"The growing variety and complexity of matrix array packages present a true challenge to many back end processes. The singulation of these arrays into individual packages is an important step in the manufacturing process, and as in many cases, needs to be optimized to minimize the overall cost of package. The continuous reduction in package size, along with the uncompromising demand for increased throughput without sacrificing cut quality, has resulted in a shift from shearing/punching techniques to dicing processes for many matrix array packages. The decrease in package size also affects downstream pick-and-place integration - an issue beyond the scope of this Editorial. The trends in package singulation are expected to have a significant impact on the Chinese industry, with assembly lines, including many IPF's (Independent Packaging Foundries) relocating from around the world to China.
Leaning on three decades of experience in dicing, we at Advanced Dicing Technologies (ADT) have developed specific processes for our customers who are faced with the task of dicing such diverse packages as LTCC (Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramic) packaging of SAW (Surface Acoustic Wave) devices, wafer level CSP (Chip Scale Package) for image sensor packaging, and a multitude of different BGA (Ball Grid Array) and QFN (Quad Frame No-lead) packages.
QFN presents an excellent example of a complex substrate composed of both ductile (copper) and brittle (plastic molding) materials, showing clear trends of reduction in package size and continuous tightening of cut quality specifications. The worldwide demand for QFN is on the order of one billion units a year, with a predicted annual increase of 20-30%. Part of this increase will be at the expense of other packages such as SOICs (Small Outline Integrated Circuits). Advanced Dicing Technologies has identified QFN as a package with enormous potential, and has dedicated significant resources over the past three year to providing our customers with a total dicing process solution to satisfy their needs."
From "Package Singulation Processes"
Dr. Ramon J. Albalak, Former R&D and Engineering Manager
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