Dominique Numakura's Newsletter from Japan
Jun 16, 2006
JPCA Show 2006 (Part II) - Ultra High Density
The "talk of the town" throughout the exhibition was high-density technology. The circuit pitches and via holes are getting smaller and smaller every year.
IC substrates are leading the fine technologies within the rigid board industry. Large manufacturers such as Ibiden and Kyocera SLC talked about 20 to 25 micron traces with 50 micron micro via holes for multi-layer boards. Manufacturers have similar three year roadmaps where they assume demands for 3000 to 5000 pin packages in the near future.
Flexible circuit manufacturers have a slightly different situation. They are talking about the fine traces of single side circuits for COF (Chip on Flex) substrates; 35 to 40 micron pitches are already in volume production. Larger flex manufacturers are suggesting the 25 to 30 micron pitches in their future. There will probably be 15 micron traces in volume production in the next 12 months. On the other hand, several manufacturers exhibited ultra high-density flexible circuits, suggesting fine line capabilities, smaller than 20 micron pitches. Maruwa Seisakusho, one of the major flex manufactures, displayed 15 micron pitch circuit. The width of the traces was 7 to 8 microns.
One technical discussion in the exhibition involved the necessity of the semi-additive process to generate the ultra fine traces. Few companies said the subtractive (etching) process is capable of fine traces of 20 micron pitches. The other companies said the semi-additive process should be introduced for pitches smaller than 25 microns to have a high yield.
Material vendors and machine manufacturers will be ready for both of the processes. Toray engineering has extensive experience in the subtractive process, and a spokesman stated they are ready to provide all reel to reel lines for the semi-additive process. Hi-Tech and Ushio, two major exposure machine manufacturers, can provide machines for the photolithography of 15 micron pitches. Asahi Kasei, a major chemical company can supply very thin dry films for 5 micron L/S resolutions.
ADEKA, a supplier of specialty chemicals, said it developed an effective etching solution to remove the seed layers during the semi-additive process. AOI machines are a little behind in the recent technology trends. Few test equipment manufacturers are ready for the 20 micron pitches.
By the way, I told the Japanese manufacturers that several leading manufacturers in the U.S. are producing pitches smaller than 10 micron for multi-layer circuits. They were very surprised because they believe that Japanese manufacturers have the leading positions in technology.
Headlines of the week
Hitachi (Major electronics company in Japan)
Will expand the business of electronic papers to 10 billion yens by 2010 introducing the brand name of "Albirey".
JVC (Major electronics company in Japan)
Will expand the PWB business by introducing the low cost build-up process VIL (Victor Interconnected Layers) in digital VCR and IC packaging.
Pioneer (Major electronics company in Japan)
Will increase the manufacturing capacity of the passive type OLED panels to 12 million units per year in 2006.
GE Toshiba Silicone (Silicone material supplier in Japan)
Has commercialized a new liquid base silicone rubber "LSR2670 FC" for the key pad applications of the cellular phones. The new material shorten the curing time 30% at 110 degree C.
Nihon Electric Glass (Major glass material supplier in Japan)
Will make a joint venture with a Chinese company to build a new glass substrate plant for the TFT LCD manufacturers in China.
Matsushita Electric (Major PWB material supplier)
Will start the volume production of the laminate products for multi-layer boards at the new plant in Suzhou, China in June.
PENTAX (Major optical equipment manufacturer in Japan)
Will sell the business of direct drawing machine of PWB manufacturing process to ORC Manufacturing, a major exposure machine manufacturer in Japan.
Nikkiso (Equipment manufacturer in Japan)
Has developed a new high precision lay-up machine "High Stacker" for multi-layer ceramic boards.
Meiko (Major PWB manufacturer in Japan)
Will invest 12 billion yens in Japan and China to increase the manufacturing capacity of rigid/flex and multi-layer boards for home appliances, automobiles, PC, etc.
Omron (Major component supplier in Japan)
Will invest 45 billion yens in 2006 for the R&D projects of the new switches, connectors and relays.
Tashiro Denka Kogyo (Equipment manufacturer in Japan)
Will roll out a new low cost plasma de-smearing machine designed for multi-layer boards and manufactured in Taiwan.
Ibiden (Major PWB manufacturer in Japan)
Will invest 8.5 billion yens for the R&D center and manufacturing of the next generation IC packaging materials.
Dai-Nippon Printing (Major printing company in Japan)
Expect 5 to 6% growth of the revenues of lead frame business in 2006. The fine pitch (130 microns) with 216 pins products have been leading the business.
Ube Chemical (Major manufacturer of polyimide films)
Plans to invest 3 billion yens to increase the manufacturing capacity of both monomers and films of U-pilex, dimensionally stable polyimide film.
IPS Alpha Technology (Major display device manufacturer in Japan)
Will invest 80 billion yens to build a new assembling plant of the large size LCD panels for flat TVs in Czech Republic.
Samsung EM (Major PWB manufacturer in Korea)
Has agreed to have the technical license of Bit2 from Dai-Nippon Printing for the manufacturing of the high density multi-layer boards.
Dai-Nippon Printing (Major PWB manufacturer in Japan)
Has started the volume production of the embedded passive boards with 1005 and 0603 components for the modules of the cellular phones.
Bridge Stone (Major tire supplier in Japan)
Has developed the world largest electronic paper display with 0.29 mm thick. It will be the lager flexible display products.
Toppan Printing (Major printing company in Japan)
Unveiled the new embedded passive and active board technology. Resistors and capacitances are formed by a screen printing process and LSI chips are embedded inside of the 6 layer boards.
Mitsubishi Materials (Major material supplier in Japan)
Has agreed have a business alliance with Tanaka Electronics to found a joint venture for the manufacturing of gold bonding wires in China.