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Electronics packaging is the design and production of enclosures for electronic devices

Electronic packaging is the design and production of enclosures for electronic devices ranging from individual semiconductor devices up to complete systems such as a mainframe computer. Electronic packaging is the science of placing electronic devices and circuitry in protective enclosures and providing interconnections within and between different electronic devices.

 

Electronic packaging and semiconductor manufacturing are two major activities to produce microsystems including microelectronics, optoelectronics, microwave/RF, biomedical devices, sensors, actuators, micro-scaled energy systems, etc. Electronic packaging interconnects “chips” and other components into a microsystem.  An electronics assembly consists of component devices, circuit card assemblies (CCAs), connectors, cables and components such as transformers, power supplies, relays, switches, etc. that may not mount on the circuit card.

 

Packaging of an electronic system must consider protection from mechanical damage, cooling, radio frequency noise emission, and electrostatic discharge. Packaging Electronic Parts is necessary to protect the active element against Handling, Shock and vibration, Contamination, Light penetration or emission. It provides a suitable system to make the connection between the element and the printed wiring board. It prevents conductive parts of the element from coming in contact with other conductive surfaces unless intended.

 

One of the foremost drivers in the electronics packaging industry is the fast pace evolution of silicon IC technology. Another crucial driver is continuous photonics development which is automatically integrated to the various level of media interconnections relative to custom electronic packaging. These drivers force electronic product packaging designs to adapt and modify electronic packaging’s functions.

 

Electronic Packaging Levels

Electronic packaging can be organized by levels: from Level 0 – “Chip”, protecting a bare semiconductor die from contamination and damage; Level 1 – this electronic packaging level protects electronic components such as semiconductor package design and the packaging of other discrete components. Level 2 – this electronic packaging level protects the printed circuit board. Level 3 – this electronic packaging level protects assembly, wiring boards and associated components of these. Level 4 – Module, assemblies integrated in an overall enclosure. Level 5 – this electronic packaging level protects a combination of different modules or the electronic system in general. These levels are necessary to help electronic manufacturing companies easily assess electronic packaging materials needed for an electronic packaging design. This makes operations more efficient and fluid since they can easily look for what they need simply by describing the electronic packaging level they are currently working on.

 

In each level, there are design and manufacturing activities. Design considers electrical, optical, mechanical, thermal and other performance measures. Manufacturing includes fabrication, assembly, and testing. Such design and manufacturing activities are applied to not only every microelectronic system but optoelectronics, microwave/RF, biomedical devices, sensors, actuators, micro-scaled energy systems, etc.

 

Electronic Packaging Challenges

Electronic packaging is continuously facing many challenges such as I/O s, increasing number, decreasing pitch, Heat Dissipation, (especially in space), Manufacturability, Materials, Mechanical, Installation, Testability, Inspectability, RoHS (Pb-free) and (Space Environment).

 

Space Environment also poses many complex Challenges for Non-hermetic Packages such as Hard Vacuum, Foreign Object Debris (FOD), • Shock and vibration, Thermal cycling, Thermal management, Thousands of interconnects, Low volume assembly, Long life, Novel hardware – “one offs”, Rigorous test and inspection.

 

Electronic packaging technology

Electronic packaging is arguably the most complex among all levels of packaging as it requires extensive engineering and skill set in order to come up with an optimal overall electronics packaging design compared to other industry packaging designs. The wide range of options available makes it hard for the production team to decide since the choice may potentially conflict with the functions of the electronic packaging.

 

The market is driven by consumer products which are Low cost, High volume, Rapid turnover, “Green” and Minimized size and are Nonhermetic, mostly plastic. Product safety standards may dictate particular features of a consumer product, for example, external case temperature or grounding of exposed metal parts. Prototypes and industrial equipment made in small quantities may use standardized commercially available enclosures such as card cages or prefabricated boxes. Mass-market consumer devices may have highly specialized packaging to increase consumer appeal. Electronic packaging is a major discipline within the field of mechanical engineering.

