New Disco Laser Dicer Processes 300 mm, Low-k Wafers
Disco Corp. developed a new automatic laser dicer that can process wafers up to 300 mm in diameter, and the tool can singulate advanced technology chips with low dielectric constant (k) layers.

Low-k materials can be processed with standard diamond dicing blades, but the process is slow. With Disco’s new approach, the laser dicer cuts through the low-k layers quickly, and then a standard dicing blade continues the singulation process through the silicon. The laser dicer cuts through the low-k layers without damaging them by using a short laser pulse.

This capability will be available early next year, and future versions will target laser dicing of thin silicon wafers and other challenging applications such as sapphire substrate dicing. (October 15)

S.E.C. Leverages Manufacturing Program
Semiconductor Equipment Corp. (S.E.C.) has been working with the California Manufacturing Technology Center (CMTC) to implement improved manufacturing processes for its product offering of die bonders, pick-and-place systems, rework stations, wafer/frame tape applicators, and die ejector systems.

The CMTC is a state- and federally sponsored organization with the charter to help manufacturers stay competitive. One approach that S.E.C. implemented was “lean manufacturing,” which was developed in the 1950s at Toyota. This includes strict scheduling and efficiently supplied dedicated work cells.

However, S.E.C. president Don Moore said that what was learned was more than simply just-in-time delivery of components and other logistical details. “The ensuing transformation required cultural changes as well as completely redesigning our factory floor.” S.E.C. reports that its product delivery time has been shortened by 80 percent for some products.
(August 27)

Catalyst and OSE Initiate Environmentally Safe Products
EEPROM manufacturer Catalyst Semiconductor has announced an environmental initiative in conjunction with Orient Semiconductor Electronics (OSE).

Catalyst now offers fully qualified lead-free packages. According to Dan Terry, director of quality at Catalyst, “This is especially important for customers in Japan and Europe. Lead-free packages are becoming a primary purchasing requirement for major electronic system suppliers.”

Taiwan-based OSE will be supporting this initiative at its Philippines facilities. The technologies provided by OSE include lead-free plating of package leads, halogen-free mold compounds and a die attach epoxy that is compatible with lead-free packaging.
(August 20)

Chip Foundry UMC Qualifies Unitive Technology
Taiwan-based foundry UMC has qualified the eutectic wafer bumping technology of Unitive Taiwan. In this partnership, Unitive is providing to UMC the technology and production capabilities for solder bumping, and Unitive’s expanded facilities in Taiwan will provide the capacity to meet UMC’s bumping requirements.

Unitive Taiwan is one example of wafer bumping being provided by dedicated wafer bumping facilities rather than full-service packaging subcontractors. Sources have told Advanced Packaging that wafer bumping is turning out to be a bigger challenge than many wafer fabs and packaging subcontractors want to handle, suggesting that wafer bumping specialists will fill that niche.

Daniel Teng, president of Unitive Taiwan, said “UMC’s qualification of Unitive Taiwan eutectic wafer bumping opens up an important door for us. We provide UMC and their customers seamless integration and a state-of-the-art virtual supply chain.”
(August 16)

Dongbu and ASE to Offer CMOS Image Sensors
Korean foundry Dongbu Electronics Co. Ltd. is entering the CMOS image sensor field with a suite of design, manufacturing and testing services for these products. The technology will be based on 0.25 and 0.18 µm processes, and Dongbu will offer design kits, optical layer post-processing, packaging and final test.

ASEA Korea and Dongbu have formed an alliance whereby ASE will provide the packaging and final test for Dongbu’s CMOS image sensor foundry customers.

CMOS image sensors are one of the primary avenues by which semiconductor companies are entering the optoelectronics industry. The products diverge less from standard silicon ICs than most other products emerging in optoelectronics. The applications include camcorders, cellular phones, digital cameras, faxes and scanners, according to Peter Hillen, Dongbu’s VP for worldwide business development.
(August 13)


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