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Customized IC sockets in hot demand for SiP, SLT applications

Demand for highly-customized IC sockets will sustain growth momentum in 2021 along with increasing application of SiP (system in package) technology to heterogeneous chips integration, according to industry sources.

SiP technology is being massively adopted to process wireless RF, automotive chips and power modules as well as diverse sophisticated 5G, AI and HPC chips solutions, the sources said, stressing that system level test (SLT) and final test for such ships are gaining importance especially now that heterogeneous chips integration has become a firm trend.

As coaxial sockets can effectively reduce mutual digital signal interferences among heterogeneous chips, such sockets are being increasingly applied to test high-end CPU, GPU, AI and HPC chips during the integration process, the sources noted.

Among Taiwan's suppliers of IC test interface solutions, WinWay Technology is a specialist in coaxial sockets, ready to embrace bright shipment prospects for such sockets in 2021.

Demand for burn-in sockets is also expected to grow robustly in 2021 thanks to the increasing penetration of Wi-Fi 6/E devices, strong sales of 5G handsets and rebound in demand for automotive chips. This will significantly benefit WinWay, Keystone Microteck, and other IC test interface specialists as well as dedicated testing house King Yuan Electronics, the sources continued.

At the moment, US-based Cohu is the world's top vendor of IC sockets, but its price competitiveness is being challenged by Taiwan's WinWay and Korea's Leeno, the sources said.

WinWay has many first-tier IC designers, foundry houses, and backend specialists among its clients, the sources said. The company will start trading on Taiwan Stock Exchange on January 20.