 

NASA prefers hermetic packages for critical applications. Hermeticity is measureable, assuring package integrity – although testing is difficult. Just 3 tests provide assurance for hermetic package integrity:
– Hermeticity – nothing bad can get in
– Residual or Internal gas analysis – nothing bad is inside
– Particle Impact Noise Detection – no FOD inside

Non Hermetic package integrity is hard to asess. Non-hermetic packages expose materials interfaces that are locked away in hermetic ones

 

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has historically relied on the use of hermetically sealed ceramic and metal component packages for the reliability and integrity of military hardware. During the last twenty years, military electronics have become a very small segment of the total electronic market. Within this time frame, military research, development and standards have fallen behind private industry innovation and practices. Due to the low volume, “high reliability” materials and processes, many in line process controls cannot be utilized as with the higher volume commercial parts. As a result, the cost of MilSpec components is typically twice to ten times those of commercial parts.

 

The DoD is currently seeking to use commercial parts and practices, yet still, maintain superior reliability in military electronic systems. This is being accomplished through two major thrust technologies; the first, the use of plastic encapsulated microcircuits (PEM’s) and the second, the use of environmentally protected chip-on-board (COB) processing.

 

The traditional use of hermeticity and requirements of military electronic components are reviewed. Preliminary commercial task force testing, which investigated the use of silicone gels and other organic materials, as a method to seal plastic packages, is addressed. A recent U.S. Air Force (reliability without hermeticity [RWOH]) study and follow on work, conducted by the joint military/industry plastic package availability (PPA) program, investigated the use of two ceramic layers (SiO/sub 2/ and SiC) over silicon die, designed to increase the reliability of commercial plastic packages. These studies utilized highly accelerated stress testing (HAST) as an indicator of reliability. The use of ceramic and organic coatings to encapsulate COB hardware has also been undertaken. These studies have not only targeted single-chip applications, but also multichip applications, such as, MCM-L packages.

 

Electronics Packaging Design and Engineering

Since electronic products are considered fragile, the electronics product packaging design must consider protection from extreme temperatures, mechanical damage, electrostatic discharge and high frequency noise emission.  In the design of electronic products, electronic packaging engineers perform analyses to estimate such things as maximum temperatures for components, structural resonant frequencies, and dynamic stresses and deflections under worst-case environments. Such knowledge is important to prevent immediate or premature electronic product failures.

 

Electronic packaging relies on mechanical engineering principles such as dynamics, stress analysis, heat transfer and fluid mechanics. High-reliability equipment often must survive drop tests, loose cargo vibration, secured cargo vibration, extreme temperatures, humidity, water immersion or spray, rain, sunlight (UV, IR and visible light), salt spray, explosive shock, and many more. These requirements extend beyond and interact with the electrical design.

 

1. Interpretation of Specifications

Aside from the electrical circuits, the electronics packaging engineer should also be able to interpret the non-electrical concerns needed for the electronics packaging design. These non-electrical concerns are functionality, reliability, aesthetics, durability and production cost. Even if the electrical circuits are all in place yet the design failed any of these other concerns then the electronic product packaging design can still be considered failure to comply with standards.

 

2. Having a Design Approach

Even if the electronic packaging engineer is equipped with the right skills and knowledge to create the custom electronic packaging, he or she still has to have a design approach in place to do the job. The right product design approach is needed to meet the requirements set on the electronic packaging design.

 

3. Cost-Efficiency

If you are in the world of manufacturing, you should understand the importance of the ratio between cost and value. Having an electronic packaging design which is too expensive would offset its value even if it is fully-functional. The electronic design engineer must explore all options available with regards to electronic packaging foam and electronic packaging materials until the end result has a rational cost to value. Being cost-efficient is a key aspect of manufacturing not only in electronics. Product development with prototype companies can help.

 

4. Mechanical Knowledge

Most electronic design companies seek help from mechanical engineers and not only rely with electrical experts when it comes to custom electronic packaging. Their knowledge and expertise could make up for the non-circuitry areas of the project to make sure all aspects are covered.

