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CHIPS Act Implementation Requires Strong Focus on “Advanced Packaging,” Industry Leaders Say

Ever-more complex packaging of chips will be the key driver of future innovation, yet the United States and Europe are behind the curve

Leaders of top semiconductor, microelectronic, IC-Substrate, PCB, EMS, and OSAT companies along with the U.S. government and European Commission are gathering in Washington, D.C. this week to discuss “the next big thing” in CHIPS Act implementation: expanding “advanced packaging” capacities and capabilities to go along with expanding production of semiconductor chips.

The symposium and a new report, sponsored by electronics manufacturing association IPC, are driven by the growing recognition that advanced packaging is increasingly the leading driver of innovation in microelectronics today. Advanced packaging capabilities in the U.S. and Europe remain weak, but both regions are now developing and funding strategies to develop this part of the semiconductor ecosystem.

The new report by IPC, based on a survey of nearly 100 industry leaders in semiconductors and related fields, shows strong industry support for increased public and private investments in advanced packaging efforts. For example, 94 percent of electronics industry leaders report that improving the performance of semiconductors is increasingly reliant on advanced packaging. And, 84 percent of electronics industry leaders believe government initiatives to bolster the semiconductor supply chain require significant investment in advanced packaging capabilities.

A previous IPC report found the U.S. has only just begun to invest in advanced packaging, while nations in Asia have the lion’s share of capabilities and capacity.

The recently enacted U.S. CHIPS and Science Act authorizes at least $2.5 billion in Fiscal 2022 alone for a newly established National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing program. IPC is now part of a consortium led by the Semiconductor Research Corporation and funded by NIST to develop a federal road map for advanced packaging and related efforts. The Departments of Defense and Commerce and a new Industry Advisory Committee to the U.S. Government are also among those focusing on the issue.

The European Union has developed its own Chips Act which is currently before the European Parliament and European Council. IPC is working with industry leaders and partners to ensure that it, too, supports the growth of a robust advanced packaging ecosystem in the region.

“Advanced packaging is a key element in defining the next generation of semiconductor innovation. It is making possible spectacular new technology solutions to solve many of the world’s most pressing challenges. But in order to achieve these goals, companies and governments will need to determine how to cultivate robust regional advanced packaging ecosystems to support the expected surge in chip production globally,” said IPC Chief Technologist Matt Kelly.

Speakers at the symposium and the topics they are covering include:

  • Packaging is the New King, Todd Younkin, Ph.D., President and CEO, Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC)
  • Supporting Moore’s Law with Advanced Packaging, Tom Rucker, Ph.D., Vice President Technology and Development, Intel Corp.
  • Defense Perspectives Keynote: DoD Microelectronics Strategy, Devanand Shenoy, PhD, Director, Defense Microelectronics Cross-Functional Team, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering
  • NIST, Semiconductors, and the CHIPS & Science Act, Frank Gayle, ScD, Deputy Director, NIST Office of Advanced Manufacturing & Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office
  • Establishing Domestic Advanced Packaging Capability for DoD Applications, Helen Phillips, Director, Advanced Operations Northrop Grumman Mission Systems
  • Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow on Package Substrate Industry, Richard (KwangWook) Bae, Executive Vice President of NPI, CTO, Samsung Electro-Mechanics Pte., Ltd. (SEMCO)
  • A Chips Act for Europe, Francisco J. Ibáñez, Senior Expert, Microelectronics and Photonics Industry, DG CONNECT, European Commission
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