Micro Interconnection System | Engineering Dissertations

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Introduction

In the past, the primary function of micro-systems packaging was to provide input/output (I/O) connections to and from integrated circuits (ICs) and to provide interconnection between the components on the system board level while physically supporting the electronic device and protecting the assembly from the environment.

In order to increase the functionality and the miniaturization of the current electronic devices, these IC devices have not only incorporated more transistors but have also included more active and passive components on an individual chip. This has resulted in the emerging trend of a new convergent system[1]

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Currently, there are three main approaches to achieving these convergent systems, namely the system-on-chip (SOC), system-in-package (SIP) and system on package (SOP). SOC seeks to integrate numerous system functions on one silicon chip. However, this approach has numerous fundamental and economical limitations which include high fabrication costs and integration limits on wireless communications, which due to inherent losses of silicon and size restriction.

SIP is a 3-D packaging approach, where vertical stacking of multi-chip modules is employed. Since all of the ICs in the stack are still limited to CMOS IC processing, the fundamental integration limitation of the SOC still remains. SOP on the other hand, seeks to achieve a highly integrated microminiaturized system on the package using silicon for transistor integration and package for RF, digital and optical integration[1] IC packaging is one of the key enabling technologies for microprocessor performance.

As performance increases, technical challenges increase in the areas of power delivery, heat removal, I/O density and thermo-mechanical reliability. These are the most difficult challenges for improving performance and increasing integration, along with decreasing manufacturing cost.

Chip-to-package interconnections in microsystems packages serve as electrical interconnections but often fail by mechanisms such as fatigue and creep. Furthermore, driven by the need for increase the system functionality and decrease the feature size, the International Technology Roadmap for Semi-conductors (ITRS) has predicted that integrated chip (IC) packages will have interconnections with I/O pitch of 90 nm by the year 2018 [2]. Lead-based solder materials have been used for interconnections in flip chip technology and the surface mount technology for many decades.

The traditional lead-based and lead-free solder bumps will not satisfy the thermal mechanical requirement of these fine pitches interconnects. These electronic packages, even under normal operating conditions, can reach a temperature as high as 150C. Due to differences in the coefficient of thermal expansion of the materials in an IC package, the packages will experience significant thermal strains due to the mismatch, which in turn will cause lead and lead-free solder interconnections to fail prematurely.

Aggarwal et al [3] had modeled the stress experienced by chip to package interconnect. In his work, he developed interconnects with a height of 15 to 50 micrometre on different substrate using classic beam theory.

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