Monthly Archives: November 2018


Amkor Introduces TOLL & PSMC Packages for Automotive Applications

The TOLL package is a highly efficient space-saving package featuring extremely low Rds(on) and strong thermal performance making it well suited for high current and high voltage applications. It meets an existing JEDEC package outline, is 30% smaller and 50% thinner than a DDPAK package. The TOLL package leads are designed with wettable flanks making it a great fit for the automotive market. Interconnect can be supported with Cu clip or wire (Au, Cu or Al) and full turnkey solutions are provided for this package.



The PSMC package is perfect for trench Schottky diodes/rectifiers and transient voltage suppressors (TVS). Interconnect via Cu clip allows for high currents and leads incorporating wettable flanks also make this package well suited for automotive applications. It meets an existing JEDEC package outline, is 50% smaller than a DPAK (TO252) package and is only 1.1 mm thick.



The TOLL and PSMC packages are produced in Amkor Malaysia, Amkor’s Power Discrete Center, with more than 40 years of power discrete experience and are tooled in the highest density XDLF leadframe format for best productivity.




 Download the TOLL Data Sheet  Download the PSMC Data Sheet



For additional information or to request a quote, contact us at: or visit us at


Top 15 Semiconductor Sales Leaders – 2018F

IC Insights’ November Update to the 2018 McClean Report, released later this month, includes a discussion of the forecasted top-25 semiconductor suppliers in 2018 (the top-15 2018 semiconductor suppliers are covered in this research bulletin).  The Update also includes a detailed five-year forecast of the IC market by product type (including dollar volume, unit shipments, and average selling price).


The expected top-15 worldwide semiconductor (IC and O-S-D—optoelectronic, sensor, and discrete) sales ranking for 2018 is shown in Figure 1.  It includes seven suppliers headquartered in the U.S., three in Europe, two each in South Korea and Japan, and one in Taiwan.  After announcing in early April 2018 that it had successfully moved its headquarters location from Singapore to the U.S., IC Insights now classifies Broadcom as a U.S. company.


In 2Q18, Toshiba completed the $18.0 billion sale of its memory IC business to the Bain Capital-led consortium. Toshiba then repurchased a 40.2% share of the business.  The Bain consortium goes by the name of BCPE Pangea and the group owns 49.9% of Toshiba Memory Corporation (TMC).  Hoya Corp. owns the remaining 9.9% of TMC’s shares.  The new owners have plans for an IPO within three years. Bain has said it plans to support the business in pursing M&A targets, including potentially large deals.


As a result of the sale of Toshiba’s memory business, the 2018 sales results shown in Figure 1 include the combined sales of the remaining semiconductor products at Toshiba (e.g., Discrete devices and System LSIs) and NAND flash sales from Toshiba Memory Corporation.


In total, the top-15 semiconductor companies’ sales are forecast to jump by 18% in 2018 compared to 2017, two points higher than the expected total worldwide semiconductor industry 2018/2017 increase of 16%.  The three largest memory suppliers—Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron—are each forecast to register greater than 25% year-over-year growth in 2018 with SK Hynix expected to log the highest growth among the top 15 companies with a 41% surge in sales this year.  All of the top-15 companies are expected to have sales of at least $8.0 billion in this year, two companies more than in 2017.  Nine of the top-15 companies are forecast to register double-digit year-over-year growth in 2018.  Moreover, five companies are expected to have ≥20% growth, including four of the big memory suppliers (Samsung, SK Hynix, Micron, and Western Digital/SanDisk) as well as Nvidia.



2018 top 15 semiconductor sales leaders
Figure 1
As shown, IC Insights expects the first through seventh rankings to remain unchanged in 2018 as compared to 2017.  The largest move upward in the ranking is forecast to come from Western Digital/San Disk, which is expected to move up three spots to the 12th position.  In contrast, NXP is expected to fall two places to 13th with a sales increase of only 1% this year.  However, the worst-performing company in the ranking is forecast to be Qualcomm with a semiconductor revenue decline of 3% this year, the only top-15 company expected to register a drop in sales.


Intel was the number one ranked semiconductor supplier in 1Q17 but lost its lead spot to Samsung in 2Q17. It also fell from the top spot in the full-year 2017 ranking, a position it had held since 1993.  With the strong surge in the DRAM and NAND flash markets over the past year, Samsung is forecast to go from having 7% more total semiconductor sales than Intel in 2017 to having 19% more semiconductor sales than Intel in 2018.


