Every electronic device — whether it is an integrated circuit, an LED, a MEMS device, a passive component or anything else — must be connected to the outside world at some point and this requires a series of process steps to connect the “wiring” and protect the device, typically in some kind of encapsulant.
Wafers of consisting of hundreds or thousands of Individual components are cut up through a process known as dicing or “singulation,” typically by attaching the wafer to a plastic wafer carrier and cutting them with a high speed saw. Many different types of packaging technologies exist, but individual die are typically placed on a leadframe or flip chip substrate; the die attachment process is known as die bonding. This involves a machine known as a die bonder and an electrically conductive die adhesive
The next step is wire bonding, where a gold or copper wire is bonded to the contact pads on the wafer and an I/O pin on the leadrame (or, in the case of flip chip bonding, a ball bond connects the bonding pad on the chip to the substrate, and an underfill adhesive is “jetted’ in to fill voids).
After the chip is electrically connected to the carrier, it is encapsulated in the familiar black epoxy, or an alternative method of protecting the device.