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Research Papers

J. Electron. Packag. 2017;139(4):041001-041001-9. doi:10.1115/1.4037221.

This paper presents innovative compact three-dimensional integrated passive and active components (3D IPAC) packages with ultrathin glass substrates for radio frequency (RF) long-term evolution (LTE) front-end modules (FEMs). High component density was achieved through double-side integration of substrate-embedded passives for impedance matching networks and three-dimensional (3D) double-side assembly of filters onto glass substrates. Glass with 100 μm thickness formed the core of the package, while four build-up layers with 15 μm thickness each were used to embed passives and form redistribution layers (RDLs). Advanced panel-scale double-side assembly processes were developed with low-cost mass reflow. Board-level assembly was realized with paste-printed solder balls and reflow on printed circuit board (PCB) with no intermediate substrates. Electrical performance of filters with substrate-embedded impedance matching networks was characterized and compared to simulations.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Electron. Packag. 2017;139(4):041002-041002-8. doi:10.1115/1.4037276.

Overhang and/or pyramid stacked packages are the trend in the semiconductor industry. As the stacked layers increase drastically, the wire sweep and wire sag problems become more and more serious. Based on some types of frequently used stacked configurations, their corresponding wire sweep and wire sag stiffness and deflections are investigated for extra-high stacked layers. Two typical profiles of Q_loop and S_loop wire bonds are included in this study. However, wire sweep and wire sag have to be considered in two different design aspects. For wire sweep, we have the conclusion that the maximum wire sweep deflections always occur near the central segment of a wire bond. As for the wire sag, the maximum wire sag may take place in the center region of the straight portion of a wire bond. The result shows that the deflections of wire sag can be reduced significantly by simply shifting the position of the kink or bend created within a wire bond. Finally, we have concluded that a stacked configuration with smallest bond span may be the preferred selection for the concerns of wire sweep and wire sag issues.

Topics: Wire , Deflection
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Electron. Packag. 2017;139(4):041003-041003-9. doi:10.1115/1.4037334.

A method to determine the critical energy release rate of a peel tested sample using an energy-based approach within a finite element framework is developed. The method uses a single finite element model, in which the external work, elastic strain energy, and inelastic strain energy are calculated as nodes along the crack interface are sequentially decoupled. The energy release rate is calculated from the conservation of energy. By using a direct, energy-based approach, the method can account for large plastic strains and unloading, both of which are common in peel tests. The energy rates are found to be mesh dependent; mesh and convergence strategies are developed to determine the critical energy release rate. An example of the model is given in which the critical energy release rate of a 10-μm thick electroplated copper thin film bonded to a borosilicate glass substrate which exhibited a 3.0 N/cm average peel force was determined to be 20.9 J/m2.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Electron. Packag. 2017;139(4):041004-041004-7. doi:10.1115/1.4037474.

The effect of applied current in enhancing bonding was studied in Cu-to-Cu direct bonding using Cu microbumps. A daisy-chain structure of electroplated Cu microbumps (20 μm × 20 μm) was fabricated on Si wafer. Cu-to-Cu bonding was performed in ambient atmosphere at 200–300 °C for 10 min under 260 MPa, during which direct current of 0–10 A (2.5 × 106 A/cm2) was applied. With increasing applied current, the contact resistance decreased and the shear strength in the Cu-to-Cu joints increased. The enhanced bonding imparted by the application of current was ascribed to Joule heating and electromigration effects. Subsequently, the joint temperature was calibrated to isolate the electromigration effects for study. In Cu-to-Cu joints joined at the same adjusted temperature, increasing the current caused unbonded regions to decrease and regions of cohesive failure to increase. The enhanced diffusion across the Cu/Cu interfaces under the applied current was the main mechanism whereby the quality of the Cu-to-Cu joints was improved.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Electron. Packag. 2017;139(4):041005-041005-9. doi:10.1115/1.4037526.

Complete immersion of servers in dielectric mineral oil has recently become a promising technique for minimizing cooling energy consumption in data centers. However, a lack of sufficient published data and long-term documentation of oil immersion cooling performance make most data center operators hesitant to apply these approaches to their mission critical facilities. In this study, a single server was fully submerged horizontally in mineral oil. Experiments were conducted to observe the effects of varying the volumetric flow rate and oil inlet temperature on thermal performance and power consumption of the server. Specifically, temperature measurements of the central processing units (CPUs), motherboard (MB) components, and bulk fluid were recorded at steady-state conditions. These results provide an initial bounding envelope of environmental conditions suitable for an oil immersion data center. Comparing with results from baseline tests performed with traditional air cooling, the technology shows a 34.4% reduction in the thermal resistance of the system. Overall, the cooling loop was able to achieve partial power usage effectiveness (pPUECooling) values as low as 1.03. This server level study provides a preview of possible facility energy savings by utilizing high temperature, low flow rate oil for cooling. A discussion on additional opportunities for optimization of information technology (IT) hardware and implementation of oil cooling is also included.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Electron. Packag. 2017;139(4):041006-041006-7. doi:10.1115/1.4037971.

Display light guides, commonly constructed of a polymer such as polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), are known to be susceptible to moisture absorption, swelling, and warping in the field when exposed to elevated ambient humidity levels. This work presents a quantitative theoretical framework for calculating water absorption over time. In addition, a simple theory is laid out, which connects mass absorption of water to linear expansion of the polymer. Finally, a simple quantitative analysis of out-of-plane warping of the light guide is presented. Experimental data from laboratory PMMA coupons and two different sizes of large displays are used to establish the values of key parameters of the theoretical model. General purpose results for any size of PMMA display are presented. The approach can easily be adapted to light guides fabricated using other polymers.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Electron. Packag. 2017;139(4):041007-041007-9. doi:10.1115/1.4038028.

In this work, a novel ball grid array (BGA) interconnection process has been developed using solderable polymer–solder composites (SPCs) with low-melting-point alloy (LMPA) fillers to enhance the processability of the conventional capillary underfill technique and to overcome the limitations of the no-flow underfill technique. To confirm the feasibility of the proposed technique, a BGA interconnection test was performed using four types of SPCs with a different LMPA concentration (from 0 to 5 vol %). After the BGA interconnection process, the interconnection characteristics, such as morphology of conduction path and electrical properties of the BGA assemblies, were inspected and compared. The results indicated that BGA assemblies using SPC without LMPA fillers showed weak conduction path formation, including open circuit (solder bump loss) or short circuit formation because of the expansion of air voids within the interconnection area due to the relatively high reflow peak temperature. Meanwhile, assemblies using SPC with 3 vol % LMPAs showed stable metallurgical interconnection formation and electrical resistance due to the relatively low-reflow peak temperature and favorable selective wetting behavior of molten LMPAs for the solder bumps and Cu metallizations.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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