Dow Electronic Materials

3D InCites: It’s Time to Get Serious About (Advanced Packaging for) 5G

March 08, 2018

As we move through the first quarter of the new year, several industry trends are coming to the fore, with the semiconductor industry as a whole forecast to see strong growth in 2018. With multiple drivers propelling the industry forward, Dow’s Rob Kavanagh took a look at a key underlying trend – 5G and the associated need for connectivity as a driver for advanced packaging – in his industry outlook article for 3D InCites. In the full article, Kavanagh explained that:

What’s truly exciting is how we are going to support the connectivity of all those applications. 5G is where it all comes together. Without it, connecting all this disparate data will be extremely difficult and ineffective.

With the advent of the “internet of things” (IoT), connecting nearly everything (in the home, in business, in industry, in automotive applications) is where the true challenge lies and where there is huge opportunity in the near future. Kavanagh stated:

5G is an enabling technology for automotive and other emerging IoT applications

When it comes to mission-critical applications in industry and automotive, these difficulties can’t be tolerated. This is where 5G becomes the enabling piece that pulls together all of the various data inputs with a common communication protocol, delivers extremely fast download speeds and eliminates latency, delivering the required instantaneous communication and reaction time.

So how does this relate to semiconductor advanced packaging? Design and materials requirements need to be understood. 5G likely means highly integrated modules or systems and high-density chips—technologies that push the limits of thermal budgets and demand new solutions. Then, specific applications may have unique requirements, and industrial use cases may need materials that prevent signal degradation over long distances, for example. The exciting part is that within all of these challenges is opportunity. Materials are truly in the critical path now to develop new, advanced technologies to achieve the incredible potential that exists in the industry, and, more importantly, in the real world. Kavanagh concluded:
Materials will give designers more freedom to design packages and maintain speed and reliability of communications between IoT devices. These developments will drive Dow’s advanced packaging innovation in 2018 and beyond.

Read the complete outlook on 3D InCites