Memory devices are forecast to represent 84% of Samsung’s semiconductor sales in 2018, up three points from 81% in 2017 and up 10 points from 71% just two years earlier in 2016.  Moreover, the company’s non-memory sales in 2018 are expected to be only $13.3 billion, up only 6% from 2017’s non-memory sales level of $12.5 billion. In contrast, Samsung’s memory sales are forecast to be up 31% this year and reach $70.0 billion.


The top-15 ranking includes one pure-play foundry (TSMC) and three fabless companies.  If TSMC were excluded from the top-15 ranking, Taiwan-based MediaTek would have been ranked in the 15th position with forecasted 2018 sales of $7.9 billion, up only 1% from 2017.


IC Insights includes foundries in the top-15 semiconductor supplier ranking since it has always viewed the ranking as a top supplier list, not a marketshare ranking, and realizes that in some cases the semiconductor sales are double counted.  With many of our clients being vendors to the semiconductor industry (supplying equipment, chemicals, gases, etc.), excluding large IC manufacturers like the foundries would leave significant “holes” in the list of top semiconductor suppliers.  Foundries and fabless companies are identified in the Figure.  In the April Update to The McClean Report, marketshare rankings of IC suppliers by product type were presented and foundries were excluded from these listings.


Overall, the top-15 list is provided as a guideline to identify which companies are the leading semiconductor suppliers, whether they are IDMs, fabless companies, or foundries.



Report Details:  The 2018 McClean Report
Additional details on IC company sales and IC Insights’ five-year IC market forecast are provided in the November Update to The McClean Report—A Complete Analysis and Forecast of the Integrated Circuit Industry.  A subscription to The McClean Report includes free monthly updates from March through November (including a 250+ page Mid-Year Update), and free access to subscriber-only webinars throughout the year.  An individual user license to the 2018 edition of The McClean Report is priced at $4,290 and includes an Internet access password.  A multi-user worldwide corporate license is available for $7,290.


To review additional information about IC Insights’ new and existing market research reports and services please visit our website:



More Information Contact

For more information regarding this Research Bulletin, please contact Bill McClean, President at IC Insights. Phone: +1-480-348-1133, email:
PDF Version of This Bulletin

A PDF version of this Research Bulletin can be downloaded from our website at


press release

Moortec’s 7nm In-Chip Monitoring Subsystem IP chosen by Esperanto Technologies to optimise performance and reliability in its high-performance AI Chip

Moortec Semiconductor Ltd, providers of complete In-Chip PVT Monitoring Subsystems announced today that Esperanto Technologies have selected their complete 7nm Embedded In-Chip Monitoring Subsystem IP for Process, Voltage and Temperature Sensing to optimise performance and increase reliability for their AI Supercomputer-on-a-Chip. Esperanto develops high-performance, energy-efficient computing solutions for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) applications based on the open standard RISC-V ISA (Instruction Set Architecture.)


As a founding member of the RISC-V Foundation, Esperanto believes in open instruction sets, and that RISC-V has become a compelling choice for the most demanding applications. Many decades of processor design and architecture experience among our founding team members indicate that the machine learning era requires a new clean-sheet solution without the baggage of existing legacy architectures. With a simple, elegant instruction set architecture, RISC-V has inherent performance and energy efficiency advantages, helping Esperanto drive the future of innovation.
Esperanto technology highlights include:


  • Energy Efficiency: Delivering unmatched energy efficiency, with unprecedented performance per watt.
  • High Performance: Featuring the ultimate in performance with architectures based on ET-Maxion™ and ET-Minion™ cores.
  • Innovation: Encouraging developer innovation in artificial intelligence, via flexible RISC-V open instruction set architecture designs.


