Mounter Companies Enter Chip Manufacturing Equipment Market
Through M&A and partnership, mounter makers integrate their technologies with bonder manufacturers and release turnkey solutions.

ounter manufacturers have begun to foray into the semiconductor field. Through mergers and acquisition, they are making bonder manufacturers as their subsidiaries, thus expanding their businesses through vertical startup.

Semiconductor back-end process (assembly process) and electronic components mounting process have been becoming increasingly seamless. For example, wafer-level packages (WLPs) are chip-size packages (CSPs) that are processed in wafer level throughout the final process of packaging, using surface mounters for the mounting of WLPs. Mounting of bare dies is also carried out by using flip chip bonders, applying mounter technology.

M&A of Die Bonder Manufacturers

FUJI Corporation acquired Fasford Technology Co., Ltd. (FFT), a semiconductor manufacturing equipment manufacturer based in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, in an all-share transaction valued at ¥21.8 billion, and made it a subsidiary in Aug. 2018. FFT has a high market share for die bonding equipment used in the assembly process of memory devices, such as DRAMs and NANDs.

Mounter manufacturers have begun to enter the semiconductor manufacturing equipment field.
Photo 1: Mounter manufacturers have begun to enter the semiconductor manufacturing equipment field.

By combining FUJI’s original technologies nurtured in the production of electronic components mounting robots and FFT’s semiconductor-related technologies, it endeavors to develop products that would create new values in the new business domain straddling the two fields.

Nobuyuki Soga, President and Chief Executive Officer of FUJI, says, “In recent years, the merger of technologies in the semiconductor assembly process and electronic components mounting process has been occurring, and this would lead to the strengthening of solutions for electronic components mounting and modularization of electronic components required by customers.”

Becomes Turnkey Provider

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. has set up a joint holding company with SHINKAWA LTD. on bonding equipment and with APIC YAMADA CORPORATION on package encapsulation equipment to integrate the businesses of the three companies. Through this business integration, Yamaha Motor can provide processes from semiconductor back-end processing to electronic components surface mounting as turnkey solution.

Toshizumi Kato, Managing Executive Officer and Director of Yamaha Motor, says, “In the industrial machinery and robot industry, customers’ requirements for the inter-process linkage between semiconductor back-end processing equipment and our company’s mainstay mounters have been increasing. Our company needs to achieve technological integration with manufacturers of semiconductor back-end process and provide total solution for customers for the future growth of the company.”

Semiconductor manufacturing back-end and electronic components mounting processes have been becoming increasingly seamless.
Photo 2: Semiconductor manufacturing back-end and electronic components mounting processes have been becoming increasingly seamless.
Expands Market Together with Partners

Tokyo Weld Co., Ltd. has entered the semiconductor back-end processing field by applying visual inspection technology for electronic components, and commercialized a test handler. The company expands solution offerings in partnership with related companies.

Koji Takahashi, Chief Technical Officer of Tokyo Weld, says, “We have developed a platform for semiconductor inspection system with a new concept building upon technologies and know-how for components inspection systems, including components transfer mechanism and image processing. From now on, we will expand our business in the semiconductor manufacturing back-end processing field. We would like to cultivate markets in partnership with related companies.”

At present, Tokyo Weld is in partnership with National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Advantest Corporation (measurement systems), and other companies.

Panasonic Smart Factory Solutions Co., Ltd., in charge of the mounter business at Panasonic Corporation, has entered the semiconductor field. Subsequently, it initiated the market release of device bonders (die bonders), plasma dicers (plasma etching equipment for dicing wafers), dry etching equipment for microfabrication of semiconductors and electronic devices, and flip chip bonders.