We search for industry news, so you don't need to.
Viewpoint Index

January 21, 2013

Andy C. Mackie, Ph.D., Senior Product Manager, Indium Corporation

Andy C. Mackie, Ph.D., Senior Product Manager, Indium Corporation
Andy C. Mackie, Ph.D., Senior Product Manager, Semiconductor and Advanced Assembly Materials, Indium Corporation
After the rosy promises of multiple, low-cost 2.5D and 3D stacked semiconductors (dimensional devices) in 2012, reality has set in. It now looks like 2013 is the year when larger scale implementation of 2.5D and 3D into the two main driving applications (mobile devices and lower-power servers) will occur. The most interesting conflicts are

  • The increasingly vertically-leveraged TSMC, and their widely adopted chip-on-wafer-on-silicon process, versus the myriad other assembly techniques from OSATs like Amkor and ASE. The main concern here is "Who owns the quality?"
  • The need for high process yield of reliable products and simple throughput considerations. Here the question is, simply, "Can I make it cheap enough?"

Indium Corporation's expansion into the Asian market is continuing, even in a down market, and is bearing fruit in a variety of different semiconductor assembly areas, especially fluxes and similar materials for standard flip-chip, 2.5D, and 3D manufacturing and assembly. Gas-based processes for some of these applications have been tried by customers in Korea, Taiwan, and China, and been found to be wanting. Semiconductor-grade water-soluble, and near-zero residue no-clean fluxes are showing surprising extensibility into assembly processes for dimensional devices.

In the area of power devices, Pb-free (lead-free) materials, higher temperatures and higher current density are the primary driving forces, and Indium Corporation is expanding into many areas of Pb-free joining, ahead of any legislative push.

  • Our high-temperature lead-free solder paste, BiAgX(TM), is a material specially-developed as a drop-in replacement for high Pb-containing solder pastes in many power assembly and die-attach applications. It is in reliability testing with many major customers globally.
  • Our current nanotechnology offering, NanoFoil(R), is now being adopted in areas where the need for high temperature soldering is hampered by either the sensitivity of the component to heat, or the large thermal mass of the pieces to be joined. It is essentially "high-temperature soldering without the heat."
  • The usage of eutectic tin-silver (SnAg), which shows high electrical and thermal conductivity, are expanding into new areas, such as flux-coated preforms and semiconductor-grade preforms, wire, and ribbon.
  • Despite the variability of gold prices, we are seeing expansions in use of gold-tin (AuSn) materials into some new high-reliability applications where the needs for high tensile strength and high thermal and electrical conductivity admit no alternatives.
Andy C. Mackie, Ph.D, Senior Product Manager, Semiconductor and Advanced Assembly Materials
Indium Corporation