Chip-on-wafer technology could pave the way for higher-performance, slimmer and more cost-effective electronic devices.
Conventional Chip-on-Wafer bonding techniques used for making 3D chipsets rely on a solder-assisted thermo-compression bonding process that takes more than 15 seconds at a minimum of 300 degrees Celsius to complete. This method, which attaches the chip to a piece of semiconductor wafer, slows the overall production process and results in higher manufacturing costs.
AsianScientist (Dec. 29, 2014) – A*STAR’s Institute of Microelectronics (IME) has formed a Chip-on-Wafer (CoW) Consortium to enable semiconductor firms to develop commercially-viable capabilities for making 3D chipsets.
The consortium is working on overcoming such challenges by using low temperature copper-copper (Cu-Cu) diffusion bonding.
A new ultra-stable adhesive identified through ESA research could be a key to assembling rock-solid structures for space, including large telescopes, instruments and antennas to peer deeper into the cosmos or sharpen views of our terrestrial environment. The ceramic bonding promises composite structures of several meters rigid down to a few thousandths of a millimeter. Such stability will be essential for new classes of space mission.
The challenge is greatest for optical, radio and other precision instruments, where rigidity is essential.
BCC Research projects that the global market for sputtering targets and sputtered films will grow from $3.0 billion in 2013 to $3.2 billion in 2018, a CAGR of 1.3% over the five year period.
This report provides:
An overview of the global market for sputtering targets and sputtered films.
Analyses of global market trends, with data from 2013, and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2018. (more…)
Sapphire crystals play a key role in protecting various electronics from environmental conditions, as the material is one of the most scratch-resistant available. In fact, the latest Apple smartphone, the iPhone 5S uses it as protection both for the camera lens as well as the fingerprint scanner that is now incorporated into the front face.
It has been posited that Apple might use the crystal, synthetically produced, for the screen of the iPhone 6. The crystal is even stronger and more resistant to strikes than Corning’s Gorilla Glass, currently the standard for smartphones from a variety of manufacturers. One key concern is cost, and an Apple partner has reportedly streamlined the process. With phones and other products, another key is aluminum soldering or joining sapphire to other materials.
While many companies make electronics relatively easy to take apart to make repairs and replace components, the tech giant has a history of making closed systems. If that is the case, then joining the screen to the frame of the case could improve rigidity and limit deformation from falls or other accidents. Perhaps more importantly, any reduction in the price of sapphire display screens could spur its usage in other industries.
As noted above, phone makers already take advantage of the material to protect camera lenses, yet it is also commonly used in the production of lasers and in high-risk environments for sensor arrays, such as on oil rigs or for equipment that must take the brunt of sand, wind and other things that can degrade surfaces relatively quickly. If GT Advanced Technologies can decrease the costs of production, it stands as a material nearly as scratch-resistant as synthetic diamonds and far superior to
This will improve opportunities to make stronger electronics, but at the same time engineers will need to consider aluminum soldering options and other joining materials that can be used in low-temperature processes. Otherwise, they will be limited in designs based on differences in coefficients of thermal expansion between materials.
3D printing seems to grow ever more popular year by year. Research and development into this field is growing at a rapid pace and expanding into new frontiers. While it is most commonly used for plastics and prototyping, some companies have been expanding the applications to include solder masking. One manufacturer seems to have made a significant advance with the use of imprint lithography to affix transistors to substrates. One offshoot of that may be the necessity for joining dissimilar materials using techniques such as aluminum soldering. (more…)
While everyone was watching the Mars Curiosity Rover as it landed delicately on the surface of the red planet and explored its surroundings, other NASA projects have focused on analyzing the atmosphere and obtaining other data. Without aluminum soldering as part of creating composite structures, none of that would be possible.
MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) will not reach its expected orbit around Mars until September, but it is already an example of the efforts to create long-lasting chassis to handle rough landings and other extreme conditions. The frame is made of aluminum sheeting with composite materials in between the metal materials and is based on advancements of joining these materials pioneered by the supercar industry to improve safety of drivers and their passengers. (more…)
Raw materials costs can quickly make it difficult for companies to maintain their profit margins on a given product. At a time when copper prices have been steadily increasing, it may make sense for firms to look at other materials. Yet to do so, they may also need to consider alternatives to achieve dissimilar materials joining.
Companies in China are moving from using copper in cabling to using aluminum, a Metal Bulletin report indicates, where just 10 percent of total production uses the metal compared to roughly 50 percent in the U.S. and even more in other developed countries. The rationale is that the cables can be priced 20 to 30 percent cheaper due to the decrease in material costs. Similar moves are occurring throughout the electronics industry. Yet without the use of specific metal solders to join materials, adapting designs can be extremely difficult.
While high-priced super cars are the biggest beneficiaries of advances in the use of lightweight carbon-fiber, car companies are looking to find weight savings across their model lines. As they do so, efforts to find effective bonding solutions for dissimilar materials will become critical.
Recent discussions by automotive engineers and composite material makers at automotive conferences focus on the difficulties in managing disparate thermal expansion rates where aluminum expands at a much higher rate than carbon fiber. There are even slight differences between mild steel and fiberglass options that can impact the construction process.