Micronic Mydata opens new possibilities for the electronic packaging industry with groundbreaking LDI solution
News Release from:
Micronic Mydata AB
09 November 2011
Micronic Mydata AB launched a new Laser Direct Imaging solution it says will help manufacturers align to the future production needs of advanced electronics. At the same time as mobile phones, notebooks, PCs and other devices are growing smaller and more powerful, their functionality is becoming increasingly complex. A leap forward in direct imaging technology, the new Micronic Mydata LDI 5s Series will enable IC substrate producers to maintain current writing speeds, but with improved feature size control and alignment - while pushing resolution below 10µm.
Productivity boost for high-end production
Building on the company’s 25 years of experience in creating leading-edge lithographic solutions for photomask writers, Micronic Mydata is now harnessing this expertise to create a novel laser direct imaging system for high-end IC packaging production. According to company President and CEO Peter Uddfors, “The capability and productivity improvements will be substantial. Customers will be able to maintain their current throughput levels, use the same low-cost organic substrates and still meet challenging new demands for precision and alignment.”
The differences lies in the combination
The new Micronic Mydata LDI 5s Series unites several key innovations for fast, robust operations with high throughput and yield levels:
• Rotor-based projection system for smooth, continuous scanning
• Proprietary Spatial Light Modulation (SLM) with precise image control
• Twin-table stage system to maximize writing efficiency
• High bandwidth datapath for improved alignment overlay on individual panels in real time
“What makes our solution truly innovative is not one particular feature, but how we’ve combined several in a novel way,” says Director, Product Area LDI, Henrik Sjöberg. He adds that the use of a rotor-based projection system, a novel approach for direct imaging, offers performance advantages over alternative LDI approaches. Combined with the proprietary SLM technology, producers now get a stable and high-performing tool that delivers on a number of key parameters at sub-10µm levels.
Unique autofocus system and other high-performance features
The ability to achieve super-sharp, sub-10µm imaging is now made possible thanks to a number of key technology innovations that are unique to Micronic Mydata. For example, based on new refinements, a proprietary linear gray scale spatial light modulator (SLM) generates a fine writing grid for precise positioning of pattern features. During operations, an autofocus system actively follows the substrate topography on each and every panel, ensuring optimal focus performance. Finally, a high-speed graphics processor-based datapath adapts the pattern to each panel without sacrificing productivity.
Meeting a future industry need. Today.
According to Sjöberg, the move by Micronic Mydata to develop a direct imaging tool for advanced electronics was a natural response to a growing industry trend and challenges. He says the proliferation of smaller and more powerful smart phones, notepads and PCs is placing added pressures on electronics manufacturers to launch more premium, feature-rich and mobile products. The fact that certain forward-thinking manufacturers have been able to continue to command premium prices for their smart phones and mobile internet brands is a good example of the robust underlying market demand and a growing trend.
Moore’s Law and More than Moore
Driven by Moore’s Law, the producers of high-performance microprocessors and mobile electronic devices must increasingly cope with higher pin counts and shrinking lines and spaces in the substrates used in electronics packaging. Currently, IC substrate manufacturers rely on low-cost organic substrates to achieve cost-efficient production. However, at sub-10µm levels, they are finding it challenging to deliver high resolution and fine alignment on organic materials – at speed. This is largely due to the dynamic nature of the organic material. The Micronic Mydata LDI will also help extend the use of organic materials for future production needs.
A convergence of technologies
Today, we’re seeing a convergence of the mobile and PC industries, coupled with several existing manufacturing technologies that are reaching the limits of their usefulness. Smaller mobile devices, equipped with so-called chip scale packages (CSPs), are growing more powerful, with extraordinary functionality. Meanwhile, laptops and personal computers are getting smaller, equipped with powerful ball grid array packages (BGAs). Perhaps the most interesting development is how the new generation of mobile internet devices (tablet PCs, netpads, etc.) are combining the benefits of both BGA and CSP devices: they must be lightweight, consume less power, be always connect and offer superior performance and functionality.
Manufacturing in a sub-10 micrometer world
To meet the needs of all these technologies, substrate manufacturers are under pressure to deliver the next generation of high-performance BGAs and CSPs at sub-10µm levels. While the idea of skipping several steps in the traditional process by writing directly on the substrate is not new, it has not previously been possible to do so with both high resolution and alignment – at speed. Says Sjöberg: “It is perhaps not so difficult to print sub-10µm patterns on organic substrates if you write relatively slowly. But, our customers need to produce one-hundred or more panels an hour - on each line - and cannot afford to wait.”
A natural step for Micronic Mydata
Well known in the electronics industry for its in-depth knowledge in laser-based pattern generators for flat screen TVs, Micronic Mydata says it was a natural step to transfer this expertise to the direct imaging market for substrates. “Our aim has always been to offer more productive and successful technology and to work closely with our partners,” says CEO Peter Uddfors. “If we can write complex patterns on photomasks, why not do the same directly onto the substrate and solve an industry challenge at the same time?”
Strong local presence and support
Currently, approximately one-third of Micronic Mydata employees are working in local markets around the world, including electronic hubs such as Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei and Silicon Valley. Every day, 24/7, world leaders in the electronics industry rely on the company’s pattern generators and surface mount equipment. To date, the company has installed over 160 mask pattern generators and 4,000 surface mount technology (SMT) tools. Micronic Mydata’s entrance into the LDI sector coincides with an industry trend and has the potential to significantly increase the company’s activities in the advanced electronics packaging market.