Semiconductor Assembly and Test Services are converting rapidly into a pure outsourcing mode of operation. While today perhaps only 50% of the market is using Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test (OSAT, or SATS) this number is set to increase in the future.
While many of the low-end suppliers are competing on price-driven products the top 4 leaders (ASE, AMKOR, STATS and SPIL) are chasing the big expensive packages that requires large investment and new technologies. In fact, packaging has become gradually as complex and as costly as silicon technology. As the industry is moving to 3D packaging solutions there will be numerous cases where the package cost will be higher than the silicon cost.