be built in Union City, Calif., set up through co-investment with the partners. The construction of cleanrooms and equipment installation will begin this year, and the facility is expected to be fully operational in 2025.

“Today’s rapidly expanding next-generation semiconductors for generative AI and autonomous driving require new approaches to advanced packaging technologies, such as 2.5D and 3D,” said Hidenori Abe, executive director of Electronics Business Headquarters at Resonac.

“In recent years, major semiconductor manufacturers and fabless companies in Silicon Valley, including GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft), are designing semiconductors in-house and creating new concepts in back-end packaging one after another. This is where the US-JOINT consortium can contribute significantly with our leading technology in materials and equipment on-shore in the US.”

Advanced packaging and back-end processing of semiconductors has traditionally been located primarily in Asia. The project  is particularly focussed on areas that other U.S. consortiums do not cover, such as advancements in the substrate, interposer and fabrication of the package.

Glass interposer for next generation chiplet packaging

“With nearly every area of our daily lives now dependent on semiconductors, it is critical that we strengthen supply chains through cooperation with trusted partners in the sector,” said Rahm Emanuel, the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. “This new consortium of leading American and Japanese companies in the semiconductor industry is the latest example of our two nations joining forces to accelerate the development of advanced technologies of global importance.”

 Azimuth Industrial  is providing low-volume, high-mix and pilot production assembly, while KLA (which owns SPTS in Newport, Wales, where it makes fan out equipment for packaging) is providing laser direct imaging systems.

“The US-JOINT consortium is coming together at a pivotal time for the semiconductor industry in which we see applications like AI accelerating development of interconnect technologies. We hear from customers that they need more advanced lithography processes to drive their substrate technology roadmaps. KLA’s large scan optics direct imaging solutions help push the boundaries of what’s possible for advanced packages, and we are looking forward to delivering new innovations through our work with the consortium,” said Oreste Donzella, Executive Vice President, Electronics, Packaging and Components Group at KLA.

Kulicke and Soffa Industries is providing a Fluxless Thermo-Compression Bonder,  MEC a metal activator and etcher and Moses Lake Industries is supplying copper electroplating.

Chiplets drive new automated design tools at Leti

NAMICS is providing liquid compression molding materials and other liquid encapsulants for semiconductors while  Tokyo Ohka Kogyo (TOK) is providing photoresist for semiconductor packaging and Towa is supplying compression molding equipment and Ulvac is providing sputtering and ashing systems

“This consortium aims to grasp the concepts and technical issues of packaging technology, which will become increasingly important in the future, and to make manufacturing equipment the de facto standard. We also believe that our activities in this consortium will be an excellent opportunity to introduce our company’s efforts in Silicon Valley, the birthplace of innovation in the United States,” said Harunori Iwai, Executive Officer and General Manager of the Electronic Equipment Business Division, Equipment Business Headquarters, ULVAC.



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