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Update: Analysts fear shortage of key resin

3/17/2011 06:47 PM EDT
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Duane Benson
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re: Update: Analysts fear shortage of key resin
Duane Benson   3/21/2011 5:21:19 PM
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It's a bit ironic that even as the various economies around the globe spread their dependence wider, consolidation, is making the global economy more vulnerable to specific incidents. In this case, most of the supply of BT, much of the supply of silicon wafers and perhaps other items as well. In the U.S., contamination in one meat packing plant can disrupt hamburger supply in 1/4 of the nation because of consolidation, for example. As chip fab infrastructure gets more and more expensive, we are seeing more consolidation there and the world is becoming more vulnerable to the fortunes of single companies. Economy of scale can help keep costs and therefore price down, to a point. After that, all it does is centralize vulnerability, and reduce competition, which can increase price and reduce quality. Maybe it's time to bust up some more monopolies. Or, perhaps, use international standards groups to discourage over consolidation.

daleste
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re: Update: Analysts fear shortage of key resin
daleste   3/19/2011 7:06:31 PM
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Bob, the problem with changing materials or even suppliers is that the semi company has to requal before they can ship production with these new materials. The qual requires a 1000 hour burn in which is the long pole. Just to start, they have to acquire the new materials, assemble the product then start the burn in. Since the burn in takes 6 weeks, the whole process usually takes about 3 months if nothing goes wrong. If the qual fails, you start over with another material. You can run more than one at a time to mitigate risk. With the just in time mentality, I doubt there is enough in the pipe to last the 3 months, so there will be shortages. Note that this material only effects the chips that use a laminated substrate like BGA packages.

Bob Lacovara
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re: Update: Analysts fear shortage of key resin
Bob Lacovara   3/18/2011 7:36:08 PM
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BT production seems to be threatened. But: how much is sitting around in stock at chip and pcb makers' houses, measured in days and weeks supplies? And, for that matter, how hard is it for a DuPont factory to stop making epoxy A and start making epoxy BT? I am not suggesting that people get into profiteering on the back of Japan's disaster, but there can be other sources of supply. I don't know what special problems attend BT production, but if demand rises far enough, someone may be able to step in and backfill. Not to mention that there are likely to be substitutes for BT that will suffice until Mitsubishi has its operation on line again, and the Japanese infrastructure gets clear of the present horrors so that materials can move.

docdivakar
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re: Update: Analysts fear shortage of key resin
docdivakar   3/18/2011 6:34:57 PM
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I have used BT substrates (common for many multichip packages using BGA & LGA) in many projects that were sourced from China & Taiwan. I do not know the exact % of Japan's share in this market but there are many vendors in the world that can fill the gap. Japan's include Mitsubishi Gas and Chemical, Hitachi Chemical, Sumitomo Bakelite, Nippon CMK, etc. More than the loss of one country's (Japan's) source of BT, I suspect the supply chain logistics & disruption as the main reason for the predicted shortage of BT. I believe it will take some time for other countries to step up the production and also to get setup in the supply chain. The QA departments will need to speed up vendor audits and placing qualified ones on the approved vendor lists (AVL). Japanese companies have a long reputation of good quality component sources, so the alternates will have to match that. The above was also posted at: http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4214171/Supply-chain--too-lean--too-mean--too-late-now Dr. MP Divakar

chipmonk0
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re: Update: Analysts fear shortage of key resin
chipmonk0   3/18/2011 6:13:46 PM
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Did n't realize that 12 years after we first started using BT resin in volume for critical chips there is still just one factory making it for the whole world. Oops !! Over the years the use of BT resin in chips has easily grown 20x. It is the preferred material to form the core layer in substrates for Flip Chip. Nearly a billion chips ( CPUs, GPUs, ASICs,.. ) a year are packaged as flip chips to get the highest performance ( speed ) in high end systems like servers all the way down to desktops / smart phones. Not using BT resin in the substrate core will reduce the service life of these chips. Perhaps the time has finally come for the industry to transition to CORELESS substrates that has been developed recently.

the_floating_ gate
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re: Update: Analysts fear shortage of key resin
the_floating_ gate   3/18/2011 3:41:32 AM
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Hey Mountain View on 101 - " reduced supply of silicon could make the BT shortage a mute point—if companies can't get enough wafers, they won't need as much BT. " Brilliant - sound like common sense

the_floating_ gate
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re: Update: Analysts fear shortage of key resin
the_floating_ gate   3/18/2011 3:17:40 AM
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Berger said a shortage of BT would most impact programmable logic vendors Xilinx Inc. and Altera Corp., as well as Qualcomm Inc. Please explain why - why not Intel? According to Nomura, not all of the world's integrated circuits use BT, but the resin is used extensively in mobile phone chipsets. Please explain why - why not Intel?

junko.yoshida
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re: Update: Analysts fear shortage of key resin
junko.yoshida   3/18/2011 3:08:22 AM
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Thanks for your correction. We apologize.

MtnView101
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re: Update: Analysts fear shortage of key resin
MtnView101   3/18/2011 2:45:36 AM
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It's 'Moot' not 'Mute'. The decline of the English language continues. " reduced supply of silicon could make the BT shortage a mute point—if companies can't get enough wafers, they won't need as much BT. "

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