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 â€świringâ€ť 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 â€śsingulation,â€ť 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 â€śjettedâ€™ 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.