System-in-a-package (SiP) technology constitutes an enormous potential market, according to most market research firms. For example, Semico Research Corp. predicts that the revenue for SiP contract manufacturers will increase from $82 million in 2002 to $747.9 million in 2007.
Substantial market penetration in RF cellular, digital, Bluetooth, power-supply, and automotive applications will influence this growth, according to a joint study by Prismark Partners, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse First Boston, and Allied Business Intelligence. In fact, Allied Business Intelligence expects the RF cellular market alone to jump from 2003 sales of about $1.8 billion to about $2.75 billion by 2007 (see the figure). Nearly a billion SiPs consisting of stacked BGA packages with active and passive components were shipped in 2003, complete with a power amplifier, antenna switch, transmitter, and front-end module. In addition, 500 million stacked-die SiPs were shipped in 2003.
In a report entitled "World Electronic Packaging Technologies," Frost & Sullivan Technical Insights concludes that there's "immense potential" for SiP technology growth.
"The challenge lies in developing cost-effective and compact IC packages that also meet the multiple demands of portable electronic-device manufacturers," says research analyst Sivakumar Muthuramalingam. "SiP solutions provide superior reliability and greater flexibility by allowing wireless device manufacturers to support multiple standards, methods, and techniques."
SiP has become so important to Japanese companies that they formed the SiP Consortium last year to further the technology's development. The group includes leading Japanese academic groups and IC and packaging companies. Its mission is to develop a 3D packaging technology that enables the miniaturization and refinement of high-density, low-cost SiPs with fast turnaround time, something not possible using current 2D packaging technology.