September 13, 2004 – IBM and SUSS MicroTec AG have signed an agreement to develop and commercialize IBM’s next-generation, 100% lead-free semiconductor packaging technology, C4NP.
As part of the technology and licensing pact, SUSS MicroTec will develop a complete line of 300mm and 200mm equipment to enable commercialization of IBM’s C4NP (Controlled Collapse Chip Connection New Process), which is reportedly the first flip chip technology to offer the combined advantages of 100% lead-free, high reliability, fine pitch, lower material cost, as well as the flexibility to use virtually all types of solder compositions.
For its part, IBM will continue advanced research and process optimization of C4NP and offer on-site process training to customers who purchase commercial systems from SUSS MicroTec.
Pioneered by IBM researchers and engineers, C4NP represents a breakthrough in wafer solder bump technology, a semiconductor packaging technique which places pre-patterned solder balls onto the surface of a chip. These bumps ultimately carry data from individual chips to the rest of a computing system via a complex arrangement of intricate wiring and materials. Chip packaging technology plays a pivotal role in how a product performs, and advances in packaging can translate into improved function.
Removing lead from electronic components is a global initiative for the semiconductor industry, which has examined a number of approaches to remove 100% of lead contained in the packaging process which connects the silicon chip to the package.