CHANDLER, Ariz., Feb. 17 -- Amkor Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMKR) said today that it is again increasing production capacity for its MicroLeadFrame® (also known as MLF®) family of semiconductor packages. In an effort to stay ahead of rising industry demand, Amkor plans to increase its MLF® capacity by more than 50% within the next six months.
MicroLeadFrame® is Amkor's version of an IC package with the generic nomenclature of QFN, which stands for "quad, flat-pack, no lead." Amkor's MLF® package is a lead frame-based, near-chip-scale package with an exposed die paddle and leads on the bottom of the package providing excellent thermal and electrical performance. Amkor has MLF® package production at its factories in Korea, the Philippines and Japan, and will be adding capacity at its China factory early in 2004.
Introduced in the late 1990's, Amkor's MicroLeadFrame® package has seen accelerating adoption by IC suppliers as a cost-effective alternative for conventional SOP & QFP packages. Amkor's MLF® package shipments have surged from 50 million units in 2000 to 750 million units in 2003 with strong growth potential for 2004 and beyond. Due to rising adoption of its MLF® package, Amkor has an estimated 60% of the outsourced QFN market.
"About 80% of MicroLeadFrame® packages have been going into wireless applications, but this is already changing as we move into 2004," said Terry W. Davis, director of advanced lead frame packages at Amkor. "Because of its small size, low weight and superior thermal and electrical performance, the conventional application of MLF® packages has been for single-die RF applications. But we are seeing the beginning of a migration from SOIC packages into the QFN format, as MLF® packages branch out into analog, logic and modules," said Davis. "Our success is linked directly to our aggressive technology improvements and intellectual property coverage that have extended MLF® package applications and reduced production costs."
Further optimizing MLF technology
Amkor expects to generate additional manufacturing efficiencies of its MicroLeadFrame® packages by optimizing production lead frame strip densities. In the first quarter of 2004 Amkor will complete development of an innovative ultra high density lead frame (UDLF) "punch" manufacturing process (i.e., packages are separated via a mechanical punch rather than sawing). This production technology will increase the number of packages per lead frame strip by between 40% and 100% depending on package body size.
"Our UDLF initiative will make our MicroLeadFrame® package even more cost competitive with the SOIC, which will accelerate the migration into the MLF® package format," said Davis.
Over the past few years, Amkor has developed several derivative products based on MLF, many of which are covered in Amkor's broad patent portfolio on the technology. In 2004 Amkor engineers will complete qualification of UDLF, introduce thinner smaller packages and continue to work on features that enable increasing levels of integration within the package.
Amkor Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMKR - News) is a leading provider of contract semiconductor assembly and test services. The company offers semiconductor companies and electronics OEMs a complete set of microelectronic design and manufacturing services. More information on Amkor is available from the company's SEC filings and on Amkor's web site: www.amkor.com .
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws, including, without limitation, statements regarding plans to increase MicroLeadFrame® package production capacity; growth potential for package shipments for 2004 and beyond; plans to develop and qualify an ultra high density lead frame punch manufacturing process that can increase the number of packages per lead frame strip by between 40% and 100%; and our assertions that our MicroLeadFrame® package will be even more cost competitive with the SOIC package and that this will accelerate migration into the MicroLeadFrame® package format. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from historical and expected results, including, but not limited to, the following: the incurrence of costs and expenses necessary to expand production capacity; the ability to successfully develop and qualify the UDLF manufacturing process; the highly unpredictable nature of the semiconductor industry; volatility of consumer demand for products incorporating our semiconductor packages; deterioration of the U.S. or other economies; competitive pricing and declines in average selling prices of our products; and technological challenges. Further information on risk factors that could affect the outcome of the events set forth in these statements and that could affect our operating results and financial condition is detailed in the Amkor's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2002 and the Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2003.
MicroLeadFrame and MLF are registered trademarks of Amkor Technology, Inc.
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