Apple is rumored to adopt Fan-Out Wafer Level Packaging for the 2017 iPhone.
The iPhone 7 is reportedly adopting FoWLP (Fan-Out Wafer Level Package) chips. Fan-out Wafer Level Packaging (FoWLP) is replacing Printed Circuit Boards (PCB). FoWLP allows Apple to make the iPhone thinner and improve energy efficiency.
As reported last month, Apple has decided to adopt FoWLP in the iPhone 7. The only supplier of the FoWLP A10 chip is reportedly TSMC. A new report out of South Korea says that Samsung is ramping up FoWLP efforts to challenge TSMC for Apple chip orders in 2017 for the 10th anniversary iPhone.
FoWLP is a difficult technology and TSMC leads the industry with a 50 to 60% yield rate. There is a lot of room for improvement. Samsung would need to match TSMC's yield rate to get the attention from Apple.
Korea Times asked Samsung for comment on the FoWLP plans. A Samsung official said, "We cannot unveil details over when Samsung is going to mass-produce chips with the technology."
According to the report, Hana Financial expects Samsung to start mass-producing FoWLP chips in the first half of 2017. The research company says that FoWLP allows Apple to make the iPhone about 0.3mm thinner and improve general efficiency by more than 30%.
The efficiency gain is substantial, which is good news for the iPhone 7 battery life.
Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 7 in September. Read the latest iPhone news and rumors.
About FoWLP Technology
FoWLP is an extension of standard wafer-level packages (WLPs) which enables the chip packaging already on the silicon wafer. According to SPTS Tech Insight, Fan-out WLP (FoWLP) takes individual die and embeds them in a low cost material such as epoxy mold compound (EMC) with space allocated between each die for additional I/O connection points, avoiding the use of relatively expensive Si real estate to accommodate a high I/O count.