AUSTIN, Tex. -- Motorola Inc. today announced a major extension of wafer-level burn-in and test processes to include high-performance, flip-chip microprocessors, which can now be offered as bare-die products with the same reliability as packaged devices.
Wafer-level burn-in and test processes are aimed at driving down the cost of chip manufacturing by detecting early failures in devices before they are packaged. The processes also open up the possibility of selling unpackaged ICs for direct-chip attach and system-in-package applications by creating a class of products called "known good die," or KGD.
For more than three years, Motorola, Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL) and W.L. Gore & Associates Inc. have been jointly developing wafer-level burn-in and test systems for a range of chip products, including fast SRAMs, microcontrollers, logic, and RISC microprocessors. At the start of the alliance, the three companies said they believed these processes and systems could cut manufacturing costs by 15% and speed production cycles by 25% with streamlined test operations (see Aug. 3, 1998, story).
Over the last six years, Motorola has been providing volume production of wafer-level burn-in KGD, mainly to the automotive industry, according to semiconductor managers. The latest advancements in the technology will extend KGD solutions to flip-chip applications in the networking and communication systems as well, said Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector in Austin.
Motorola said it now plans to use flip-chip KGD technologies to provide the capability of combining logic, flash memory, SRAM, or DRAM into a single flip-chip module or package on some of its future networking and communications product offerings. The market for IC applications in direct-chip attach systems, multi-chip modules, stacked-die assemblies and wafer-level KGD is expected to grow as much as 50% per year this decade, according to Motorola, which was citing reports from industry analysts.
"WLBT wafer-level burn-in and test helps to simplify the final manufacturing process and to reduce overall product cost. It is a key enabler for achieving cost-effective implementation of system-in-package solutions," said Gans Ganesan, packaging technology manager for Motorola's Networking and Computing Systems Group.
Motorola said it plans to work with other semiconductor manufacturers to proliferate WLBT technology, build industry infrastructure, and enable combined logic and memory module applications using KGD. The company also said it will continue joint development with TEL to produce solutions for wirebond devices and extend its KGD business in automotive applications.