On May 23, 2012 TWI Ltd. hosted a seminar on 3D packaging at its conference centre in Granta Park, Abington, Cambridge, UK. Organised by National Microelectronics Institute (NMI) with support from iMAPS and the Innovative Electronics Manufacturing Research Centre (IeMRC), this network event had the objective of presenting delegates with details of the latest technology roadmap developments, as well as information on the challenges and opportunities associated with 3D packaging.
Seminar speakers gathered for a group photo following a successful event.
The seminar began with an introduction and welcome by Paul Jarvie of NMI who thanked TWI for hosting the event and the IeMRC and iMAPS for providing additional support. He then introduced NMI, which was a trade body for electronics in the UK with over 220 members and whose activities encompassed all aspects related to semiconductor technology. Jarvie also highlighted NMI’s involvement in the "Electronic Systems – Challenges and Opportunities’ (ESCO) Report" and Power Electronics UK. He also referred the attendees to a power electronics capability directory which mapped the UK power electronics supply chain capability. Additionally, NMI was active in the Automotive Electronic Systems Network and supported the UK Electronics Skills Forum, which aim to encourage the best talent to become involved in electronics and which was helping to address the diminishing skills capability in the UK. He concluded by giving a brief overview of the IeMRC-funded FAMOBS project led by Heriot Watt University.
The first technical presentation was then given by Andrew Richardson from Lancaster University, whose talk was entitled "Inside 3D Packaging Technology." Andrew began by giving an overview of his packaging related work at Lancaster, which included engagement in multi-partner European projects around MEMS packaging. He then discussed the challenge of achieving best functionality without limiting performance in the context of integrating MEMS type devices. MEMS packaging had additional demands as it often required the interaction of the MEMS device with the environment. This meant that there was a need for more interfaces, which had to be addressed in terms of ensuring overall system reliability was achieved.
Richardson then covered the effects of packaging materials on the functional performance of MEMS type devices. Thermal expansion mismatches between different materials were a common cause of reliability problems and, in 3D packaging, the substrate was often part of the overall package. There were also many other integration challenges such as provision of interconnects, choice of materials, need for self-testing and self-monitoring and the design itself; design for X was crucial for future MNT integration. He then gave an overview of MEMS application areas and examples included pressure sensors, gas sensors, flow sensors, gyroscopes, and optical sensors.