Moortec’s In-Chip Monitoring Subsystem solution has been developed for 7nm FinFET technology and supports the semiconductor design community’s demands for increased device reliability and enhanced performance optimisation. By detecting process variability for each chip manufactured and monitoring the dynamic changes to temperature and voltage supply conditions, the IP can be used to enable continuous Dynamic Frequency and Voltage Scaling (DVFS) and Adaptive Voltage Scaling (AVS) optimisation schemes. The subsystem delivery also includes a sophisticated PVT Controller with standard interfacing, supporting multiple monitor instances, statistics gathering, production test access support as well as other compelling features.
Dave Ditzel, President and CEO of Esperanto, commented, “For high-performance AI / ML semiconductors such as Esperanto’s, performance optimisation and reliability is essential. Moortec’s in-chip sensing solutions support such demands, and we value their engineering talent.”
Moortec CEO Stephen Crosher said, “We are very excited to be able to support companies like Esperanto Technologies, who like Moortec are operating at the cutting edge of AI and Machine Learning chip design. Esperanto are blazing a trail in this rapidly expanding market, taking power, performance and scalability of RISC-V cores to the next level. We are very pleased that Esperanto have utilised our highly accurate, highly featured sensors within our PVT Subsystem to ensure optimal performance and reliability in this highly advanced design.”
About Esperanto Technologies
Esperanto Technologies develops high-performance, energy-efficient computing solutions for AI / ML / DL based on the open standard RISC-V instruction set architecture. Esperanto is headquartered in Mountain View, California with engineering sites in Portland, Oregon, Austin, Texas, and multiple sites in Europe. Esperanto has brought together a seasoned team of experienced processor and software engineers with the goal of making RISC-V the architecture of choice for compute-intensive applications such as AI and ML. For more information, please visit and follow Esperanto on twitter and LinkedIn.
About Moortec

Established in 2005, Moortec provides compelling embedded subsystem IP solutions for Process, Voltage & Temperature (PVT) monitoring, targeting advanced node CMOS technologies on 40nm, 28nm, 16nm, 12nm and 7nm. Moortec’s in-chip sensing solutions support the semiconductor design community’s demands for increased device reliability and enhanced performance optimisation, enabling schemes such as DVFS, AVS and power management control systems. Moortec provides excellent support for IP application, integration and device test during production. Moortec’s high-performance analog and mixed-signal IP designs are delivered to ASIC and System on Chip (SoC) technologies within the datacenter, consumer, automotive and IoT sectors. For more information please visit and follow Moortec on twitterLinkedIn and on AnySilicon.



Moortec Semiconductor Ltd  Press Contact:
Ramsay Allen
VP of Marketing
Moortec Semiconductor Ltd
+44 1752 875133
Esperanto Technologies Press Contact:
Neal Leavitt
Leavitt Communications
(760) 639-2900


fan in wlcsp vs fan out wlcsp feature

WLCSP Overview, Market and Applications

Since the development of the first ASIC, the IC package was a mean to protect the silicon die and to provide means to PCB connectivity. Back then, the IC package was large and introduced various electrical parasitic.


WLCSP package is one of the latest and most impressive invention of the semiconductor packaging industry. Today, with WLCSP, the package has the smallest possible package footprint and superior electrical and thermal performance.


The beauty in WLCSP package is the connectivity. The connectivity between the silicon die is merely bumps which offer low resistance, and low inductance. WLCSP is not cheap for low-mid volume production, but for many market segments and applications, WLCSP is the best choice in terms of price and performance.


WLCSP technology proves to be a reliable and robust and today used by millions every day in mobile phones, that are exposed to extreme variation in stress, drop and vibration.


Since WLCSP is a wafer level package, there are already several wafer foundries that offer WLCSP assembly services in house (TSMC, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and more), making the semiconductor manufacturing easier and cheaper for customers.


The Demand for WLCSP


In the last 2-3 decades, wireless, analog, mixed-signal and memory ICs have made a tremendous development in terms of functionality, gate density and performance — thanks to advancement in the semiconductor process technology. So much progress, that traditional package type such as QFN and BGA have become a barrier in reaching better and higher performance.


Typical QFN that is based on wirebond technology has high inductance and high wire resistance. While typical BGA utilizes a substrate to connect the die to the balls, introduce further wiring that reduce the overall IC preference.


While the consumer market (especially mobile devices) where on the outlook to shrink the mobile device size or alternately pack more features into a hand-held products.


Fan In versus Fan Out Wafer Level Packaging


For semiconductor professional Fan-In WLCSP is a true wafer level packaging, because the pads (or bumps) are all within (under) the die footprint. While Fan-out WLCSP offers a package size beyond the size of silicon dies to allow higher bump pitch.


fan in wlcsp vs fan out wlcsp
In both cases, no substrate is used to connect silicon die to the PCB. Balls (bumps) are directly attached to the silicon die or the fan-out area.


Fan-in WLCSP fits best to applications that utilize small dies and relatively low IO count. Fan-out WLCSP has the ability for larger footprint and therefore offers higher IO count.



Redistribution Layout (RDL)


RDL is an additional layer applied directly on wafers and act as a layout layer to help redistribute the fine pitch pads to a larger area.



