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SMT & Inspection | March 01, 2005

DEK co-authors win “Best International Paper” award

DEK’s work as part of the Blue Whale project has been commended by the SMTA for its contribution to European microelectronics research, underlining the merits of high accuracy mass imaging for wafer level bumping applications.
The SMTA presented its award for “Best International Paper” at the SMTA Conference 2004 to the paper, jointly authored by DEK technical managers with researchers at the Technical University of Berlin, which presented important wafer level research undertaken as part of Blue Whale.

The paper includes DEK’s solution for applying solder balls to 6-inch diameter wafers that are only 150 my thick. These are much thinner and more delicate than standard wafers, which required enhancements to DEK’s standard solder ball attach process for conventional chip scale packaging. In addition to allowing applications using very thin wafers, DEK’s work has also shown it is possible to deposit solder balls as small as 250 my diameter on a pitch of 400 my, setting a new benchmark for resolution when depositing solder balls for semiconductor applications.

The project, which is part funded by the EU, aims to develop next generation Wafer-level packaging for Handheld Applications in a LAN Environment (Blue WHALE). The objective is to create a miniaturised system on chip comprising analog radio and digital microprocessor and, separately, a power amplifier enabling operation up to the maximum 100m range of Bluetooth, within highly miniaturised packages. To achieve this, the consortium targeted using wafer-level packaging with external interconnects

to both sides of the wafer. This called for extensive research into via-in-via and via re-routing, particularly to enable optimal physical location of the power amplifier connections. DEK’s experience in wafer bumping and solder ball attach provided expertise to solve the difficult packaging challenges when using these technologies within a highly miniaturised outline.

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