 

Packaging materials

Sheet metal:  Punched and formed sheet metal is one of the oldest types of electronic packaging. It can be mechanically strong, provides electromagnetic shielding when the product requires that feature, and is easily made for prototypes and small production runs with little custom tooling expense.

 

Cast metal : Gasketed metal castings are sometimes used to package electronic equipment for exceptionally severe environments, such as in heavy industry, aboard ship, or deep under water. Aluminum die castings are more common than iron or steel sand castings.

 

Machined metal: Electronic packages are sometimes made by machining solid blocks of metal, usually aluminum, into complex shapes. They are fairly common in microwave assemblies for aerospace use, where precision transmission lines require complex metal shapes, in combination with hermetically sealed housings. Quantities tend to be small; sometimes only one unit of a custom design is required. Piece part costs are high, but there is little or no cost for custom tooling, and first-piece deliveries can take as little as half a day. The tool of choice is a numerically controlled vertical milling machine, with automatic translation of computer-aided design (CAD) files to toolpath command files.

Molded plastic: Molded plastic cases and structural parts can be made by a variety of methods, offering tradeoffs in piece part cost, tooling cost, mechanical and electrical properties, and ease of assembly. Examples are injection molding, transfer molding, vacuum forming, and die cutting. Pl can be post-processed to provide conductive surfaces.

 

Potting: Also called “encapsulation”, potting consists of immersing the part or assembly in a liquid resin, then curing it. Another method puts the part or assembly in a mold, and potting compund is poured in it, and after curing, the mold is not removed, becoming part of the part or assembly. Potting can be done in a pre-molded potting shell, or directly in a mold. Today it is most widely used to protect semiconductor components from moisture and mechanical damage, and to serve as a mechanical structure holding the lead frame and the chip together. In earlier times it was often used to discourage reverse engineering of proprietary products built as printed circuit modules. It is also commonly used in high voltage products to allow live parts to be placed closer together (eliminating corona discharges due to the potting compound’s high dielectric strength), so that the product can be smaller. This also excludes dirt and conductive contaminants (such as impure water) from sensitive areas. Another use is to protect deep-submergence items such as sonar transducers from collapsing under extreme pressure, by filling all voids. Potting can be rigid or soft. When void-free potting is required, it is common practice to place the product in a vacuum chamber while the resin is still liquid, hold a vacuum for several minutes to draw the air out of internal cavities and the resin itself, then release the vacuum. Atmospheric pressure collapses the voids and forces the liquid resin into all internal spaces. Vacuum potting works best with resins that cure by polymerization, rather than solvent evaporation.

 

Porosity sealing or impregnation: Porosity Sealing or Resin Impregnation is similar to potting, but doesn’t use a shell or a mold. Parts are submerged in a polymerizable monomer or solvent-based low viscosity plastic solution. The pressure above the fluid is lowered to a full vacuum. After the vacuum is released, the fluid flows into the part. When the part is withdrawn from the resin bath, it is drained and/or cleaned and then cured. Curing can consist of polymerizing the internal resin or evaporating the solvent, which leaves an insulating dielectric material between different voltage components. Porosity sealing (Resin Impregnation) fills all interior spaces, and may or may not leave a thin coating on the surface, depending on the wash/rinse performance. The main application of vacuum impregnation porosity sealing is in boosting the dielectric strength of transformers, solenoids, lamination stacks or coils, and some high voltage components. It prevents ionization from forming between closely spaced live surfaces and initiating failure.

 

Liquid filling: Liquid filling is sometimes used as an alternative to potting or impregnation. It’s usually a dielectric fluid, chosen for chemical compatibility with the other materials present. This method is used mostly in very large electrical equipment such as utility transformers, to increase breakdown voltage. It can also be used to improve heat transfer, especially if allowed to circulate by natural convection or forced convection through a heat exchanger. Liquid filling can be removed for repair much more easily than potting.

 

Conformal coating: Conformal coating is a thin insulating coating applied by various methods. It provides mechanical and chemical protection of delicate components. It’s widely used on mass-produced items such as axial-lead resistors, and sometimes on printed circuit boards. It can be very economical, but somewhat difficult to achieve consistent process quality.