Embedded Wafer Level BGA (eWLB)


To explain how eWLB wafer is created: first, the wafer is diced, and the dies are embedded in a new and larger molded wafer. Then the dies are disconnected from each other exactly by a distance which is the calculated fan-out area to be manufactured.

randy Caplan feature

CEO Talk: Randy Caplan from Silicon Creations

This interview was held with Randy Caplan, CEO at Silicon Creations.

randy Caplan

Tell me a bit about your background?


[randy] I’ve actually spent my whole career in integrated circuit design.  I started right at the peak of the dot-com era, and followed the advice of the “experts” at the time to focus on high-speed data interfaces, as the worlds need for bandwidth was growing exponentially.


Although the dot-com predictions didn’t quite match expectations, the worlds need for bandwidth did, and I’ve been focusing on enabling that ever since.


How did you first get started with your company?


[randy] Before Silicon Creations, I was working with the High-Speed Networking Group at Agilent Technologies (along with Silicon Creations CTO & Co-Founder, Jeff Galloway).  We were developing what were (at the time) some of the fastest data interfaces (“SerDes”) and highest performance clocks (“PLLs”) in the world.


Around the same time, the market for semiconductor IP was beginning to emerge and show promise, as the cost and complexity of chip development was increasing.  Jeff and I realized that instead of working on one chip at a time, we could design IP for key components that could be used on a large number of chips, by companies all over the world.



Tell me about Silicon Creations ?


[randy] Silicon Creations is a mix of a family company with the scale and efficiency of a global corporation.   With over 200 customers in 20 countries, and more than 500 chips in production using our SerDes and PLL designs, we’ve grown to be one of the most well-known and far-reaching semiconductor IP companies in the world.


At the same time, we’ve had nearly 100% employee retention over the past 12 years.  We are regularly told by our customers they continue to choose us not just for the performance of the circuits, but for the quality of the support and experience working with our engineers.


What problem did you see that needed to be fixed? What is your approach to solving that?


[randy] On the surface, semiconductor IP companies sell circuit designs, and compete on performance specifications.  However, in fact what’s often most important is the risk reduction we provide to our customers.


With the cost of a chip mask set well above $5M in advanced process nodes, shrinking market windows, and an increasing number of mission-critical applications (e.g. autonomous driving), there are no second chances.


Our customers need confidence our designs will work reliably in high volume production, the first time.  Of course, the performance specifications of our designs are very competitive, but our innovations in quality control, circuit verification, and design integration support have clearly differentiated us as the “low-risk option”.


Did any of the market consolidation (or acquisition) affected your business and how?


[randy] A key consideration for customers of semiconductor IP is knowing that their vendors will be around to support them when the silicon comes back.


In many recent cases, small IP companies have been acquired by chip makers, and re-purposed for internal development.  Since Silicon Creations is self-funded, healthy, and growing, our customers feel confident we won’t be under pressure to “exit” prematurely, and will be here for many years to support them.



Which market segment seems promising to you? And why?


[randy] The nice thing about SerDes and PLLs is that they’re used on almost every chip, regardless of the end application.  Therefore, our sales are a good proxy for the semiconductor market in general.


At the moment, we’re seeing a large number of new customers focusing on artificial intelligence (AI) as well as automotive applications.  I think this is related to the market trends in general, but also to the fact that many of these applications are mission critical, so rely on proven IP to help minimize risk.


What is a typical customer for Silicon Creations?


[randy] Anyone building a CMOS chip will likely be a customer.


Most of our customers are working in advanced nodes (e.g. 5nm, 7nm, 12/14/16nm, and 22/28nm), but we still see quite a few new projects starting in 40nm and above.



Customers are focused on time-to-market, first-time-right, price, etc. Do you see a change in customer behaviour in recent years? Where is the focus today and why?


[randy] The design quality and verification requirements demanded by our customers are increasing rapidly, as the cost of re-spinning a mask set increases exponentially.  Effects such as electromigration, self-heating, device aging, and mismatch, which used to be second-order effects, are now critical factors that regularly cause chip failures.


To support these increasing demands, Silicon Creations has taken many steps including building a large test lab, a simulation farm with more than 2000 CPUs, and licensing a wide range of state-of-the-art EDA tools.


Are you currently hiring? What type of jobs?


[randy] Yes, we are actively hiring.  Anyone with a background in analog/mixed-signal circuit design willing to relocate to either Atlanta, GA, USA, or Krakow, Poland is encouraged to contact us.


What is your #1 advice for people who want to work for Silicon Creations?


[randy] Work on as many chip developments as possible – especially ones that will likely go to high volume production.  Attend design reviews in your company, and learn as much as possible both about strategies for proper circuit verification, as well as previous design issues and how they can be avoided.


