Samsung is developing new automotive chip packaging technology

Samsung is developing a new chip packaging technology with its main partners for use in automotive chips. The tech giant is developing an aluminum oxide (Al2O3)-coated bond wire technology that offers improved reliability and insulation compared to previous bond wires, the sources said.

Bond wires can connect I/Os with lead frames or printed circuit boards. Most of them have been made of gold (Au) in the past because the material is flexible and conductive. But as gold prices continue to rise, many companies are trying to mix them with a silver (Ag) or copper (Cu).

But these hybrid materials usually have weak adhesion to their coating materials. This is unacceptable for chips aimed at cars, which are exposed to high temperatures and humidity. The aluminum alternative that Samsung is developing with Electron, NCD, and LT Metals does not have these weaknesses.

Alumina is coated in nanometer thicknesses on metals used as wires. Alumina combines well with insulating coating materials using epoxy resins. Precursors used to coat alumina, such as trimetallic aluminum, are also relatively inexpensive.

Samsung also plans to use atomic layer deposition to deposit aluminum oxide and is testing various thicknesses. However, challenges remain, such as off-center balls. Traditionally, a ball is formed at the end of the bond wire that connects to the electrodes. The ball must be centered.

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