September 7, 2007 – Oki Electric Industry Co. Ltd. and Oki Printing Solutions (aka Oki Data Corp.) say they have achieved volume production of LED array chips for LED printheads using a new “epi film bonding” (EFB) technology, in which thin films are released and bonded on dissimilar materials. The technology also shows promise in manufacturing lower-cost and higher-density compound semiconductor devices.
In conventional LED printheads, LED array chips and IC driver chips are mounted on a printed circuit board and connected by bonding wires, but high-density wire bonding and large bonding pads limit the density of LED arrays and printing resolutions. The new technology bonds LED array chips with the wafer by utilizing the intermolecular bonding force, enabling higher-density and higher-layer devices. Oki also said it has made progress shrinking the size of the driver ICs and LED array chips, reducing the density of bonding wires, and reducing the number of chips.
Mikihiko Maeno, President and CEO of Oki Data Corp., indicated a 600dpi LED printhead made with the EFP technology has half the volume of conventional LED printheads. The devices are being packaged in color and monochrome LED printers planned for shipment, with plans to develop ultrasmall printheads (}gte 1200dpi) for higher-resolution printing.
Oki Electric, meanwhile, plans to push the EFB technology toward use in smaller, lower-power consumption and lower-cost semiconductor ICs, where it can eliminate wire bonding and die-bonding processes, enabling manufacturing of higher-density compound devices using only photolithography processes. The company also plans to apply EFB to super-small LED displays.
“EFB technology enables us to make higher density, multi-layered, faster speed, and lower power consumption semiconductors, which brings possibilities in developing various compound circuit ICs,” stated Harushige Sugimoto, SVP and CTO at Oki Electric. He said the company is also looking at ways to apply the technology beyond semiconductors, to bond dissimilar materials.