The technology needs of the IC packaging industry are becoming more sophisticated, and technological innovation is critical to ASE's corporate sustainability. Over the years, ASEH has invested heavily in resources and research funding to maintain our semiconductor technology leadership. We collaborate with top universities on various research and development projects that help strengthen semiconductor technologies through the synergistic relationship between industry and academia. The talent cultivation and the rising academic capabilities through the collaboration have enabled the entire semiconductor industry to thrive.
ASEH has created key programs like "academia cooperation and corporate internship", "academic research collaboration", and "scholarships" to leverage on the expertise from these academic resources. In 2019, ASEH continued its collaborations with local schools, contributing over US$1.53million, including US$1.23 million towards 38 technology research collaborations and US$0.13 million for scholarships. We also recruited 1,183 interns and enrolled 230 students in the semiconductor master's degree program. Nearly 50 schools and research institutions in Taiwan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, etc. were involved in these collaborations.
2019 Accomplishments of Industry-Academia Collaboration Programs
- Cooperative education and internships
- Academic research collaborations
- ASE Industry-Academia Career Development Project/ Employment Orientation Project
- Semiconductor Assembly and Manufacturing Education Program
- ASE Internship and Company Visits
- Artificial Intelligence Colleges
- Semiconductor Assembly Technology Research Projects
- Manufacturing Automation Research Projects
- Advanced Semiconductor Materials R&D Projects
- University Students
- Academic Institutions and Research Institutes
- Semiconductor Industry
- Improving Career Prospects and Competitiveness of Students
- Improving Academic R&D Capabilities
- Cultivating Talented Personnel for the Semiconductor Industry
Industry 4.0-Smart, Automated Manufacturing
Smart manufacturing is a vital part of ASEH’s operation roadmap, and since 2015 its Kaohsiung facility has collaborated with southern Taiwan universities on automation technology research.
To date, 29 projects focusing on four key aspects were developed; smart manufacturing, intelligent classification of equipment failure, manufacturing yield improvements, and IT security asset identification. To optimize manufacturing efficiency, ASEH’s Intelligent Classification Algorithm for Failure Diagnosis in Semiconductor Equipment applies supervised and unsupervised machine learning, to accurately identify reasons for equipment failure and carry out predictive maintenance. The Virtual Metrology System predicts the properties of a wafer at different steps of the manufacturing process, allowing for full instant quality inspection across the production lines. AI technology is extensively used in areas such as manual secondary inspections, eg. automatic image analysis through scanning acoustic tomography (SAT) and AI image recognition to detect defects, to greatly reduce the inspection time and manpower needed.
We have also drawn up a comprehensive career path framework to drive the training of expertise for smart manufacturing. Since 2016, we have invested NT 26 million on AI industry-academia collaborations and designing a training module for grooming AI talents. To inject momentum into AI innovation and boost talent development, ASEH is actively training employees to prepare for digital transformation, while at the same time, connecting students with the industry so that they have opportunities to apply what they learn in school.
Semiconductor Packaging Technology Research
14 research papers were presented at the 7th ASE Packaging Technology Industry-Academia Conference, with research on advanced manufacturing processes and material analysis showing promising results. Using moldflow analysis optimized with a neural network, ASEH’s engineers are now able to predict the risk of wire sweep in the molding process, which helps to shorten the time-to-market for new products. Research in molding materials has also led to the development of a new type of molding material that optimizes Micro-LED packaging, raising the value-add of manufacturing processes and driving futher innovation in IC packaging. For high-end products that require large bandwidth and high power performance, signal integrity analysis is performed on the molding structure to optimize circuit design and mitigate crosstalk, thereby boosting the quality of high-speed digital signal transmissions.
Driven by future advanced manufacturing needs, our R&D industry-academia team has co-developed the ‘high optical attenuation slim protection material’, a novel high performance protective material that is ultra thin and increases the reflection/refraction of light to achieve a shielding rate of over 99%, making it highly suitable for compact optical IC applications.