Inseto has supplied two Kulicke & Soffa RAPID™ Pro automatic wire bonders to designer and manufacturer of advanced RF communication solutions Filtronic. The two bonders are high speed and deliver high levels of repeatability, provided through real-time monitoring and diagnostics, and are helping Filtronic meet a six-fold increase in demand for its Orpheus E-band transceiver modules, used for 5G and other high data rate wireless applications, following an order from a major customer in the telecoms sector.
In addition to being used for the manufacture of Orpheus modules, the RAPID Pros are used on Filtronic’s next generation transceiver, Morpheus II, which is both smaller and 50% lighter than the previous version, enabling class leading 10Gbps mmWave backhaul.
The RAPID Pros enable fast switch over, giving Filtronic the flexibility to also manufacture two Transmit Receive Modules for phased array radars for the aerospace and defence markets on the same production line.
Richard Smith, Product Engineering Manager of Filtronic, comments: “All three of our main lines are hybrid assemblies, with multiple MMICs and other components that require high precision wire bonding. The RAPID Pro bonders help us solve two major manufacture challenges. The first being that, at these high frequencies, bond wire lengths and shapes affect the EM characteristics. Being able to precisely program the bond shape and maintain it within and between batches of a given product ensure consistent RF performance. Accuracy and repeatability are musts. The second challenge is maintaining throughput and increasing capacity. Since bringing in the K&S bonders we’ve seen a massive improvement in speed, largely down to the modern vision systems, and it takes about a minute to process a module with hundreds of bonds.
Bond quality has also improved because Filtronic has far better control over bond parameters than before. Smith concludes: “Automated bond adhesion quality is consistently higher, thus reducing the need for manual intervention. Combined with fast automated bonding, this results in an overall much higher production rate than before and we anticipate a return on investment in about three years”.
Electric vehicle battery pack manufacturers must get the most from well-established and proven manufacturing technologies if they are to rise to increasingly technical challenges and keep costs as low as possible.
That’s the essence of the cover story of this month’s issue of Electronic Product Design & Test, for which Inseto was one of the expert companies interviewed and quoted.
During recent years we’ve supplied a variety of battery interconnection wirebonders to commercial battery pack manufacturers and universities alike.
Andover, United Kingdom – Inseto is the first distributor serving the UK and Ireland to supply chip encapsulation adhesives for high reliability applications that are free of substances of very high concern (SVHC). Easy and trustworthy access to SVHC-free adhesives made in the EU will become essential if, or more likely when, industry regulations come into force banning the manufacture of such products.
As DELO’s exclusive distributor in the UK & Ireland, Inseto can supply DELO MONOPOX GE6585 and GE6525, which are primarily used for Dam & Fill chip encapsulation, and DELO DUALBOND GE7065, which is mainly used for Glob Top chip encapsulation. All three cure to from rigid protective coatings and can be used for encapsulating not only semiconductor die but also sensors, which is a common practice in the automotive, aerospace and harsh environment industrial sectors, for example.
“Whilst not all chip encapsulation adhesives contain SVHCs, those that are needed to ensure high reliability do,” comments Eamonn Redmond, Sales Manager of Inseto. “And the European Chemical Association is constantly reviewing and working towards banning the use of SVHCs. Whilst it’s not certain when adhesives containing SVHCs will be banned they almost certainly will be. In addition, these new adhesives offer significant processing and performance upgrades over their SVHC-containing counterparts.”
DELO MONOPOX GE6585, DELO MONOPOX GE6525 and DELO DUALBOND GE7065 are believed to be the first SVHC-free adhesives on the market for applications where high reliability is a necessity. They are offered as alternatives to existing DELO adhesives currently used for Dam & Fill and Glob Top chip encapsulation in applications where high reliability is important.
All three new adhesives have high shear strengths, low coefficients of thermal expansion (CTE), high glass transition temperatures (Tg), extended operating temperature ranges and an extremely high resistance to chemicals.
GE6585 and GE6525 are one-part heat-cured black epoxies. Compared to their SHVC-containing counterparts, the CTE has been nearly halved. However, the new adhesives retain the extremely high Tg of the existing adhesives (>170oC), making them ideal for high reliability applications; ensuring minimal risk of board warpage during assembly.