 

Glop-top: A chip-on-board (COB) covered with dark epoxy. Glop-top is a variant of conformal coating used in chip-on-board assembly (COB). It consists of a drop of specially formulated epoxy[3] or resin deposited over a semiconductor chip and its wire bonds, to provide mechanical support and exclude contaminants such as fingerprint residues which could disrupt circuit operation. It is most commonly used in electronic toys and low-end devices.

 

Chip on board; Surface-mounted LEDs are frequently sold in chip-on-board (COB) configurations. In these, the individual diodes are mounted in an array that allows the device to produce a greater amount of luminous flux with greater ability to dissipate the resulting heat in an overall smaller package than can be accomplished by mounting LEDs, even surface mount types, individually on a circuit board.

 

Hermetic metal/glass cases: Hermetic metal packaging began life in the vacuum tube industry, where a totally leak-proof housing was essential to operation. This industry developed the glass-seal electrical feedthrough, using alloys such as Kovar to match the coefficient of expansion of the sealing glass so as to minimize mechanical stress on the critical metal-glass bond as the tube warmed up. Some later tubes used metal cases and feedthroughs, and only the insulation around the individual feedthroughs used glass. Today, glass-seal packages are used mostly in critical components and assemblies for aerospace use, where leakage must be prevented even under extreme changes in temperature, pressure, and humidity.

 

Hermetic ceramic packages: Packages consisting of a lead frame embedded in a vitreous paste layer between flat ceramic top and bottom covers are more convenient than metal/glass packages for some products, but give equivalent performance. Examples are integrated circuit chips in ceramic Dual In-line Package form, or complex hybrid assemblies of chip components on a ceramic base plate. This type of packaging can also be divided into two main types: multilayer ceramic packages (like LTCC and HTCC) and pressed ceramic packages.

 

Printed circuit assemblies: Printed circuits are primarily a technology for connecting components together, but they also provide mechanical structure. In some products, such as computer accessory boards, they’re all the structure there is. This makes them part of the universe of electronic packaging.

 

Breakthrough packaging technology for the electronics industry

EcoCortec has announced the world’s first Eco-Corr Film ESD – biodegradable, compostable static dissipative films and bags powered by “Nano” VpCI .  This latest film technology is targeted mainly for electronics, telecommunications, packaging, and electric car industries seeking environment-friendly packaging solutions. In anticipation of new EU regulations penalising sales of non-recyclable plastic packaging materials, EcoCortec is offering revolutionary, commercially compostable alternative to conventional polyethylene electrostatic dissipating (ESD) films.

 

Eco-Corr Film ESD products are high performance anti-static, corrosion inhibiting films and bags intended for disposal in a commercial composting environment. They are designed for use in the protection of static sensitive multi-metal items such as electronics.
The film contains permanent anti-static properties to immediately reduce or eliminate static buildup as long as the films or bags are in use, independent of the presence of humidity. Eco-Corr Film ESD forms a molecular corrosion inhibiting layer on metal substrates and does not interfere with the physical or chemical properties of electronic components.

 

The film and bags replace conventional rust preventatives such as oils and desiccants and allow the film to be used immediately without cleaning or degreasing.  Eco-Corr Film is commercially compostable, meaning that when the film is placed in a typical commercial composting environment it will disintegrate within months. The exact time is dependent upon the conditions and activity of the disposal environment (temperature, soil quality, activity of microorganisms).

 

Eco-Corr Film ESD is shelf stable and will not break down prematurely until disposed of in a proper composting environment.
A Czech subsidiary of one of the world’s three largest car manufacturers, selected Eco-Corr Film as a biodegradable substitute to reduce the amount of conventional plastic packaging they use. They tested Eco-Corr Film as part of their new “green” logistics project aimed at decreasing plastic consumption. Eco-Corr Film disintegrates into carbon dioxide and water within months in a commercial composting environment.

