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
J. Electron. Packag. 2017;139(4):041008-041008-10. doi:10.1115/1.4038114.

Effect of airflow managements on the efficiency index of a small container data center having overhead air supply is reported in this study. Seventeen arrangements and configurations regarding the airflow and blockage arrangements are experimentally examined and compared. Test results indicate an appreciable hot air recirculation occurring for rack arrangement without any blockage, and the hot spot occurs at the second rack alongside the cold aisle. The hot spot had moved to the first rack when the blockage plate is installed on the rack top. Rack locations relative to air handler casts a negligible effect on the efficiency index, and it is comparatively more effective by sealing the trailing of the cold aisle. A smaller cold-aisle spacing helps to lower the temperature distribution, and an additional opening of the supplied vent will not help in removal of hot spot. Shutting off the grille in the center of cold aisle is also unable to fix the hot air recirculation and may even incur hot air reversal. The hot air reversal can be removed by adding additional blockage plate at the flow reversal section. Higher supplied air flow rate also improves the efficiency index considerably.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Electron. Packag. 2017;139(4):041009-041009-5. doi:10.1115/1.4038113.

The junction temperature of the quad flat nonlead (QFN) electronic devices equipping embarked assemblies may be controlled so that it does not exceed the maximum value recommended by the manufacturer. The packaging design is then important to ensure correct operation and high reliability, given the significant power generated during operation and the inclination angle of the packages during the flight. It is particularly important when thermoregulation is achieved by means of natural convection. The objective of this study is to examine the influence of the adhesive paste used to connect the Die of the QFN with its base. The study deals with three devices among the most used in the conventional arrangements: the QFN16, 32, and 64. A three-dimensional (3D) numerical solution based on the control volume formulation allows to determine their thermal behavior for generated power ranging from 0.1 to 1.0 W by steps of 0.1 W and inclination angle varying between 0 deg (horizontal position) and 90 deg (vertical position) by steps of 15 deg. A wide range of the paste’s thermal conductivity has been considered, varying between −80% and +100% of its average value, measured by means of the transient plane source (TPS) method. The numerical results confirmed by measurements show that the junction temperature strongly increases when the conductivity of the paste decreases. The temperature is moderately reduced when the paste is thermally more conductive. Relationships are proposed to calculate the junction temperature for the three considered devices, according to the generated power, the inclination angle, and the relative paste’s thermal conductivity.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Electron. Packag. 2017;139(4):041010-041010-13. doi:10.1115/1.4038143.

Low-temperature microjoining, such as wire (or ribbon) bonding, tape automated bonding (TAB), and flip chip bonding (FCB), is necessary for electronics packaging. Each type of microjoining takes on various aspects but has common bonding mechanisms regarding friction slip, plastic deformation, and friction heating. In the present paper, solid-state microjoining mechanisms in Au wire (ball) bonding, FCB, Al wire bonding (WB), and Al ribbon bonding are discussed to systematically understand the common bonding mechanisms. Ultrasonic vibration enhances friction slip and plastic deformation, making it possible to rapidly obtain dry interconnects. Metallic adhesion at the central area of the bonding interface is mainly produced by the friction slip. On the other hand, the folding of the lateral side surfaces of the Au bump, Au ball, and Al wire is very important for increasing the bonded area. The central and peripheral adhesions are achieved by a slip-and-fold mechanism. The solid-state microjoining mechanisms of WB and FCB are discussed based on experimental results.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Electron. Packag. 2017;139(4):041011-041011-7. doi:10.1115/1.4038235.

In general, smaller fans operate at lower efficiencies than larger fans of proportional linear dimensions. In this work, the applicability of replacing smaller, 60 mm baseline fans from within the chassis of web servers with an array of larger, geometrically proportional 80 mm and 120 mm fans consolidated to the back of a rack is experimentally tested. Initial characterization of the selected fans showed that the larger fans operate at double peak total efficiency of the smaller fans. A stack of four servers were used in a laboratory setting to represent a rack of servers. When all four servers were stressed at uniform computational loadings, the 80 mm fans resulted in 50.1–52.6% reduction in total rack fan power compared to the baseline fans. The 120 mm fans showed similar reduction in rack fan power of 47.6–54.0% over the baseline. Since actual data centers rarely operate at uniform computational loading across servers in a rack, a worst case scenario test was conceived in which the array of larger fans were controlled by a single server operating at peak computational workload while the other three in the rack remained idle. Despite significant overcooling in the three idle servers, the 80 mm and 120 mm fan configurations still showed 35% and 34% reduction in total rack fan power compared to the baseline fans. The findings strongly suggest that a rack-level fan scheme in which servers share airflow from an array of consolidated larger fans is superior to traditional chassis fans.

Topics: Fans , Temperature
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Electron. Packag. 2017;139(4):041012-041012-9. doi:10.1115/1.4038014.

Fan efficiency is known to increase with size. In part I of this study, savings in server fan power on the order of 50% were reported by replacing server-enclosed 60 mm fans with a rear-mounted wall of larger fans (80 mm or 120 mm in size). A methodology for row-wise control of such rack-level fans, with the purpose of simulating an actual product, is previewed and savings comparable to part I are reported. Performance under real-life scenarios such as nonuniform computational loads and fan failure is investigated. Each rack-level setup has distinct advantages. Selecting between configurations would necessitate a compromise between efficiency, redundancy, and cost.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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