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Challenges in RFID Tag Bonding and Packaging
Keywords: RFID, Tag Bonding , Packaging
With the promising prospects of the coming era of internet of things, passive RFID technology is expected to prevail into every aspect of people's daily life. From grocery products, toys, to medicine and wines, everything tagged with RFID label will be wirelessly identifiable and tractable. Passive RFID tag is a wireless transponder, i.e., a battery-less device that can backscatter and modulate the incoming interrogator (called a reader) signals while harvesting the energy from the electromagnetic field. It consists of three components, the silicon chip, the antenna as well as the packaging and substrate materials. Cost is the most critical factor that determines the scale of RFID deployment, obviously the tag cost has to be substantially insignificant compared to the cost of the product it attaches on. Among all the components that make up the total RFID BOM cost, the cost of packaging, i.e., attaching the silicon chip to the antenna, is still the most significant one. In most cases, packaging contributes to one third of the total tag BOM cost. Compared with traditional silicon packaging and bonding techniques, RFID tag bonding and packaging has its own uniqueness, 1) The antenna is made of a large variety of conducting materials, from copper, aluminum, to conductive inks. 2) The substrate is also made of materials that are quite different in nature, from materials like PET, paper, FR4-PCB board, to even more exotic materials like ceramic, cloth fabrics, etc. 3) The chip size is quite small compared with most common silicon chips, around 500um~ 700um (or even smaller with advanced silicon process) in dimension with four pads on the corners, and one single 8-inch wafer generally contains 50K or 80K dies (or even more). Most of all, the RFID tag bonding and packaging techniques have to be low cost, and feasible and reliable for mass production, because any cost increase will decrease the scale in RFID mass deployment. In this paper, we will discuss the major challenges that RFID bonding and packaging procedures have encountered, and we will propose solutions that have already been applied in today's RFID industry. Furthermore, we will explore the new advances in IC packaging industry that can be applied into RFID manufacture flow.
Shufang Li, Professor
Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications
Beijing 100876,

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