 

Eco-Corr Film was tested as part of the pilot project of packaging car parts for shipment to their plant in Pune, India. Several tests were conducted for compliance with strict conditions for transport in sea containers. Quality control did not show any damage or traces of corrosion on the components wrapped in Eco-Corr Film upon arrival in India. In order to test if the film were able to be composted according to plan, the staff built compost bins near the plant.  After six months, the foils had largely disintegrated in the compost bins, helping them to eliminate plastic waste.

 

Eco-Corr Film successfully replaces conventional plastic films they used previously and provides the same effective corrosion protection. Composted packaging material will be used as soil improver at the plant’s logistics park. Manufacturer was able to cut the amount of conventional plastic packaging in half thus eliminating a significant amount of plastic waste (as much as 500 kg [1102 lbs] per month). — Tradearabia News Service

 

 

Electronic Packaging Market

The electronic packaging market was valued at USD 1020.13 million in 2019, and is expected to reach USD 2825.42 million by 2025, at a CAGR of 18.51% over the forecast period (2020-2025). Rising adoption of the services across several industry verticals such as aerospace & defense, consumer electronics, automotive, and healthcare coupled with increasing utilization for packaging of systems and appliances is fostering the expansion of the overall industry.

 

The expansion of the electronic packaging market can be attributed to the rise in need for microsystems. The surge in consumer electronics requirements can drive the expansion of the market in the globe. In addition, the increase in the adoption of smartphones can prompt the expansion of the world electronic packaging market. On the contrary, concerns regarding heat dissipation and initial price of electronic packaging can hinder the expansion of the market. However, the rise in the utility of IoT and wireless devices can contribute significantly to the expansion of the electronic packaging market.

 

Market Segmentation

The electronic packaging market is segmented by Material( Plastic, Metal, Glass, Other Materials) , by End-user Industry (Consumer Electronics, Aerospace and Defense, Automotive, Healthcare, Other End-user Industries), and Geography.

 

The segment study of the Global Electronic Packaging Market is based on end-user, material, and packaging technology. The material based segments of the electronic packaging market are glass, plastic, and metal others. The Packaging Technology based segments of the electronic packaging market are surface surface-mount technology (SMD), chip-scale packages (CSP), and through-hole mounting. The End User based segments of the electronic packaging market are telecommunication, consumer electronics, automotive, aerospace & defense among others.

 

Moreover, many devices used in the healthcare sector depends on semiconductor manufacturing technology, which, in turn, is expected to impact the electronic packaging market. Furthermore, the global wi-fi chipset market is experiencing the transition to 5th Wi-Fi generation, the 802.11ac with MIMO. An increasing number of customers are likely to adopt the technology, due to an improvement in speed by up to 1.3 GHz, over a long distance, which is driving the demand.

 

Consumer electronics segment is the largest sector of the market studied, due to the rising demand for products, such as TVs, set-top boxes, MP3 players, digital cameras, and the processes are generally more suited for mass production.

 

With regards to application spectrum, the healthcare sector reflected a 5% market share in 2019 and is predicted to emerge as a major revenue generator for the global advanced packaging industry during 2020-2026.

 

Growing adoption of AI chipsets for healthcare applications along with escalating demand for advanced packaging services for miniaturized devices are bolstering the expansion of the segment.  Moreover, increasing utilization of advanced packaging services for purposes such as home appliances, industrial, and transportation systems coupled with escalating demand for semiconductor packaging solutions are further stimulating the overall market outlook.

 

The electronic packaging market is fragmented. Microsystems are used almost in every industry vertical, with some of the significant sections being consumer electronics, healthcare equipment, aerospace and defense, communications, etc. Semiconductor devices, such as ICs have become an integral part of a machine, as electronics is getting integrated into machines, which is in turn driving the growth of electronic packaging significantly.

 

Also, the automotive sector accounts for a significant portion of the market studied, mainly, due to its increasing adoption in electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid vehicles. As a large number of memory devices, processors, analog circuits, discrete power devices, and sensors are used in electric and hybrid vehicles, the demand is set to rise at a rapid rate, over the forecast period.

