CHANDLER, Ariz.--Amkor Technology Inc. today announced development of a fully automated system for packaging and testing multimedia cards, which are used to finish flash memory-based storage products for portable and handheld systems.
The fully automated assembly and testing system--the first in the industry for multimedia cards, said Amkor--was developed in a partnership with flash memory supplier SanDisk Corp. of Sunnyvale, Calif. Prior to development of the automated system, multimedia card (MMC) assembly and testing was performed manually, said Amkor, which claims it has produced more than one million cards for a variety of customers.
Amkor said its proprietary process include its ability to automatically implant the multimedia die assembly into the MMC housing. It uses multiple test points designed into the package substrate for easy test access and assurance of maximum fault detection, said the contract manufacturing company. Performing tests for assembly defects, functionality, programming and compatibility prior to final assembly cuts costs and time, Amkor said.
The over-molded die assembly typically consists of multiple components, including memory chips, passive devices, and a microcontroller. Amkor's automated process deposits adhesive material on the MMC housing and then attaches it to the die assembly with placement accuracy of 0.5 mil, said the company. The bottom of the die assembly incorporates a seven-pin connector, which corresponds with the connector in the end-use application, Amkor said.
"This means customers can send us their wafers and their specifications and we'll do the rest, including sending their product to a retailer if requested," said Paul Hoffman, senior vice president of Amkor's System in Package business unit.
Amkor is aiming the new assembly and testing service at an exploding market for multimedia cards. The market for these cards are expected to grow from 3.1 million in 2000 to more than 22.7 million in 2004, according to a forecast by International Data Corp.