October 13, 2022
IC carrier board, also known as package substrate, is a carrier that connects and transmits signals between a bare chip (DIE) and a printed circuit board (PCB). It can be understood as a high-end PCB product. The function of the IC carrier board is mainly to protect the circuit, fix the circuit and dissipate the waste heat. It is a key component in the packaging process. It accounts for 40-50% of the cost in the low-end package and 70-80% in the high-end package. In high-end packaging, IC substrates have replaced traditional lead frames.
IC carrier boards have higher technical requirements than PCBs. The IC carrier board is developed from HDI (High Density Interconnect) technology. From ordinary PCB to HDI to SLP (substrate-like board) to IC carrier board, the processing accuracy is gradually improved. Different from the subtractive method of traditional PCB, IC substrates are mainly manufactured by processes such as SAP (semi-additive method) and MSAP (modified semi-additive method), the required equipment is different, the processing cost is higher, and the line width is / The line spacing, plate thickness, aperture and other indicators are more refined, and the requirements for heat resistance are also higher.
IC carrier boards can be divided into four categories according to mainstream packaging methods, such as WB/FC×BGA/CSP, and FC-BGA has the highest technical requirements. WB/FC is the connection method between the bare chip and the carrier board. WB (Wire Bonding, wire bonding) connects the bare chip and the carrier board by means of leads. The block is directly connected to the carrier board as a buffer interface for electrical connection and transmission between the chip and the circuit board. Because FC uses solder balls to replace leads, compared with WB, it increases the signal density of the carrier board, improves chip performance, facilitates alignment and correction of bumps, and improves yield. It is a more advanced connection method.
BGA/CSP is the connection method between the carrier board and the PCB. CSP is suitable for mobile chips, and BGA is suitable for PC/server-level high-performance processors. BGA (Ball Grid Array, ball grid array package) is to arrange many solder balls in an array at the bottom of the wafer, and use the solder ball array to replace the traditional metal lead frame as the pins. CSP (Chip Scale Package, chip scale package) can make the ratio of chip area to package area exceed 1:1.14, which is quite close to the ideal situation of 1:1, which is about 1/3 of ordinary BGA, which can be understood as solder ball spacing and smaller diameter BGA. From the perspective of downstream applications, FC-CSP is mostly used for AP and baseband chips of mobile devices, and FC-BGA is used for high-performance chip packaging such as PC, server-level CPU, GPU, etc. The substrate has many layers, large area, high circuit density, Due to the small line width and line spacing, as well as the small diameter of through holes and blind holes, the processing difficulty is much greater than that of the FC-CSP package substrate.
IC substrates are divided into three types: BT/ABF/MIS according to their substrates. ABF materials for high-performance processor substrates are monopolized by Ajinomoto of Japan. The substrate of the IC carrier board is similar to the PCB copper clad laminate, which is mainly divided into three types: hard substrate, flexible film substrate and co-fired ceramic substrate. Among them, hard substrate and flexible substrate basically occupy the entire market space, mainly including BT, ABF, MIS three. kind of substrate. BT substrate is a resin material developed by Mitsubishi Gas. Its good heat resistance and electrical properties make it a substitute for traditional ceramic substrates. Communication and memory chip packaging. ABF is a build-up film material developed by Ajinomoto Japan. It has higher hardness, thin thickness and good insulation. It is suitable for IC packaging with thin lines, high layers, multiple pins and high information transmission. It is used in high-performance IC packaging. CPU, GPU, chipsets and other fields. ABF production capacity is completely monopolized by Ajinomoto, and it is the key raw material for domestic carrier board production. MIS is a new type of material, which is different from traditional substrates. It contains one or more layers of pre-encapsulated structures. Each layer is interconnected by electroplating copper. The lines are thinner, the electrical properties are better, and the volume is smaller. The fields of power, analog IC and digital currency are developing rapidly.
The growth of domestic IC substrate manufacturers is expected to benefit from the support of the domestic semiconductor industry chain, and the mainland wafer manufacturing, packaging and testing support is an important opportunity. The wafer manufacturing capacity in mainland China is actively expanding, and packaging and testing manufacturers have occupied an important share of the world. According to IC insights data, the proportion of China's IC manufacturing market in the overall size of China's IC market has continued to increase, from 10.2% in 2010 to 16.7% in 2021, and is expected to increase to 21.2% in 2026. Its scale corresponds to a compound growth rate. The speed reached 13.3%, exceeding the compound growth rate of 8% of the overall IC market size in China, which corresponds to the expansion plan of more than 70 wafer manufacturing industries in the mainland that will almost double in the next few years. On the other hand, the current mainland packaging and testing manufacturers have occupied an important position in the world. Changdian Technology, Tongfu Microelectronics, and Huatian Technology will rank 3/5/6 in the global market share in 2021 respectively, accounting for 20% in total. The chain supporting demand of domestic wafer manufacturing and packaging and testing plants will bring alternative space for domestic carrier manufacturers.
HOREXS started to produce IC substrate products in 2009. In 2014, it achieved mass manufacturing of memory chip substrate and achieved a yield rate of more than 99%. Currently, it is mainly BT substrate boards, while ABF (for FCBGA) substrate capacity planning . Hubei HOREXS will invest in three phases. The first phase is planned to be 15,000 square meters/month, and the first 15,000 square meters/month will be put into trial production in September 2022; the subsequent construction of 30,000 square meters/month of production capacity is expected to be put into operation by the end of 2024.
HOREXS adopts an improved subtractive method, and through a fully intelligent and fully automated production model, it meets the demands of global customers for cost reduction. Therefore, the biggest advantage of cooperating with HOREXS on packaging substrates lies in the cost reduction and the support of larger production capacity.