 

Based on packaging type, the fan-in wafer level packaging (WLP) segment accounted for 10% share in global advanced packaging market in 2019 and is expected to grow significantly during the analysis timeframe. Rising product adoption by smartphone manufacturers to achieve high density and low form factor chipsets is propelling the growth of the segment.

 

The defense budget of developed nations and many developing nations, such as the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, India, and China, etc., have been increasing regularly. Many of these nations are also into the export of weapons. It results in the continued investment in the R&D in the aerospace and defense market. Moreover, several military and aerospace equipment, such as data processing units, data display systems, computers, and aircraft guidance-control assemblies are loaded with semiconductor devices.

 

Naval warships, satellite communication channels on board, weapon control system, coastguard, etc., are the users of many sophisticated electronic products and require military-grade packaging of the electronic and semiconductor components. Humidity and harsh environment make it necessary for the requirement of high-quality product and facilitates the investment in R&D.

 

As China is considered as the electronic hub worldwide because of the mass manufacturing and production of electrical components and electronics products in order to meet the highest standards of quality, performance, and delivery, this gives a significant growth potential to the electronic packaging market. Therefore, the companies in the region are also investing in installing machineries that enable productive electronic and semiconductor packaging.

 

Regional Analysis

Te electronic packaging market in Asia Pacific can head the global growth curve of the market. Across the review period, the electronic packaging market can rise at a rapid pace due to high range of application of consumer electronics in the region. In addition, the presence of different electronic packaging companies, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd-and others are introducing electronic packaging material and related technology that can prompt the expansion of the regional market. The growing populace and hike in disposable income in APAC are other factors can promote the expansion of the electronic packaging market in the region. The increased demand for consumer electronics is also likely to propel APAC electronic packaging market.

 

In Europe, the electronic packaging market is studied elaborately for the assessment period. The flourishing aviation sector and rapidly expanding automobile sector, along with the growing utility of consumer electronic are primary factors that can prompt the expansion of the electronic packaging market across the review period. The rise in the production capacity of semiconductor devices due to their increased applications can support the expansion of the regional electronic packaging market in the near future.

 

According to the regional analysis , Latin America reflected a 5% industry share in 2019 and is slated to accrue lucrative gains through 2026, on account of favorable government initiatives in the region. Latin America advanced packaging market is slated to accrue lucrative gains through 2026, on account of favorable government initiatives in the region

 

For instance, in 2019, KraussMaffei announced that it was going to debut a locally produced all-electric injection molding machine named “PX Agile” at Chinaplas. The new PX Agile is ideally used for standard applications like for technical components, electric and electronic devices and for the automotive, electronic packaging, and medical industries.

 

 

Major players that boast of an authoritative status in the business sphere are Veeco Instruments Inc., ULVAC Technologies, Inc, Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL), SUSS MicroTec SE, Greatek Electronics Inc., Singulus Technologies AG, Shibuya Corporation, SCREEN Semiconductor Solutions Co., Ltd., Onto Innovation Inc., Lam Research Corporation, Intevac, Inc., EV Group (EVG), CVD Equipment Corporation, Canon Inc., BE Semiconductor Industries N.V. (Besi), China Wafer Level CSP Co., Ltd., ASML Holding N.V., Applied Materials, Inc., Alter Technology Group, ACM Research, Inc., United Test and Assembly Center Ltd., Tongfu Mikcroelectronics Co. Ltd., Siliconware Precision Industries Co., Ltd., Sigurd Microelectronics Corporation, SFA Semicon Co., Ltd., Sanmina Corporation, Powertech Technology Inc., JCET Group Co., Ltd., Deca Technologies Inc., ChipMOS Technologies Inc., Chipbond Technology Corporation, Brewer Science, Inc., Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, Inc (ASE Group), and Amkor Technology, Inc.

 

 

 

References and Resources also include:

http://www.tradearabia.com/news/IND_376998.html

https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/electronic-packaging-market

 

 

 

 

About Rajesh Uppal

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