The Global Semiconductor Industry - Entering a Period of Robust Growth
Around the world, the drum of technology is beating loudest and the semiconductor industry is taking centre stage. Although it has had its fair share of setbacks, the semi-conductor industry has proven to be indispensable to the modern world.
Semiconductors are used in the manufacture of various electronic gadgets including transistors, diodes, and integrated circuits. Virtually, every electronic sector makes use of a semiconductor.
Across multiple end markets, the absence of a single chip, often costing less than a dollar, can stop the sale of a device worth thousands of dollars.
In the wireless industry, a smartphone could also experience an expansion due to the developments of 5G.
Moreover, most automobiles contain semiconductors. Additionally, the demand for network servers will lead to about five to six per cent of the growth in the computation and data storage market.
To meet the high demands of the market, a fast and reliable semiconductor manufacturing method should be employed. Due to the increase in the complexity of the board, manual inspection has become a less viable option.
This scenario motivated many semiconductor manufacturers on the market to adopt the AOI SOLUTION to ensure production efficiency.
Identifying Defects in Semiconductors
One of the major breakthroughs in the manufacturing industries is identifying a defect in semiconductors via Automated Optical Inspection.
AOI is an important tool in electronics test strategy that helps engineers provide operational efficiencies in any chip. The purpose of Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) is to improve the detection and recognition of manufacturing defects.
AOI detects a fault in electronics at the production stage while ensuring costs are kept low, thereby allowing a problem to be recognized and solved so that other boards are not built on it.
The Automated Optical Inspection Machine (AOI machines) is used to perform vision inspection automatically. Thanks to its versatility, it can work on any device and it is useful in the detection of quality failures.
It has been proven that AOI machines reduce overall production costs and increase efficiency, thanks to their exceptional detecting capability.
Wondering How Automated Optical Inspection Work?
As an automated machine, the AOI system will first learn what good solder joints look like, the orientations on the board, its correct component values as well as locations. Next, the AOI system records this information in its database.
So, when it is introduced into a new project, the system will compare the images of how a board should look and how it is presently. If it detects any inconsistencies, the AOI system will alert the operator immediately.
Moreover, AOI systems can be “tuned” to work with alternative parts as well.
We are Entering a Period of Robust Growth
In recent times, the semiconductor market has experienced a massive increase in sales. In 2021, 1.15 trillion semiconductors were sold, with wireless communications, automotive, and the Internet of Things topping the semiconductor company list.
According to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), global chip sales hit a record in 2021 at $535.9 billion, up to 26 per cent on the year, and is forecasted to grow about 8.8% in 2022 as the demand for chips increases and chipmakers continue to build factories to meet demands.
It is predicted that about 70% of the growth will be driven by the automotive industry, the computation and data storage industry, and the wireless industry.
In the year 2030, the cost of semiconductors in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) for a level-four car could escalate to a whopping $4,000 compared with $500 for an SAE level-one car powered by an internal combustion engine.
It is predicted that the automobile industry will expand over the coming years—likely by more than 20 per cent.
The future of the semiconductor industry looks bright and is set for a major development regardless of its present situation. We expect the transformation and growth within the industry to continue booming in a long term.
Of course, the right strategies need to be implemented to ensure smooth operation. That being said, the semiconductor industry needs to implement strategies like supply chain flexibility, talent development and retention, as well as automated vision inspection for quality control.