TJ Green Associates, LLC
:: Corporate Member News ::

:: Panasonic Factory Solutions Company of America Wins 2009 Global Technology Award (full story)

:: Dyconex Develops New Multilayer Cavity LCP Package Substrate Technology for High Frequency Applications (full story)

:: Pressurex® from Sensor Products, Inc., Remedying Undetected Pressure Variations in Flip Chip Assembly (full story)

AI Technology

:: Corporate Fast Links ::

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Sensor Products Inc.
Sikama International
Williams Advanced Materials

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Panasonic Factory Solutions Company of America Wins 2009 Global Technology Award

Panasonic Factory Solutions Company of America has been awarded a 2009 Global Technology Award for its NPM (Next Production Modular) electronics assembly platform in the category of Pick and Place – High-Volume Equipment. The award was accepted at a ceremony during Productronica at the New Munich Trade Fair Center in Munich, Germany.

Panasonic’s NPM (Next Production Modular) platform integrates screen printing, dispensing, placement, and AOI into one configurable platform. Production can be scaled to exact factory needs with heads and functions changing as production requires. Productivity is maximized through two plug-and-play heads with no pairing limits working on both stages of the dual lane. This allows two different boards or different sides of the same board to run using both sides of the machine’s feeders and balancing the top and bottom of a board with large part discrepancies. Lean manufacturing is supported with quick changeover (SMED) while single button exchange carts and quick release nozzle stockers are ideal for high-mix needs.

Panasonic Factory Solutions Company of America President Tom Gebhardt commented, “We’re proud to be recognized for the true all-in-one capabilities of the NPM. We’ve built upon the technologies of our popular CM equipment series minimizing capital investment, floor space and spare part inventory expenses while providing a scalable and customizable solution for varying production and market requirements. This is the third time Panasonic has won a Global Technology Award and it’s a testament to our continuous dedication to bringing new products and services to market to maximize our customers’ productivity.”

The Global Technology Awards program is designed to honor the best innovations for electronics surface mount manufacturing products and services introduced in the last year. Entrants were judged by a panel of industry experts on innovation, speed/throughput improvements, quality contribution, cost benefits, environmental consideration, ease of use/implementation, and maintainability/repairability. Panasonic Factory Solutions Company of America won the 2005 Global Technology Award in Pick and Place Systems and the 2007 Global Technology Award in Contract Services in addition to this year’s award.
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Dyconex Develops New Multilayer Cavity LCP Package Substrate Technology for High Frequency Applications

Substrates for high frequency SiP and MCM packages are not only subject to form factor requirements; they must also provide superior RF properties in combination with good heat diffusion and controllable thermal expansion.  By combining the latest multilayer LCP fine-line substrate technology with a targeted use of laser cavities and metallic heat-sinks, DYCONEX has achieved an optimized interconnect design that accomplishes all of these desired performance characteristics.

Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) substrates demonstrate superior performance across a wide range of the RF spectrum, and remain stable even under harsh environmental conditions such as extreme temperature and humidity. To make best use of LCP’s material and electrical properties, it is advantageous to have the signal traces guided through an inner layer with shielding above and below. Laser-generated cavities then allow for direct access to these inner layers, and thus circumvent the need for microvia interconnect. This combination ensures ideal signal integrity from the die to the next packaging level.

Since high frequency semiconductors are often high power devices as well, the heat generated by these devices during operation has to be dissipated effectively. To achieve this purpose, DYCONEX has combined LCP substrates with various forms of metallic carriers. An opening in the substrate allows a direct attachment of the die on to the carrier. Subsequently, small wire wedge-wedge bonding is utilized to interconnect.

The thermal expansion factor of the entire package is primarily controlled by the metallic carrier due to its higher stiffness.  This reduces the thermal mismatch of the die to the substrate and consequently improves the RF packages reliability.

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Pressurex® from Sensor Products, Inc., Remedying Undetected Pressure Variations in Flip Chip Assembly a

Flip chip assembly electrically connects a face-down chip to a circuit board or substrate by microscopic conducting “bumps” of solder or pure metals. Accurate control of chip placement pressure and chip-to-substrate coplanarity is essential. Undetected pressure variations are a hidden cause of poor connections and non-coplanarity, reducing bonding yields and device performance.   These pressure variations can be revealed and remedied by using pressure-indicating sensor film.

There is a need for sensor film because there is no provision in flip chip bonders for measuring the pressure or the uniformity of that pressure across the die or bonding tool.  Flip chip bonders usually depend upon a force preset in the machine which is not capable of measuring pressures variations across the die.  Some top-of-the line bonders provide laser measurements or optical autocollimator measurements of coplanarity as expensive options.  Pressure-indicating sensor film provides a more convenient, accurate, repeatable, and lower cost control for both bonding and coplanarity.

Pressurex® from Sensor Products, Inc., is a thin flexible sensor film that reveals pressures from 2 - 43,200 PSI (0.14 - 3,000 kg/cm2).  When placed between the contacting surfaces of a flip chip bonder, it instantaneously and permanently changes color directly proportional to the amount of pressure applied.  The precise pressure magnitude and distribution is then easily determined by comparing color variation results to a color correlation chart (conceptually similar to interpreting Litmus paper).

The following is a discussion of why measuring contact pressure is important in flip chip bonding

Common Assembly Problems with Pressure in Flip Chip Bonding

  • Thermocompression bonding is used in both ordinary chip mounting and in 3-D die-on-wafer assembly.  .Thermocompression flip chip bonding requires high temperatures and pressures up to 475°C with 200 Newtons per square millimeter of contact surface. In each case, the coplanarity of die and substrate and the uniform distribution of pressure are essential to thermocompression yield and performance
  • Non-conductive adhesive bonding pre-dispenses an adhesive on the substrate, and then applies pressure to squeeze out the adhesive from between the conducting bumps and the substrate bond pads to form metal-to-metal connections.  The connection is maintained by curing the adhesive that fills the remaining space. Too little squeeze-out pressure on the die risks poor connections.   Too much pressure squeezes adhesive out the sides and may cause die cracking. 
  • Indium bonding is used in flip-chip assembly of large image sensor die that have thousands or tens of thousands of indium bumps connecting them to processor chips.  Indium bumps self-weld on contact, so there are no second chances with a die that may cost thousands of dollars.  Non-coplanarity on contact or non-uniform planar pressure can misalign the die or cause open or poor contacts, compromising the imaging performance of the sensor.
  • Gold stud bumps for flip chip assembly are made with a modified wire bonder, which breaks the gold wire after attaching it to the chip leaving a small gold “stud.”  Pressing a flat surface against the bumps gives uniform stud heights by compressing the random-height wire stub left when the bond wire is broken.  The uniformity of pressure ensures a higher probability of making all bump connections to the substrate, which is money and time saver.


Flip chips minimize the assembly size and improve electrical performance, making possible hand-held consumer products such as cell phones, cameras, calculators and IPODS. More than 20 million wafers, each with thousands of chips, are forecast for flip chip bonding in 2010.  The use of pressure indicating sensor film, which is a method that quickly and accurately reveals actual bonding pressure and pressure uniformity, would improve yields and cut costs for the industry.

Further information and samples of  Pressurex® film are available at

About George A. Riley, PhD         

George A. Riley has more than 20 years experience in microelectronics packaging, including 10 years developing and manufacturing flip chip assemblies for more than 50 customers. He is an industry consultant, educator, and web entrepreneur who has authored more than 90 papers and articles. He can be reached at (508) 753-3572, by emailing or by visiting his website

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:: Issue 85 ::
December 15, 2009

RGL Enterprises LLC

Compex Corp.