IC analyzers sees booming demand for advanced foundry, packaging

Julian Ho, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Taiwan-based specialists in semiconductor materials analysis, IC test and verification services will see their sales for the second half of the year driven by continuous R&D on advanced fabrication and packaging processes and third-generation semiconductor materials at their clients, according to industry sources.

The specialists including Integrated Service Technology (iST), Materials Analysis Technology (MA-tek), Material Science Service (MSS) and Sporton International are all maintaining high capacity utilization to fulfill surging orders for materials analysis (MA), reliability analysis (RA), failure analysis (FA) and related test and verification services, the sources said.

As TSMC continues to advance its fabrication technology to sub-5nm nodes and improve from 2.5D and fan-out packaging to 3D IC stacking, the analysis services, particularly MA and RA, are badly needed to support the technology advancements, with its partners iST, Ma-tek and MSS kept busy handling new cases, the sources continued.

The three firms are also embracing booming demand, particularly for MA services, from vendors of third-generation semiconductor materials such as SiC and GaN to support their continuous efforts on developing new applications, the sources noted, adding that their capacity has been fully booked throughout 2021 and order visibility even clear through first-half 2022.

Meanwhile, growing 5G mmWave applications, mounting penetration of Wi-Fi 6E in handsets, notebooks and routers, and extension of upgraded wireless communication technology to all terminal CPE devices are also adding growth momentum to related testing and verification businesses at Sporton, the sources said.

Among the specialists, MA-Tek saw its revenues for the first five months of the year gain 7.9% on year reaching NT$1.26 billion (US$45.45 million), and it is set to complete a 20% MA service capacity in the second half of the year.

MSS raked in revenues of NT$539 million for the same period, up nearly 35% on year. The company, particularly strong in the MA segment, has developed a patented LT-ALD (low temperature atomic layer deposition) technology, helping to boost its MA accuracy and win a market share of over 50% in the segment, the sources said.