Japanese Firms Set up New Group to Automate IC Backend

Fifteen Japanese companies and organizations have teamed up and formed a new group that aims to make breakthroughs in the semiconductor industry. Moreover, the founding members are from the semiconductor manufacturing, equipment, automated material handling system suppliers, and standards groups.

Specifically, the Semiconductor Assembly Test Automation and Standardization Research Association (SATAS) aims to transform and fully automate packaging, assembly, and testing manufacturing processes.

“The mission of SATAS is to transform and fully automate packaging, assembly, and testing manufacturing processes (or assembly-test process),” SATAS said in a statement.

Diagram of assembly-test process automation pilot line

Semiconductors as Strategic Goods

Moving forward, SATAS will create the technical specifications and open industry standards necessary for assembly-test process automation. Moreover, it will develop and implement equipment tests for the integrated pilot line. Hence, the objective is to commercialize the solution in 2028.

In addition, the new group aims to commercialize SATAS in existing (brownfield) and new (greenfield) factories.

In recent years, semiconductors have earned a reputation as “Strategic Goods”. Particularly, this is true under Japan’s Act on the Promotion of National Security through Integrated Economic Measures. Thus, companies involved in the semiconductor industry need to cooperate and build more resilient supply chains considering various geopolitical risks.

In the coming AI era, the industry expects innovation in advanced packaging technology along with semiconductor process technology. For that reason, there is an urgent need to automate the assembly-test factories for semiconductor manufacturing.

SATAS aims to promote the transformation of conventional semiconductor manufacturing. Furthermore, to realize a more efficient, sustainable, and flexible supply chain by developing, jointly verifying, and standardizing technologies. Specifically, those that are necessary for the automation of assembly-test processes.

Founding Members

The association’s founding members include Intel K.K., OMRON Corporation, Sharp Corporation, Shin-Etsu Polymer Co., Ltd., and Sinfonia Technology Co., Ltd.

SEMI Japan, Daifuku Co., Ltd. Hirata Corporation, FUJI Corporation, and Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc. are also part of the founding members.

SATAS Structure

Meanwhile, completing the list are Miraial Co., Ltd., Murata Machinery Ltd., Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., Resonac Holdings Corporation, and Rorze Corporation.

7 May 2024