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Category Archives: Latest News

Wire Bonding Process Development Laboratory

6th October 2021

Andover, United Kingdom – Inseto Invests in Wedge Bonder for its Process Development Laboratory and Launches Two Bonder Operation Training Courses

Ultrasonic Wire Bonder
Kulicke & Soffa Asterion Wedge Bonder Installed at Inseto’s new “Process Development Laboratory”

Inseto, a leading technical distributor of equipment and materials, has invested in a Kulicke & Soffa (K&S) Asterion wedge bonder. Located in Inseto’s new Process Development Laboratory along with materials test and plasma cleaning equipment, the automatic bonder is suitable for the large-wire, fine-wire and ribbon bonding of hybrid circuits, semiconductor devices, sensors, and automotive power modules and battery packs.

Inseto has also launched two training courses: one for wedge bonding, the other for ribbon bonding. Both are delivered by Inseto’s factory trained and highly experienced engineers. Course content is tailored to meet a trainee’s exact requirements and modules include bond theory, bonding tool and wire/ribbon selection, machine setup and operation, process development and bond quality control, and maintenance and repair.

Matt Brown, Inseto’s Managing Director, comments: “These are challenging times for manufacturers. To take full advantage of industry’s latest manufacturing techniques companies must first develop and optimise their processes. They then need to ensure they’re getting the most from their equipment when they move into volume production. Early access to best-in-class equipment and thorough training for operators are therefore essential.”

Brown goes on say that most equipment distributors simply carry demo machines – on loan from their suppliers and which they intend to sell. Inseto, on the other hand, is investing in kitting out its own Process Development Laboratory.

“While all distributors say they’re committed to supporting their customers, we’re demonstrating our commitment through investment,” continues Brown. “Our laboratory is a quiet environment that doesn’t have distractions you find in a manufacturing environment. And with our specialists to hand it’s the ideal place to build and evaluate prototypes, and to receive training.” Inseto’s Process Development Laboratory is fully operational. Also, the company is now taking bookings for its bonder operation training courses, which can be delivered on customer premises if required.

Inseto is exclusive distributor for Kulicke and Soffa’s range of wire bonding and die bonding equipment & materials in the UK, Ireland and Nordic regions.

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Download a PDF copy of this news release HERE.

Oxide wafer coatings: their properties and application methods

28th September 2021

Want to learn more about oxide wafer coatings, read our technical article published on LinkedIn HERE.

Thermal Oxide Wafer Processing
Thermal Oxide Wafer Processing

When applied to a wafer, an oxide coating adds a dielectric or passivation layer, needed to give a semiconductor, MEMS or BioMEMS device its desired electrical properties.
 
In our “Oxide wafer coatings: their properties and application methods” article, we discuss the two most common oxidation processes – Atmospheric Thermal Oxide (ATOx) and Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition (PECVD) – and provide examples of applications that benefit from both.
 
We discuss oxide growth rate, and how it is influenced by temperature, the presence of other chemicals (water/steam in the case of wet ATOx), doping and crystal orientation.
 
Also, did you know, that during the oxidation process, oxide grows into the wafer as well as onto its surface. For silicon, the ratio is about 46% into the surface and 54% on top of the original surface. In other words, the overall wafer thickness does not increase by the depth of the oxide layer, as some of the Si is consumed during the oxidation process.
 
Inseto produces and supplies an extensive range of high-quality semiconductor wafers and substrates worldwide, used for production and research purposes.

For further information on Inseto’s range of oxide coated semiconductor wafers, please visit: HERE.

Adhesives for Battery Pack Production

24th September 2021

Inseto will be showcasing DELO’s range of adhesives at the Battery Tech Expo and Battery Technology Show this October.

Adhesives for Battery Pack Production
Adhesives for Battery Pack Assembly

Andover, United Kingdom – Used extensively in #EV #batterypacks, #adhesives play important roles. Here are just a few examples of what they are used for and the properties the adhesives must possess.

In carriers (pictured), adhesives are used for the bonding of cylindrical cells. Also, retainer bars are bonded onto the cells plus the carrier is bonded to a busbar. The adhesives also provide vibration protection and, hand in hand with that, help reduce noise.

The adhesives must also be flame retardant and bond to flame retardant materials. The coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) needs to be close to that of the other materials, and curing time needs to be short for volume production scenarios.

Adhesives are also used for weld and pin sealing in #batterymodules and #powerpacks and provide corrosion protection. The power management electronics used in packs also use adhesives; for die-attach and to protect components.

If you’d like to know more, come and talk to us at any of the following shows in October

  • 12th – Battery Tech Expo at Silverstone
  • 19th & 20th – FAST Show (co-locating with EDS) in Coventry (Ricoh Arena)
  • 26th & 27th – Battery Technology Show in Coventry (Ricoh Arena)

Schedule a meeting: https://www.inseto.co.uk/contact/

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For further information on these products please visit: https://www.inseto.co.uk/adhesives.php.