GE7065 is also a one-part heat-cured black epoxy with a low CTE and high Tg. It also has the added advantage of being light-fixable (optional) immediately after dispensing. In addition, the filler particle size is significantly reduced (to around 7μm), allowing the adhesive to flow more easily between very fine-pitch wire bonds.
All three new adhesives boast significantly shorter curing times than their SVHC-containing counterparts – 30 minutes at 100oC for GE6585 and GE6525, and 60 minutes at 130oC for GE7065 – and can be ordered now through Inseto.
Andover, United Kingdom – Inseto, a leading technical distributor of equipment and materials, has supplied Custom Interconnect Limited (CIL) with a Kulicke & Soffa Asterion large diameter wire / ribbon wedge bonder for use in the production of wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductor-based power modules and the assembly of battery packs.
The Asterion is to play a crucial role in two major electric vehicle (EV) projects in which CIL is extensively involved. In the first, CIL is engaged with BMW on APC15@FutureBEV to maximise potential for future BEV systems. The project is one of 10 projects by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) in its latest round of Government and industry funding for low-carbon emissions research.
In the second case, CIL is the project lead on GaNSiC – a project that stems from the UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) ‘Driving the Electric Revolution’ challenge and brings together CIL and Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult (CSA Catapult). It is set to develop novel ways of applying Silver Sinter pastes to WBG semiconductors, such as Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) devices, to optimise their thermal coupling and solve complex power module assembly challenges.
John Boston, Managing Director of CIL, comments: “Because of the high currents EV power modules handle, both projects require the placement of heavy gauge wire or ribbon, of between 150 and 600microns diameter or width compared to fine-wire bonding, which tends to be about 25microns.”
Boston goes on to say that SiC-based power module designs are aiming to switch up to 800VDC and handle up to 600A. He adds: “You need heavy gauge, but heavy gauge wire bonding of wide bandgap materials is a relatively new technology. More than ever before, there’s a need for collaboration and trust within the industry. Also, with keeping costs low such an imperative in the automotive sector, the use of advanced manufacturing tools likely to produce the best results is essential, particularly when some vehicle manufacturers are demanding zero defects and stipulating that reworks are not allowed.
CIL is an electronic solutions provider. It has the largest independent ‘chip and wire’ facility in the UK and its micro-electronics packaging facility is regarded as being at the forefront of the EV power revolution.
Boston concludes: “In addition to APC15@FutureBEV and GaNSiC, we’re the manufacturing partner on many other EV projects, plus we have many customers in the aerospace sector – active under initiatives like the More Electric Aircraft and the All-Electric Aircraft. “
The K&S Asterion is located in CIL’s BEV facility, and joins an automatic die bonder and high pressure Silver Sinter press (both of which are for the packaging of WBG materials) and a scanning acoustic microscope, used to detect voids. The Asterion will also be used in the manufacture of EV batteries, specifically for bonding between cells and busbars/plates.
Established in 1986 and ISO9001:2015, ISO13485:2016 (Medical) and AS9100D (Aerospace) certification, CIL is also on the path to ISO/TS 16949:2009 (Automotive) certification. CIL has transitioned from a conventional EMS company into an Electronic Solutions Provider and currently manufactures some of the most complex mission critical electronic assemblies in the UK. A combination of 6 SMT lines, 3D AOI, Flying probe test and laser depanelling enables it to manufacture complex SMT PCBA. In addition, CIL also has one of the largest independent die and wirebond facilities in the UK. Three Automatic die bonders, and six Automatic wire bonders and various encapsulation systems are available. It is now entering a WBG power module manufacturing era to support both UK and EU based companies deploy SiC and GaN based assemblies.
For the past 40 years, Switzerland based Tresky AG has been perfecting the art of developing and manufacturing manual and semiautomatic die attach equipment used for the research, fabrication and assembly of microelectronic devices.
With almost 2000 devices installed across the world, often with special & customized capabilities, Tresky’s equipment fulfils many complex die attach requirements, such as flip chip, low to high force bonding, plus sinter and eutectic solder processes. Model dependent, other applications supported include laser bar handling, stacking/un-stacking and die sorting.