Where can one find more information?


[randy]  For potential customers, please email with any inquiries.  For jobs, please send your resume to



What is the best moment in your day?


[randy] It’s hard to narrow that down!  With so many exciting things going on at Silicon Creations now, it seems every day brings a new best moment.


How do you keep yourself energized and engaged during the day?


[randy] I’m a technology lover and enthusiast, so staying engaged in a job that feels more like a hobby than work is never hard.  However, I do enjoy reading the LinkedIn newsfeed after lunch each day and learning about all the exciting things my colleagues in the industry are working on.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES Introduces Avera Semi, a Wholly Owned Subsidiary to Deliver Custom ASIC Solutions

GLOBALFOUNDRIES today announced the establishment of Avera Semiconductor LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary dedicated to providing custom silicon solutions for a broad range of applications. Avera Semi will leverage deep ties with GF to deliver ASIC offerings on 14/12nm and more mature technologies while providing clients new capabilities and access to alternate foundry processes at 7nm and beyond.


Avera Semi is built upon an unrivaled legacy of ASIC expertise, tapping into a world-class team that has executed more than 2,000 complex designs in its 25-year history. With more than 850 employees, annual revenues in excess of $500 million, and over $3 billion in 14nm designs in execution, Avera Semi is well positioned to serve clients developing products across a wide range of markets, including wired and wireless networking, data centers and storage, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and aerospace and defense.


The new company is led by Kevin O’Buckley, a leader in the ASIC business since joining GF as part of the acquisition of IBM Microelectronics in 2015. Previously, he spent nearly 20 years at IBM in a variety of roles spanning both technical and executive leadership positions.


“I couldn’t imagine a better time to launch a new venture focused on delivering custom ASIC solutions,” O’Buckley said. “Data traffic and bandwidth demands have exploded, and next-generation systems for cloud and communications must deliver more performance and handle more complexity than ever before. Avera Semi has the right combination of expertise and technology to help our clients design and build high-performance, highly optimized semiconductor solutions.”


“Arm has a long history of collaborating with the team building Avera Semi to enhance PPA and bring innovative solutions to market,” said Drew Henry, senior vice president and general manager, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm. “As the needs for compute requirements continue to evolve and diversify, we look forward to joining Avera’s capabilities and technologies with Arm Neoverse solutions and physical design IP to deliver unique value to a broad customer base.”


“Synopsys’ long history of collaboration with GF has enabled us to deliver a broad portfolio of high-quality DesignWare IP on a range of GF processes,” said John Koeter, vice president of marketing for IP at Synopsys. “We look forward to continuing this success with Avera Semi to provide designers with the necessary IP for their next-generation, high-performance SoC designs on advanced FinFET processes.”


Avera Semi offers clients a range of capabilities to enable end-to-end silicon solutions:


  • ASIC offerings on both leading-edge and proven process technologies, including a newly established foundry partnership on 7nm
  • A rich IP portfolio, including high-speed SerDes, high-performance embedded TCAMs, ARM® cores and performance and density-optimized embedded SRAMs
  • A comprehensive, production-proven design methodology that builds on a strong record of first-time-right results to help reduce development costs and time-to-market
  • Advanced packaging options to increase bandwidth, eliminate I/O bottlenecks, and reduce memory area, latency and power
  • Flexible ASIC business engagement models that give clients the ability to supplement in-house resources with the level of support needed from experienced chip design, methodology, test and packaging teams



About Avera Semi

Avera Semi provides application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) semiconductor solutions that deliver system-level differentiation for next-generation networking, data center, machine learning, automotive, and aerospace and defense applications. The company was established in 2018 to provide clients sustained access to leading-edge lithography technologies at 7nm and beyond, while leveraging deep ties with GLOBALFOUNDRIES to deliver ASIC offerings on 14/12nm and older technologies. Avera Semi is a wholly owned subsidiary of GLOBALFOUNDRIES. For more information, visit


About GF

GLOBALFOUNDRIES (GF) is a leading full-service foundry delivering truly differentiated semiconductor technologies for a range of high-growth markets. GF provides a unique combination of design, development, and fabrication services, with a range of innovative IP and feature-rich offerings including FinFET, FDX™, RF, and power/analog mixed signal. With a manufacturing footprint spanning three continents, GF has the flexibility and agility to meet the dynamic needs of clients across the globe. GF is owned by Mubadala Investment Company. For more information, visit