infoTECH Feature

July 09, 2010

Amkor, TI Co-develop New Packaging Technology for Next Generation ICs

For decades, wire bonding has been the workhorse of the semiconductor industry. And this trend is not going away soon. For the benefits of cost, production, performance and proven reliability, IC manufacturers will continue to exploit wire bonders for quite sometime in the future. But, going forward as chip designers tap finer process geometries and need higher I/O densities, traditional wire bonders are losing the edge. In addition, there are performance issues and wire bonding tends to stress and damage low-k dielectric interconnects in new generation ICs utilizing state-of-the-art silicon fabrication processes.
Foreseeing a need for a new packaging technology, Chandler, Ariz.-based semiconductor assembly and test services provider Amkor (News - Alert) Technology, Inc. and Texas Instruments, Inc. have jointly developed a new fine pitch copper pillar flip-chip interconnect technology for IC packages using pin pitch going down to 50 microns and less.
The developers have jointly announced that they have qualified and begun production of the industry's first fine pitch copper pillar flip-chip packages - shrinking bump pitch up to 300 percent compared to current solder bump flip-chip technology. It was co-developed to lower the packaging costs of ICs with fine pitch input/output pad structures of less than 50 microns, according to Amkor.
'As chip I/O density increases with each process node, we had to find a way to decrease the distance between pins,' said Tom Thorpe, TI vice president and manager of external development and manufacturing. 'Working together, Amkor and TI rapidly developed, qualified and deployed a new package platform that will not only address it's flip-chip package needs for the next decade but will also serve as a game changer for the industry. This new packaging technology will drive down the size and cost of semiconductors while boosting performance - a win for TI, Amkor and our customers.'  
'Amkor and TI worked tirelessly to bring this complex technology to market against a challenging development timeline,' said Ken Joyce, president and CEO of Amkor Technology.  'Both organizations mobilized significant resources to advance the state of the art for copper pillar bumping, fine pitch interconnect assembly, and advanced packaging. We are committed to partnering with TI in applying this new technology on chip scale packages, conventional package on package, and next generation through mold via PoP configurations.'
The new copper pillar flip-chip interconnect technology is aimed at new class of transceivers, embedded processors, application processors, power management devices, ASICs, and system-on-a-chip ICs utilizing process geometries below 45 nanometers.

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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