Intel to Build First Overseas 3D Chip Packaging Facility in Malaysia

Intel's ambitious goal to quadruple its advanced chip packaging capacity by 2025, is a move that could redefine its position in the market.

Intel’s Ambitious Plans: Quadrupling Advanced Packaging Capacity and Expanding Overseas

In the fast-paced world of semiconductor technology, Intel is taking bold strides to reshape the industry landscape.

A recent report from Nikkei Asia’s Cheng Ting-Fang sheds light on Intel’s ambitious goal to quadruple its advanced chip packaging capacity by 2025, a move that could redefine its position in the market.

This capacity expansion initiative also includes a groundbreaking development: Intel’s first overseas facility for advanced 3D chip packaging, powered by its innovative Foveros technology.

Intel’s Manufacturing Roadmap

Intel’s determination to reclaim its manufacturing supremacy has led to an aggressive roadmap that aims to launch five new process nodes within a span of four years.

The upcoming Meteor Lake PC chips, slated for release this year, will utilize the Intel 4 process—a pivotal step in Intel’s strategy. The culmination of this journey is the Intel 18A process, projected to be ready by the end of 2024.

This process, boasting a sub-2nm scale, is expected to surpass the capabilities of TSMC, a leader in semiconductor foundry services.

What is Advanced packaging?

Conventional Packaging:

Imagine you’re moving to a new house, and you have a lot of belongings to pack. You gather all your things, put them in boxes, and tape them shut. Each box holds different items, and you label them so you know what’s inside.

This is similar to how computer chips used to be packaged.

In the world of technology, “conventional packaging” refers to the way computer chips were enclosed.

Each chip was placed inside a package, like a tiny box, which helped protect it from the outside world and allowed it to connect to other parts of a device, like a smartphone or computer.

Advanced Packaging: Now, let’s think about a puzzle. Imagine you have different pieces of the puzzle, and each piece has a specific shape and function.

You want to put all these pieces together so that they work perfectly and create a beautiful picture. This is similar to what “advanced packaging” does for computer chips.

In the realm of technology, “advanced packaging” takes different parts of a computer chip, which might do different tasks, and cleverly puts them together like puzzle pieces.

This allows the chip to work better, be more efficient, and do more things. It’s like combining the power of different tools to create a super tool that can do amazing things.

Think of it this way: Conventional packaging is like having friends in different houses, and you need to call them on the phone to work together.

Advanced packaging is like having all your friends in the same room, so you can easily talk and collaborate without any delays.

So, advanced packaging is a smarter and more efficient way of putting computer chips together, making them faster, more powerful, and better at doing complex tasks.

A Paradigm Shift in Packaging

Advanced chip packaging, a domain that was once considered less intricate than chip manufacturing, has gained newfound importance.

It involves the amalgamation of different types of chips into a single package, resulting in heightened computing capability and reduced power consumption.

As the conventional method of packing more transistors into a confined space becomes increasingly challenging, advanced packaging has emerged as a pivotal battleground for producing ever more potent chips.

Read more: Tower Semiconductor to Set Up Fab in India After Intel Deal Collapses?

Intel’s Malaysian Venture

Intel’s vision for expansion is taking shape in Penang, Malaysia. The US chip giant’s plans involve the establishment of its first overseas facility for advanced 3D chip packaging, a testament to the company’s commitment to innovation.

This facility, fueled by Intel’s cutting-edge Foveros technology, marks a significant step in Intel’s journey toward becoming a leader in advanced packaging.

Foreseeing the potential of this venture, Intel is projecting Malaysia to become its largest production base for advanced 3D chip packaging.

This strategic move positions Intel to leverage the burgeoning semiconductor industry in the southeast Asian nation and establish a stronghold in the advanced packaging market.

Investments and Aspirations

To support its expansion plans, Intel is not stopping at one facility. The company is concurrently constructing an additional chip assembly and testing factory in Kulim, as part of its $7 billion expansion initiative in Malaysia.

This multi-faceted approach underscores Intel’s commitment to enhancing its global manufacturing and packaging capabilities.

Intel’s prowess in 3D chip packaging technology was previously concentrated in its US facilities, particularly in Oregon.

However, the company’s recent expansion into Malaysia demonstrates its intent to diversify and solidify its presence on the international stage.

The Industry Landscape

Intel is not alone in recognizing the significance of advanced chip packaging. Other industry giants like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, and Samsung Electronics are also vigorously pursuing advancements in this domain.

The race to achieve more powerful chips has prompted these companies to explore innovative packaging techniques.

Moreover, the surge in generative artificial intelligence (AI) has further amplified the demand for advanced chip packaging.

As AI continues to push the boundaries of computing, the need for more efficient, powerful, and compact chips is paramount.

Intel new strategy

IDM 2.0 stands for Integrated Device Manufacturing 2.0. It is a new strategy announced by Intel in 2021 to regain its dominance in the chipmaking industry.

Under IDM 2.0, Intel will continue to design and manufacture its own chips, but it will also expand its foundry business to manufacture chips for other companies. This will allow Intel to leverage its expertise in chip design and manufacturing to capture a larger share of the global chip market.

Intel is investing heavily in IDM 2.0. The company is building new factories in the United States, Europe, and Israel, and it is also expanding its existing factories. Intel is also investing in new packaging technologies, such as Foveros, that will allow it to create more powerful and efficient chips.

IDM 2.0 is a risky but ambitious strategy. If successful, it will allow Intel to regain its leadership in the chipmaking industry and become a major player in the foundry market.

Here are some of the key features of IDM 2.0:

  • Intel will continue to design and manufacture its own chips, but it will also expand its foundry business to manufacture chips for other companies.
  • Intel will invest heavily in new manufacturing capacity, including new factories in the United States, Europe, and Israel.
  • Intel will invest in new packaging technologies, such as Foveros, that will allow it to create more powerful and efficient chips.
  • Intel will work with customers to develop chips that meet their specific needs.

IDM 2.0 is a major shift for Intel, but it is a necessary one if the company wants to regain its dominance in the chipmaking industry. The global chip shortage has shown the importance of having a secure supply of chips, and IDM 2.0 will help Intel to meet the growing demand for chips in the years to come.

Conclusion

Intel’s ambitious endeavors to quadruple its advanced chip packaging capacity and establish an overseas facility in Malaysia signal a transformative phase for the semiconductor industry.

The convergence of cutting-edge technology, strategic expansion, and the drive to meet evolving market demands positions Intel as a trailblazer in the advanced packaging sector.

As the industry continues to evolve, Intel’s investments pave the way for redefining the possibilities of chip packaging and propelling the semiconductor field into new realms of innovation.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
Articles: 1925