January - February 1999
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New Organization Formed to Promote HDI Circuits
By Gene Weiner, Contributing EditorWill there truly be a chance for standards in substrates for CSPs? The 50 or so different CSPs made by nearly as many different companies makes it difficult to find standard ways to assemble and test the devices.
Though creative, and the mark of progress, the lack of standards keeps costs high.Now, a major step has been taken to address interconnect issues on a global basis. Associations representing the electronic circuits industries in Asia, Europe and North America have agreed to form the World Electronic Circuits Council (WECC).
The WECC will examine important issues that are best addressed on a global basis. One of the associationss challenges will be to develop a new value metric for the PC board industry. The new organization is a rotating secretariat, currently headquartered at the IPC in Northbrook, Illinois.
Another WECC task will be to create guidelines to promote faster and broader adoption of new high density interconnect (HDI) technologies. These guidelines are necessary if we are to build the 3.5 billion CSPs forecast for 2001
The InfrastructureOctober, November and December were good months in the search for new developments that will help the CSP infrastructure grow.
Though the rush to high-density interconnects and microvias seems to have cooled a bit in Taiwan, BGA preparatory and scale-up activity there continues at a frenetic pace.
And Dowlin Technology, a new high-tech, flexible circuits house in China, with potential for fine line interposers, began receiving a reel-to-reel photo imaging system.
One of the stated industry problems, at the start of this column in Chip Scale Review, was the testing of HDI circuits.
The IPC's ITRI (not to be confused with Taiwan's ITRI), even started a search for potential subcontractors to solve the testing problem.
Well, a California company may be the first to commercialize a solution. Noah Systems, using lasers for non-contact, controlled electron migration, claims that it can process 75-micron circuitry at speeds far in excess of §ying probes.
The company believes that its systems will achieve test densities down to 25 microns. The company's non-contact system can test right to the edge of a pad. It can also test surfaces that are not totally flat, which offers potentially great interest to makers of build-up circuits and §exible interposers.
Quantum Materials has introduced a new assembly aid in the form of a thermally conductive adhesive for packaging. This adhesive uses boron nitride fillers in a patented bismaleimide monomer to generate a product that retains adhesion during JEDEC Level 1 exposure. The product offers a dielectric constant of 3.5.
Across the Atlantic, Dyconex has shown that plasma for the formation of microvias lives. The company has demonstrated a capability of placing 550,000 holes in an 18" x 24" panel. Dyconex continues research on a variety of processes and materials, while claiming that it can form microvias in certain epoxy resin-coated foils at 10x the speed previously associated with plasma microvia formation in polyimides.
Also in Europe, Toshiba Chemical has introduced its PPE laminate for the PBGA market. Toshiba is targeting Europe's high pin count/high speed package markets.
More HDI MeetingsHDI meetings continue to proliferate. The September HDI Expo in Phoenix drew more than 800. And the challenge of producing HDI/microvia boards will continue to be a main theme for the IPC's PC Expo '98 in Long Beach.
Even as American PC board makers continue to bemoan "the chicken or the egg" syndrome in finding CSP business (invest before orders, or get orders then invest), we continue to see new CSP package announcements by OEMs and IC makers.
VLSI Semiconductor, San Jose, announced that it is now shipping production volumes of ICs which are targeting the wireless and portable appliance industries with an 0.8 mm ball pitch CSP.
The VLSI package is 70 percent smaller than current TQFP technology. Working with Amkor, VLSI's new, low-cost, §exible tape substrate FPBGA technology is the smallest size for lead counts between 100 and 280 leads.
Mr. Weiner is Editor/Publisher of PAC/Asia Circuit News and is also a consultant to high technology companies. Contact him at 203.797.9103 or fax 203.797.9565. www.weiner-intl.com
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