LONDON Ė Foundry United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) has introduced a thick plated copper manufacturing process for use with power management ICs (PMICs).
The thick-plated copper process was developed in collaboration with Chipbond Technology Corp. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) and provides thick copper layers to achieve higher current flows and improved thermal conductivity. Used as a top layer the thick copper reduces chip resistance by 20 percent or more compared with conventional aluminum top metal.
This can be used in designs to increase power conversion efficiency and thereby extend battery life, said UMC (Hsinchu, Taiwan). The use of PMICs with integrated voltage conversion is expected to reduce component count and be in demand for use in smartphones, tablet computers and thin computers, UMC added.
The thick plated copper process is available for use with BCD (bipolar, CMOS, DMOS) processes at 0.35-, 0.25- and 0.8-micron nodes manufactured on 200-mm diameter wafers. UMC said a 110-nm BCD process with thick plated copper would be available in the next few months. UMC said it can provide design rules and qualification reports.
UMC did not state whether the use of thick copper plating is restricted to replacing or augmenting the top layer metal in IC production.
"Working with Chipbond, we are pleased to offer UMC customers an integrated service for a TPC process to address these requirements at chip-level to enhance end-product performance while reducing size. We look forward to the rapid adoption of this solution as we roll-out our TPC process for a variety of UMC technologies," said Anchor Chen, senior director of the specialty technology development division at UMC, in a statement.
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