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Advanced plastic encapsulation


Plastic packaging technologies are now utilised not only
in the encapsulation of discrete electronic components
bur also in the encapsulation of high performance ULSI
and VLSI circuits and microsystem components. This is
primarily due to issues of cost. Alternative materials
are unlikely to replace plastics for the vast majority of
applications for the foreseeable future. It is
increasingly evident that plastic materials are being and
will continue to be used by European microelectronic and
microsystems companies.
At present 90% of plastic encapsulants used by European
companies in the packaging of microelectronics components
and microsystems are manufactured in Japan. This
situation puts European companies in a very vulnerable
position with regard to continuity of supply. This was
clearly shown following the accident which occured some
years ago at the Sumitomo plant in Japan which resulted
in a shortage of appropriate encapsulant materials.

It is therefore crucial that Europe develops an
independent source of new advanced plastic encapsulation
materials. This proposal is aimed at addressing this
problem through combining the expertise of European
materials and electronics companies.

Recent European research projects (EU ESPRIT 5033 PLASIC
and 6386 ASAP) have addressed certain issues relating to
plastic packaging technologies and in particular, the
requirement for high reliability packages for application
specific integrated circuits (ASIC) devices. These
projects were focused on the identification of
reliability hazards, thermo-mechanical modelling of
packages and the development of sophisticated test
methods. TRIMOD (ESPRIT 6410) was concerned with the
design and development of a three dimensional or vertical
multichip module. However, to-date European research
programmes have not addressed the issue of the
development of new high performance plastic encapsulants.

Recent developments in atomistic simulation tools based
on quantum mechanical models have enabled quantitative
predication of material properties. These tools in
combination with the more traditional iterative approach
have the potential to revolutionise advanced polymer
engineering. Using this approach the consortium will
develop two new advanced polymer systems. The first, a
liquid encapsulant with the potential for potting of
complex components. This material will be based on new
epoxy resin combinations and filler types. The second
system will be based on novel liquid crystal polymer
(LCP) blends to obtain high temperature operation with
tailored mechanical properties. In particular, the
project objectives are to develop:

New advanced high performance liquid encapsulants for
the potting of complex three dimensional microsystems.
The material properties will be tailored to meet the
increasing thermal, mechanical and electrical demands of
reduced components dimensions..
Novel LCP blends for the encapsulation of discrete
power electronic components operating at high temperature
(220 C).
Novel low stress LCP blends for high performance large
die IC's.
Perform product replacement of standard epoxy moulding
compounds by environmentally friendly (recyclable) LCP
moulding compounds.

The importance of this work to European polymer
manufacturers and the microelectronics industry is
reflected in the consortium profile. The consortium is
vertically integrated and includes a major European
manufacturer of ASIC's for telecommunications, automotive
and industrial control systems; a major European IC
manufacturer with the only large scale plastic
encapsulation assembly line in Europe; an SME
manufacturer of microsystems for aerospace and medical
applications; a world leader in LCP manufacture; a
leading developer and manufacturer of plastic
encapsulation systems for both microsystems and discrete
electronic devices; and two National Research Centres
with expertise in microelectronic packaging materials
science and polymer research respectively.

The success of the APE project will ensure that both
polymer materials manufacturers are well positioned to
supply the European electronics industry with
strategically placed sources of high performance plastic
encapsulation systems within two years of completion of
the project.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


National University of Ireland, Cork
Prospect Row
30 Cork

Participants (6)

421,Rue Helene Boucher 421 Zone Industrielle
78532 Buc
15,Westerring 15
9700 Oudenaarde
7,Avenue Galliéni 7
94253 Gentilly
Technical Research Centre of Finland
33101 Tampere
The Dexter GmbH
5,Lilienthal Straße
85748 Garching
Ticona GmbH
Lyoner Strasse 38
60528 Frankfurt / Niederrad