For US-based editors of an international publication, SEMICON Europa was a great venue for meeting with industry experts, equipment and material manufacturers, and service providers we generally only communicate with electronically.
Is package design an extension of IC design or PCB design, or both? Should pin-outs be driven by the ICs and components on the package, or by the PCB(s) on which the package will be mounted? With the increase in package design complexity, can we live with the same tools we have had in the past? Answers to these questions depend on the company, application, organization and type of package being designed.
Copper pillar bumps were introduced in 2006 by Intel in their 65-nm “Yonah” microprocessor. Wafer bump foundries and semiconductor manufacturers are actively evaluating this new technology. Integration of photolithography and electroplating is critical to the fabrication process.
The increased use of lead-free solder in BGA packages, widely used in portable devices, makes them susceptible to brittle fracture failures at the solder ball to pad interfaces when subjected to mechanical shock. Brittle fractures at the interfaces between solder balls and package substrate bond pads are considered unacceptable.