Advanced Die Reclamation

With the increased usage of commercial off-the-shelf integrated circuits (COTS ICs) in long lifetime military systems (with 20 – 30 year life cycles), coupled with the steady decrease of commercial IC life cycles (typically 5-8 years), component obsolescence is becoming an increasingly difficult aspect of managing production logistics and procurement.

In many cases, due to component obsolescence, the required device package configuration in the original build of materials (e.g. DIP, SOIC, LCC, PQFP, etc.), or possibly even bare die cannot be located despite the correct silicon die revision which is readily available in an alternate package footprint(s).

Die Recovery

Force Technologies through its strategic partnership with Global Circuit Innovations exclusively covering EMEA regions are able to offer a reliable, cost-effective, high-volume die recovery technology to remove silicon die from any plastic package and re-assemble them into any other plastic and or Hermetic Ceramic JEDEC, metal can or custom package. This technology provides many potential solutions targeting the need for part re-creation and microcircuit re-fabrication, both current topics pertinent to resolving DMS issues.

The die extraction process relies on chemical and mechanical processes that are no more aggressive than those when the original die was exposed during device manufacture.

Die Reassembly

Once the die has been successfully harvested, the original gold wires are mechanically removed just above the original gold ball bond, providing a clean, uncontaminated gold surface for high adhesion re-bonding.

Clean, uncontaminated surface ready for re-bond

Clean, uncontaminated surface ready for re-bond

The only subsequent non-standard assembly process is that a new gold ball bond is made to the existing gold ball bond surface, rather than to the original aluminium pad interface. Under proper process optimisation, the new gold bond on the existing gold ball bond adheres extremely well.

New bond adhered to original bond pad

New bond adhered to original bond pad

Die Testing

This statement can be supported with pre and post die extraction/reassembly bond pull data which is not only indistinguishable in both cases, but also generally limited to the tensile strength of the bond wire used. Additional test data referencing die shear and bond shear is also statistically identical for pre and post extraction/reassembly processing. Lastly, the extraction and re-assembly processing can be shown to have the added benefit of providing inspected, genuine silicon for subsequent re-assembly, while significantly reducing the possibility of inadvertent use of counterfeit devices in military systems.

For higher temperature applications included deep well logging we have taken side-by-side accelerated life test empirical data at 250°C using the same silicon dice packaged in plastic ICs vs. packaged in ceramic ICs.  The ceramic ICs contained dice that were removed from the same lot as the plastic ICs that were selected using a random sample.  With every pin periodically tested for continuity at periodic read points after baking in an oven at 250°C, the results showed the plastic packaged die began to fail showing “opens” after only 81 hours at 250°C (which is equivalent to 350 hours at 185°C) while the same die reassembled into ceramic packages began to show “opens” only after more than 1000 hours at 250°C (which is equivalent to 16,000 hours at 185°C). This data clearly demonstrates that the lifetime of the repackaged ceramic ICs was increased by more than 10X over the lifetimes of the plastic ICs at high temperatures.

Subsequent tests include DC and parametric testing to SCD, data sheet or customers drawing. Performed in DESC approved test facilities to MIL-STD 883(H) conditions. Characterisation and reliability life testing also available.  Force Technologies will also undertake F/A processes.

Devices are always supported and marked with the Force Technologies PN/QMXXXX number, relating to the processes used to define the unique ordering code.

Many MCM manufactures can now use harvested devices from COTS to prepare prototypes before committing to wafer quantities. Force Technologies have capacity to extract over 15,000 devices/month.

Harvested die placed in Gel-Pak Vacuum Release™ solutions can be stored in Force Technologies international locations under controlled environments ready for assembly and test when needed by the end user.

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