LONDON The semiconductor assembly and test services (SATS) market is expected to beat the overall semiconductor industry growth rate for this year, increasing revenues by 4.1 percent compared to 2007, according to market research group Gartner Inc.
Gartner bases part of its optimistic forecast on the back of reports that over the past few months, two companies announced plans to begin production in 2008 and 2009. One company in Japan began production during the first quarter of 2008.
During the first quarter of 2008, SATS revenue was up 7.9 percent compared with the corresponding period of 2007. By 2009, SATS sales growth should grow to double digits, says Gartner.
The growth will be fueled by both more integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) and OEMs outsourcing their manufacturing.
The analysts also stress the SATS industry will gradually move to more-advanced packaging technologies, such as waferlevel packaging (WLP), flip-chip, system-in-package (SiP) and 3-D stacked die/packages.
Gartner identifies Panasonic Semiconductor Suzhou, China, an IDM, and Powertech Technology, China, as the companies that have indicated expansion of their SATS activities, and Origin Electric Japan as the group that has commenced test and assembly during the second quarter.
The researchers also note there are currently 18 planned facilities, of which 16 are located in the Asia/Pacific region. One is in Japan (Nichia), and one in France (STMicroelectronics).
Within Asia/Pacific, six are in China, (Qimonda, STM, Samsung, ACE Semiconductor (Shanghai), Panasonic Semiconductor Suzhou and Powertech Technology).
Others include plants in India (SemIndia, Tessolve); Malaysia (Qimonda, Fuji Electric, Pac Tech); Philippines (Texas Instruments); Taiwan (Formosa Advanced Technologies, XinTec); and Vietnam (Intel, V-Caps).