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IC Package Substrates (PKG)

What is IC packaging substrate?

Although there are so many electronic devices surrounding us, e.g., mobile phones, electronic games, TV, music players, etc., we direct attention to PC here.

When PC's main body is opened, we see a board with various components (Printed Wiring Board: Mother Board) mounted (see Fig 1). As main components, there are MPU* for data processing, GPU* for image processing, memory for data storage, all of which containing ICs*. Since IC chips are susceptible to dirt and humidity and also generate heat, they need protective casing (IC package: see Fig 2) In addition, IC chips have nanoscale wiring (one millionth of one millimeter) on their silicon wafer yet the printed wiring board, which mounts them, have micro-scale wiring width (one thousandth of one millimeter), no direct interconnection is possible.

Thus, the roles of IC package are:

  1. Electrically interconnecting IC chip and PWB as well as fixing it, in other words, bridging nano- and micron-world.
  2. Protecting IC chips from external dirt and humidity.
Printed Wiring Board:Mother Board, IC Pabkage (LLBS, Laser Laminate Build-up System)

*Explanation of terminology

MPU
Microprocessing Unit, also called CPU(Central Processing Unit)
GPU
Graphic Processing Unit
IC
Integrated Circuit: Circuits highly integrated with transistors.
Chip set
ICs controlling external devices including memories.

What are the technologies necessary for making IC packages?

Progress of PC is accomplished through enhancing speed, functionality, and capacity. Additionally, for notebook type, compactness and power saving are important. PC, compared with PC products several years ago, today's PCs are incomparable, having large capacity and ability of fast data processing. This is because of development of MPU capable of computing as many as tens of million times per second, which in turn enabled by advancement of micro-wiring technology. IC chip of about the finger-tip size has wirings invisible to naked eyes, and thus for IC packages, it is required to have equally fine wiring technology to match. As IC chip advances following Moore's law, so does the IC packaging technology.

*Moore's law
It is an idea that computer's processing ability and integration level increase exponentially. The number of integrated transistors is expected to double every one and a half year. Concept proposed by Moore (Gordon E. Moore) of the USA in 1965

Where are the IBIDEN's products used?

IBIDEN manufactures about two kinds of packaging substrates (See "Point 1")

  1. Manufacturing Flip Chip packages for PC's MPU, Chip set (see Explanation of terminology), and GPU (Graphics).
  2. Manufacturing thin and near IC chip size wire-bonding packages. Major application is for mobile devices such as mobile phone, and also for digital camera, Portable music player, etc.
Point 1

Wire Bonding and Flip Chip

Showing the difference in interconnection method (for mounting) for IC chip and packaging substrate.

  1. Wire bonding is to interconnect IC chip with gold wires Ea package has 4 side of connecting pads.
  2. Flip Chip is a point-to-point interconnection method with so called solder bumps for electrode pad on the substrate surface.

Since the connecting points are formed on a whole chip area, it has advantage for increased input/output terminals, and also for shortened mounting times due to one time connecting operation.

The flip chip is used also for small size and a thin package.

Flip Chip and Wire Bonding

What are IBIDEN's strengths?

Ever since IBIDEN's plastic package was accepted by the world IC makers in 1983, IBIDEN has continued to lead the competitors for this product both in production volume and technology.
Annual worldwide PC sales is more than 300 million units and the package suppliers are required to deliver on time a large volume of the most advanced IC packages of high quality.
Also, both IC and Package developments are truly in inseparable relationship. Thus, IBIDEN, having long experiences with joint development (collaboration) with the world top manufactures, is in a strong position receiving customers' trust (for development ability, quality, delivery, etc.).
In future years, we continue to maintain our customer's trust through development of forefront technologies.

Point 2

Plastic IC packages that have been the industry standard.

In the second half of the 1970s, when digital wristwatches became popular, IBIDEN was manufacturing their substrates.
Because the IC chips were directly mounted on the small-size substrates inside the digital watches, this was known as COB (Chip-On-Board) mounting.
Today's IC packages could even be deemed the result of increasing the density of this COB mounting. Until the early 1990s, conventional wisdom called for IC packages for which high reliability was demanded to be made of ceramics, but with an eye to accommodate faster speeds, IBIDEN advanced development and offerings based on the advantages of fabrication using plastic. IBIDEN advanced development enable to offer plastic packages by advanced manufacturing process.
We resolved problems with moisture and implemented assurances of reliability* and in 1996 plastic packages from IBIDEN were adopted for major products from IC manufacturers. Since then plastic products have become the standard for IC packages.

*Stringent reliability tests are required: thermal cycling that runs through between E5°C and 125°C for 1000 cycles and storing at temperature of 85°C and humidity of 85% for 24 hours.

Plastic IC packages that have been the industry standard.