Today I would like to dive deeper on one of the lesser discussed areas of IC obsolescence support, which is ensuring directly equivalent packages are available for our customers’ demands. Often ensuring the replacement package meets both the environmental concerns and drops exactly into the target system can be harder than ensuring the device itself is functionally equivalent.
Over the years force has utilised a number of cost effective approaches that allows us to offer comprehensive and practical solutions to our customers obsolescence package requirements.
Understandably the best approach when ignoring the financial implications is to make direct investments in packages as they are made obsolete, especially those with anticipated or known market demand. Force currently holds a large array of CERDIP, Cerquad, CQFP and many more packages including the often extremely hard to source windowed CERDIP packages for our UVEPROM range of products, that we have been supporting for the last 20-30 years.
In situations where we do not hold stock of the required package force can offer cost effective direct soft or hard tooling for ceramic packages in low or high volumes. Over the years Force has built good relationships with major package manufacturers that ensure our retooled replacements are identical in reliability and quality to those sourced originally by the OEM. Once re-tooled the package is available for long term sustainable support safeguarding against EOL/Obsolescence concerns.
Whilst the majority of our solutions are to aid the Aerospace and Defence markets and predominately built in high reliability ceramic packages. Force also support the Commercial and Industrial sectors. Offering cost effective replacements to plastic packages can be extremely challenging. Plastic tooling costs when factoring the three main tools to create them which are the book mold (package form), the de-junk tool (excess plastic removal), and a shear and form tool (lead trim/form) are extremely expensive and can cost upwards of $50,000-$100,000 per tool.
A way around such expensive tooling is to use a FR4 laminate as a substrate and create a drop in footprint replacement to the original package. Once the die has been wire bonded and tested the assembly can then be encapsulated using dam & fill glob top technologies. The resultant solution can have a number of finishes and encapsulations to maintain product integrity and security for even the harshest of commercial/Industrial requirements and an example of this can be seen in the image below. You can read more about our Chip and Wire solutions here.
As always if you have any specific part issue or would like more information our Technical staff are always available at firstname.lastname@example.org and I hope everyone is staying safe and well
Force Technologies Ltd