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Taiwan IC substrate makers see promising demand for SiP, AiP designs

Taiwan-based IC substrate makers are generally cautious about expanding BT-based substrate capacity. Nevertheless, with demand for SiP (system-in-package) and AiP (antenna-in-package) designs set to boom, the companies are looking to expand capacity for high-end BT-based substrates in 2021, according to industry sources.

Nan Ya PCB and Kinsus Interconnect Technology both plan to expand BT-based substrate capacity by about 10% this year, with the additional capacity mainly for SiP, AiP and other specialty technology products, the sources indicated.

Unimicron Technology will be relatively conservative, the sources continued, with plans to only allocate production lines for substrates that are in high demand, the sources said. Unimicron's supply of ABF-based substrates is far tighter than that of BT substrates, the sources continued.

The global BT substrate supply is less tight than the supply of ABF substrates due to more suppliers, the sources noted. The ABF substrate market has a high entry barrier while the BT substrate segment allows easier entry for newcomers.

Nevertheless, demand for SiP and AiP products is expected to grow robustly starting 2021, which may result in a tighter supply of high-end BT substrates, the sources said. Newcomers in the BT substrate market, mainly China-based companies, focus on the entry-level segment.