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Semiconductor Packaging / Assembly Equipment

Die Attach Equipment Die attach machines or die bonders (Fig. 1) are used to mount or attach the die to the die pad or die cavity of the support structure of the package. A typical die attach machine consists of a system for holding and indexing the leadframes or packages on which the dice will be mounted, a system for dispensing the die attach material on the die pad or die cavity, and a pick and place system for ejecting a die from the wafer, picking it, and positioning it on the dispensed die attach material. Alphasem, ESEC, and K&S are examples of manufacturers of die bonders. See also Die Attach process.

Figure 1. Examples of Die Bonders Wirebonders Wirebond machines or wirebonders are used to connect electrically the die of the device to the leads of the package using very fine wires. A typical wirebonder consists of a system for holding and indexing the leadframes or packages for wirebonding, a system for ensuring that the units are at the right temperature during wirebonding, and a system forconnecting the wires from the die to the bonding fingers of the leadframe or bonding posts of the package. ESEC, ASM, Kaijo, and K&S are examples of manufacturers of wirebonders. See also Wirebond process.

Figure 2. Examples of Wirebonders Molding Equipment A typical molding equipment for encapsulating integrated circuits consists of a preheating chamber, a plunger system, a melting pot, runners, and molding cavities.

The preheating chamber is where the molding compound is preheated prior to being melted. The plunger system forces the preheated molding compound into the melting pot. The melting pot is where the mold compound reaches melting temperature and becomes fluid. The plunger system also forces the fluid molding compound from the melting pot into the runners. These runners serve as canals where the fluid molding compound travels until it reaches the cavities, which contain the leadframes for encapsulation. Sumitomo, Lauffer, and Towa are examples of manufacturers of molding equipment. See also Molding process.

Figure 3. Example of an Automold system Deflash/Trim/Form/Singulation (DTFS) Machines The Deflash (mechanical), Trim, Form, and Singulation of IC packages may be achieved by employing one dedicated machine for each step, or by using one equipment capable of doing all of these steps. Basically, DTFS is a purely mechanical process, so a DTFS machine consists simply of an automated system of punches, blades, strippers, anvils, etc. See also DTFS process.

Figure 4. Example of a Trim/Form/Singulation (TFS) Machine Solder Plating Machines A typical automated solder plating machine used for applying lead finish on semiconductor products has the following components: a large non-corroding frame structure for housing the other parts of the equipment, a system or belt fortransporting the IC's through the various steps of the lead finish process, a channel through which the products pass while being processed, storage tanks for the chemicals used in the plating process, pumps for effecting the flow requirements of the fluid chemicals, an extractor system for extracting all the gases released from the various sections of the equipment, loading and unloading systems, and an elaborate control system that orchestrates the interaction and operation of these various components.

The lead finish process starts with the equipment's loading system, which places the products on the belt. The belt then transports the units through the channel of the machine, which consists of several sections. It is in these sections that products are subjected to specific electrochemical treatments that deposit the necessary metal layers on the leads of the products. Pumps are used to bring the chemicals from the storage tanks to the channel sections and to return the used chemicals to the storage tanks through discharge pipes. Gases are continuously released during the plating process, so anextractor is used to continuously remove these gases. After the products have gone through the entire solder plating flow, the unloading system of the equipment places the products back in their appropriate cassettes or carriers. MECO and Technic are examples of manufacturers of solder plating equipment. See also Lead Finish process.

Figure 5. Example of an Electroplating Machine for Lead Finish

Wirebonding Tools
Wirebonding equipment use bonding tools known as capillaries for thermosonic ball bonding. Capillaries hold and control the bonding wire as well as form bonds from it during the ball bonding process. Capillaries are ceramic axial-symmetric tools with vertical feedholes (holes where the bonding wires are fed) through its center.

Fig. 1. Photo of uninstalled capillaries (left) and an installed capillary (right)

The proper choice of capillary depends on many factors: bond pad size, bond pad pitch, wire diameter and hardness, bond pad metallization, bonder speed and accuracy, loop height, loop length, and package lay-out. Capillary tips may either have a polished finish or a matte finish. Polished tips are specified for applications where bondability is very good. Applications with poor bondability require tips with a matte finish since these have a better coupling with the wire and exhibits better transmission of the ultrasonic energy to the bond.

Fig. 2. Photo of a capillary and the ball bond it formed

Wirebonding equipment use tools known as wedges for ultrasonic wedge bonding. Wedges are usually composed oftitanium carbide or tungsten carbide. They are typically 1/16"/1.585mm in diameter, and range from .437"/11.1mm to 1.225"/31mm long, depending on the type of wedge bonding machine being used.

Fig. 3. Examples of Wedge Bonding Tools

Wedges usually have an entry hole or feedhole at a specified angle from the horizontal, which matches the feed angle of the wire clamp system of the bonder. These feed angles range from 30 degrees to 60 degrees. The wedge hole diameter typically runs about 1.5X-2X the wire diameter being used. Hole-towire ratio may fluctuate slightly due to specific applications, bond loop profiles, or wire material properties.

Fig. 4. Close-up photo of a wedge tip