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Viewpoint Index

January 24, 2018

VIEWPOINT 2018: Andy C. Mackie, PhD, Senior Product Manager, Indium Corporation
VIEWPOINT 2018: Andy C. Mackie, PhD, Senior Product Manager, Indium Corporation
Andy C. Mackie, PhD, Senior Product Manager, Indium Corporation
Indium Corporation is well known as a reliable and innovative PCB and semiconductor assembly materials manufacturer and supplier.

It is only by listening to customers that we can get the broad and deep insights into upcoming technology needs, that will keep Indium Corporation leading the electronics assembly industry into the future. Therefore, an industry-driven technical roadmap, derived directly from a rigorous voice-of-the-customer analysis, will be rolled out this year to key customers around the globe.

As part of our increasing commitment to our customers, our IATF/ISO TS-16949 certification program will expand globally and be completed by the end of the coming year. To reinforce our commitment to cost reduction and environmental concerns, we are also spending time investigating new materials sources and expanding our internal and external recycling programs.

Indium Corporation plans to strengthen current high-quality product offerings with the addition of some new materials targeted to specific markets:

• Early adoption by OSATs of our ultrafine (Types 6 and 7) semiconductor grade solder pastes for system-in-package (SiP) applications has placed us in a market-leading position in SiP, especially for front-end modules (FEMs). We are able to manufacture ultrafine solder powder to supply high volumes of consistent, high-quality materials.

• The automotive need for higher temperature (above 125°C) SMT reliability is driving customers away from alloys developed last decade, and towards novel alloys with proven high-temperature capabilities, such as the recently developed Indalloy276.

• A new water-soluble ball-attach flux, free of post-wash white residue, will be released in early 2018.

• The NC-26 family of ultralow residue (ULR) no-clean flip-chip fluxes is now quickly replacing water-soluble flip-chip flux as cleaning starts to become slow, ineffective, and a major contributor to yield loss.

• Indium Corporation's unique, no-clean ("Power-Safe") die-attach solder pastes, such as SMQ®75, for clip-bond die-attach in lower voltage applications, are already well known. 2018 will see us roll out materials suited to higher voltages, using a new technology.

• Our award-winning high-temperature lead-free and antimony-free ( Pb-free and Sb-free) solder paste, BiAgX®, has evolved into a family of targeted technologies and is being used in markets beyond discrete semiconductor die-attach.

• Die-tilt remains a major issue for discrete and modular die-attach applications. Indium Corporation's InFORM® product has been accepted by several major large-die customers in Europe and Asia. A solder paste version for discretes is in development for late 2018 release.

2017 was an incredible year for semiconductor market growth, but the reality is that this was mostly caused by an increase in memory prices: unit volume growth was strong, but more modest. Volume growth in 2018 will be driven by most segments, with the steady increase in reliance on electronic systems for automation, especially driver assistance (DA) in moderately priced passenger vehicles, being a key factor.

2018 and 2019 will see announcements made about the long-term future of lead (Pb) in the few currently-allowed applications. This is one of the main reasons for adoption of BiAgX® and the multiple test sites for our novel sintering materials.

Andy C. Mackie, PhD, Senior Product Manager
Indium Corporation