Sintering SiC Die Attach for High Power Electronic Devices

3rd August 2021

Example: Sintering SiC Die Attach of Semiconductor Devices

Check out the our latest “Knowledge Base” article on sintering SiC die first produced for e-mobility technology magazine (Summer Issue #9) and reproduced with kind permission of the editor on our website.

Silicon carbide (SiC) is the semiconductor material of choice for high power semiconductor transistors. They can switch far higher voltages and currents than devices fabricated from silicon. They can also run much hotter, presenting packaging challenges.

A popular substrate on to which SiC die is attached is copper. It is a good conductor of power and heat. However, the thermal conductivity of a typical die attach solder is not great, and melting points max out at circa 220°C.

An alternative to soldering is sintering. A paste comprising monometallic particles and a resin is printed onto a substrate in patterns corresponding to the shapes and locations of the SiC dies. The substrate is heated to evaporate the resin and the dies are placed. The sintering process itself sees a combination of heat and pressure.

Inseto is exclusive distributor for AMX’s range of equipment for sintering of die and leadframe assemblies, plus automatic inline acoustic microscopy. in the UK, Ireland and Nordic regions.

Rapid™ Pro Ball Bonders from Kulicke & Soffa Help Filtronic to Meet a Significant Increase in Demand for RF Modules for 5G

18th May 2021

Kulicke & Soffa RAPID™ Pro automatic wire bonder installed in the Filtronic cleanroom

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”.

Inseto is exclusive distributor for Kulicke and Soffa’s range of ultrasonic bonding equipment & materials in the UK, Ireland and Nordic regions.

Read about optimising EV Battery & Power Module, wire and ribbon bonded interconnects

13th April 2021

Battery Wire and Ribbon Ultrasonic Bonding Interconnects
Ultrasonic Wire and ribbon Bonding of Lithium-Ion Battery Packs

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.

A condensed version the EPD&T cover story is online here: https://bit.ly/3sbQZ83

If you’re interested in hearing how we can help you, we’re exhibiting at Battery Cells & Systems Expo at the NEC, Birmingham, on 7th & 8th July. https://lnkd.in/dk7Tagf

#lithiumionbatteries #evbatteries #wirebond

Inseto is exclusive distributor for Kulicke and Soffa’s range of ultrasonic bonding equipment & materials in the UK, Ireland and Nordic regions.

First Distributor in UK & Ireland to Supply SVHC-free Chip Encapsulation Adhesives for High Reliability Electronics Assembly Applications

8th March 2021

Inseto has written a free guide – ‘Likely Changes to Chip Encapsulation Adhesives’ – on this important topic.

SVHC Free Encapsulation Adhesive
SVHC-free DELO MONOPOX GE6585 and GE6525 are both ideal for chip encapsulation techniques such as Dam & Fill, as shown respectively in the above images.

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 SVHC-free Globtop and Dam and Fill Adhesives
DELO MONOPOX GE6585, DELO MONOPOX GE6525 and DELO DUALBOND GE7065, available in the UK and Ireland through Inseto, are believed to be the first SVHC-free adhesives on the market for applications where high reliability is a necessity.

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.

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For further information on these products please visit: https://www.inseto.co.uk/adhesives.php.

Asterion Wedge Bonder Meets CIL’s Advanced Technology Group’s Requirements for Multiple Electric Vehicle Projects

2nd March 2021

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.

Kulicke & Soffa Asterion Wedge Bonder
Kulicke & Soffa Asterion Wedge Bonder Installed at Custom Interconnect’s (CIL) new BEV Facility

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.

Inseto is exclusive distributor for Kulicke and Soffa’s range of wire bonding and die bonding equipment & materials in the UK, Ireland and Nordic regions.

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About CIL

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 further information please visit www.cil-uk.co.uk

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Download a PDF copy of this news release HERE.

Tresky AG Celebrates 40 Years

2nd February 2021

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.

Manual Flip Chip Die Bonder - Tresky T-4909-AE Flip Chip
New Tresky T-4909-AE (Anniversary Edition) Manual Die Bonder with Flip Chip Alignment

Users of CSA Catapult’s Facilities and Services Benefit from new DAGE Prospector – Micro Materials Tester

30th November 2020

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.

Nordson-DAGE Prospector Shear Testing devices under tempertaure control.
DAGE ProspectorTM Micro Materials Tester, Shear Testing Under Temperature Control

“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.”

Inseto is exclusive distributor for Nordson-DAGE Bond Test Equipment in the UK, Ireland and Nordic regions.

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About the CSA Catapult

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.

For further information on the CSA Catapult, please visit https://csa.catapult.org.uk

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For further information on DAGE bond testing equipment, please visit: https://www.inseto.co.uk/equipment/bond-and-materials-test-equipment-by-nordson-dage/

Download a PDF copy of this news release HERE.