As part of their 40 year anniversary celebrations, Tresky has introduced an updated version of their entry level T-4909-AE (Anniversary Edition), which features a new Raspberry Pi PC and touch screen interface for programming and control, plus an extended Z travel of 95mm, increasing clearance for bonding stacked devices, or into deep cavities etc.
Tresky equipment is supplied and supported by Inseto throughout the UK, Ireland and Nordic regions.
Click HERE to view the Tresky range of manual and semiautomatic die attach and component handling equipment.
Andover, United Kingdom – Inseto, a leading technical distributor of equipment and materials, has supplied Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult with a Nordson DAGE ProspectorTM micro-mechanical test station. Located in CSA’s Advanced Packaging laboratory, the tester is being used by CSA and its customers to verify the strength of wire bond interconnects and die-attach integrity.
“The DAGE Prospector is fully operational and is initially being used for advanced bond and material testing to develop quality micro-assembly processes for custom power electronics, RF and photonics component and module packaging,” says Dr Jayakrishnan Chandrappan, Head of Packaging, CSA Catapult. “However, these tests – which are mechanical push, pull and scratch tests under ambient conditions – are just a few of many the Prospector can do.”
Widely regarded as one of the most comprehensive, single-station testers in the industry, the Prospector also has electrical, thermal, acoustic and optical test modes, many of which can be combined. For example, mechanical loads can be applied while cycling temperatures for thermal shock experiments and for highly accelerated life testing (HALT).
The Advanced Packaging team at CSA Catapult provides innovative packaging solutions for power electronics, RF and photonics through package design and modelling, micro-assembly and rapid prototyping. CSA Catapult’s expertise can transform customer ideas into proof of concepts/prototypes, helping to launch them to market effectively and quickly.
Dr Chandrappan concludes: “Inseto provided a great service, from valuable help with product selection through to comprehensive on-site training and application support. Also, unlike most distributors, Inseto has in-house expertise so little if any time is wasted going back to the OEMs they represent.”
Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult is focused on bringing compound semiconductor applications to life in three key areas: the road to Net Zero, future telecoms and intelligent sensing.
CSA Catapult is a Not for Profit organisation headquartered in South Wales. It is focused on three technology areas: Power Electronics, RF & Microwave and Photonics. As well as the three technology areas, CSA Catapult is also working in Advanced Packaging for these high-power innovations.
The next wave of emerging applications will have an enormous impact on our lives. Compound semiconductors will enable a host of new and exciting applications in the electrification of transport, clean energy, defence and security and digital communications markets.
CSA Catapult exists to help the UK compound semiconductor industry grow and collaborates across the UK and internationally.
Andover, United Kingdom – Inseto, a leading technical distributor of equipment and materials, has supplied the University of Warwick with a SemiProbe PS4L probe system for developing fabrication processes for next generation silicon-carbide (SiC) power semiconductor devices. The PS4L provides an accurate and repeatable means of mechanically interfacing fabricated prototype devices – as die or still on the wafer – with an analyser that can inject thousands of volts and measure hundreds of amps.
Dr Peter Gammon, Associate Professor (Reader) in SiC Power Electronics at the University of Warwick, comments: “We’re involved in a number of projects that are pushing the boundaries of silicon carbide power device research that will hopefully lead to the volume manufacture of device types that can currently only be fabricated in silicon. The PS4L is an invaluable tool in our endeavours as not only can it handle the high power from/to the analyser, but it is semi-automated, allowing us to collect a large amount of data from highly repeatable tests.”
Dr Gammon goes on say that most commercially available SiC power devices are unipolar structures, such as diodes and MOSFETs, which are well established and commercially available with high voltage ratings.
“We’re looking beyond these though, at bipolar devices that include IGBTs and thyristors because they will further enable highly efficient and ultra-high voltage applications, such as traction inverters and high voltage direct current in a low carbon society,” says Dr Gammon. “For example, silicon IGBTs are typically rated up to about 2,000V. As part of our work with the EPSRC Centre for Power Electronics, we are today producing silicon carbide IGBTs rated to 10,000V, with scope to go to 30,000V in the future.”
