Your Vote Matters


Advanced packaging is a dynamic sector of the semiconductor device manufacturing realm, as evidenced in the breadth of back-end and final assembly-and-test products on display at this year’s SEMICON West exhibition, held July 16-19 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. In conjunction with sister publication Solid State Technology, the Attendee’s Choice Awards recognize products at the show as best solution to a problem, most innovative, and best cost-of-ownership in front-end and final-assembly technologies.

In 2007, influenced by the MEMS revolution and the final frontier of vertical space, semiconductor assembly companies focused on new interconnects - flip chip bonders, wedge and ball wire bonders, and more methods used to create reliable, miniature, dense, and high-performance advanced packages. The BONDJET BJ920 heavy wire bonder from Hesse & Knipps integrates pull and shear testing into the bond head for high speed and accuracy. Orthodyne’s 7200Plus automatic dual-head wedge bonder gives users active bond-loop control. SUSS MicroTec and Panasonic Factory Solutions are each introducing precision bonders for flip chips and other devices that offer laboratory qualities along with automation features. Kulicke & Soffa’s CuPRAplus copper capillary enables wire bonding with fine copper wire, and the wedge emulator capability on Palomar’s Model 8000 produces wedge-type bonds with a ball-bonder machine. Dage’s next-generation cold bump pull bond tester replicates drop testing, accelerates test times, and meets JEDEC’s updated test standards. Each tool offers higher accuracy, higher speed, and more controls than previous generations.

More equipment and technology was introduced to answer the industry’s need for test, processing, packaging, and inspection at the wafer level. ProductionLine Testers exhibits the PLT1000, a high-speed wafer and packaged-IC tester; FormFactor’s PH150XP wafer probe tests smaller-sized, smaller-density DRAM devices; the WS-3800 from RVSI detects wafer-surface defects with a combination of 2D, 3D, and custom-lighting inspection tools. Tessera’s SHELLCASE RT demonstrates packaging benefits at the wafer level, providing a wafer-level chip-scale encapsulation solution for higher integration using existing processes.

Alongside new equipment, SEMICON West highlights materials improvements - from fluxes to solder pastes to cleaning chemistries. Microbond Gecko from Umicore is a conductive, lead-free adhesive that targets high-power applications typically requiring high-lead solders. Indium’s WS3600 ball-attach flux enhances wetting on a variety of surfaces and is designed to avoid corrosion on UBMs. BD solder balls from Heraeus can be dipped in solder pre-placement, replacing the flux-and-drop process of BGA ball attach. Chemicals are getting more environmentally friendly each year, as evidenced by Kyzen’s MICRONOX MX2628, which can remove lead-free fluxes and other contaminants while still maintaining low-VOCs, no CFCs or HAPs, and biodegradability.

As back-end processes move closer to the front-end and dice are stacked, bonded, flipped, and encapsulated in a multitude of new ways for new tasks and new products, the advanced packaging industry experiences dynamic shifts in equipment and material requirements, capabilities, and forms. On July 17 and 18, you’ll have the chance to evaluate the latest industry offering and cast your vote. Be sure to pick up a copy of the ACA Directory for this year’s qualifying entries. The awards will be presented on the exhibition floor on July 19.