A Look at IMAPS


There are just so many tradeshows that you can attend each year, but if you have to choose just a few for back-end assembly, SEMICON West and IMAPS should be high on your list. Why those two in particular? SEMICON has such a wide draw - now that front- and back-end are both at the same place this year and the technologies and processes overlap a bit, attendees can broaden their knowledge. Why IMAPS? With IMAPS, one tends to deepen back-end packaging assembly and materials knowledge. Here’s where you can focus and develop resources for handling the daily challenges.

This year’s IMAPS is in Philadelphia on September 25 - 29. C. Scott Kulicke, president and CEO of Kulicke & Soffa Industries, Inc. gives a keynote presentation on Tuesday. I never miss a press luncheon or a keynote where Kulicke presides. He’s a leader who speaks his mind directly - a refreshing change. As a leading supplier of wire-bonding and assembly equipment, the company is at the heart of interconnect products. K&S has reassessed, reorganized, and reinvented itself over the years, investing in R&D. In Advanced Packaging’s Advanced Packaging Awards for 2005, K&S won an award in the Semiconductor Assembly & Test Services category for the company’s creative Quatrix product. This quality of adjusting to changing industry conditions and applying creativity to how new products should work has made K&S successful.

R. Wayne Johnson of Auburn University, who serves on the Advisory Board for Advanced Packaging, will talk on Sunday, teaching “Flip Chip and CSP Technologies - Constructions, Materials, Assembly, and Reliability.” The increasing number of I/Os per semiconductor chip, combined with product-driven requirements of thinner, lighter-weight, and smaller demands have lead the electronics packaging and assembly industry to chip scale packages and flip chips. Johnson will talk about flip chip in package (FCiP) and flip chip on laminate (FCoL), talking about options, their construction, and trade-offs. He will cover flux selection for flip chip, solder-paste printing for CSPs, underfilling, and inspection. If you have ever taken one of Johnson’s courses, you know that he has an entertaining way of imparting knowledge that makes the information practical as well as interesting.

The lead-free conversion is another professional development course that one shouldn’t miss. Taught by a sister publication’s board member, Ray Prasad, this will focus on the status of legislation banning lead around the world and how to meet the demands of the WEEE and RoHS directives. Most lead-free solders have higher melting points than current tin-lead solders, thus posing a challenge for all board assembly processes, including rework. Prasad will delve into manufacturing conversion strategies for successful lead-free implementation.

The technical sessions at this year’s IMAPS should provide lots of information. And of course, there’s the golf tournament if you need an additional challenge.

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Gail Flower