The PS4L is enabling Dr Gammon’s team to apply voltages of up to 10,000V and measure currents of up to 100A to confirm the performance and breakdown voltages of their devices. He says: “While we’re heading towards the production of IGBT and MOSFET switches, we’re able to do much of our work on simple structures such as diodes, in order to evaluate the repeatability of our fabrication processes.”
Following the supply and commissioning of the SemiProbe equipment, a software interface was written by Dr Gammon’s team to enable the PS4L and the high voltage parameter analyser to work together. “Both OEMs were incredibly supportive and gave us access to the source code of their respective products,” notes Dr Gammon.
The equipment is in use at the University of Warwick, one of only a few universities in the UK with SiC fabrication capabilities, and it has already enabled Dr Gammon’s team to capture data from larger test batches than would have otherwise been practical before. Also, there is more confidence in the data collected through automated processing, as it removes the discrepancies of manually obtained data, such as probe tip to pad alignment inconsistences and variations in contact force.
Dr Gammon, concludes: “Our new equipment represents a real game changer and the support Inseto provided has been exemplary throughout the entire process, from them understanding our requirements through to ensuring the PS4L was fit for purpose now and in the future.”
Inseto is exclusive distributor for SemiProbe in UK, Ireland and Northern Europe.
About the PEATER Group at the University of Warwick
Established in 2005, the Power Electronics Applications and Technology in Energy Research (PEATER) group, located in Warwick’s School of Engineering is the UK’s leading research group into silicon carbide (SiC) power electronics. They have an international reputation for research into SiC power devices, with expertise that extends from atoms to systems, covering fundamental materials research, device simulation and optimisation, fabrication, characterisation, packaging and reliability testing. Their unique array of facilities include a dedicated SiC fabrication cleanroom, a SiC CVD system for epitaxial growth, a packaging cleanroom and multiple servers for TCAD modelling.
The PEATER group specialises in taking SiC into new and exciting application spaces. They are working on scaling up the voltage of SiC power devices, working on Schottky and PiN diodes, MOSFETs and IGBTS rated from 3.3 to 10 kV, for applications ranging from HVDC, traction and renewable energy storage and distribution. They are also working to produce the first radiation-hard SiC power devices that will be able to survive in the harsh environment of space, for telecommunication satellites. Meanwhile, the research group continues to work with major international companies on the roll out of existing SiC power solutions, particularly within the automotive sector.
A great technical article highlighting the considerable benefits wire and ribbon bonders deliver in #batterypack volume production scenarios recently published in Future Vehicle and their #battery technology supplement.
Andover, United Kingdom – Inseto, a leading technical distributor of equipment and materials, has been appointed by FOM Technologies to distribute its slot-die coating products in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Founded in 2012, and a spin-off from Risø/DTU (Danish Technical University), FOM Technologies quickly gained a reputation for its pioneering equipment for the application of functional coatings. The company’s slot-die equipment is used by researchers, scientists and other industry professionals to develop functional coatings that can be placed on sheet materials and other substrates for R&D purposes, perfected and then commercialised for roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing techniques, for example.
Michael Stadi, FOM Technologies’ CEO, comments: “In order to strengthen our global appearance, we are pleased to announce that we have signed a strategic partnership with Inseto. Inseto is representing complementary equipment manufacturers and supplying materials into the sectors we already serve. The company has a long track record for sales of laboratory and industrial equipment and has an excellent reputation for customer service.”
Established in 1987, Inseto has Equipment, Consumables and Adhesive divisions. The company has experience of supplying substrate materials for use in functional coating applications and is already active in those sectors most likely to benefit from FOM’s slot-die coating technologies.
Matt Brown, Managing Director of Inseto, concludes: “We are excited to be working with FOM Technologies. We always research the technologies of companies when expanding our services. Because FOM Technologies’ precision coating solutions are enabling battery, solar and other electronic technology companies to deliver increased performance and reliability, that is of great relevance to the industry sectors we’ve been supporting for more than three decades. This agreement is a win for us and for our customers”.