The patent's assignee is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "In the microelectronics industry, fabrication of electrical devices typically includes one or more steps that involve heating a substrate, circuit board, and/or lead frame. For example, a packaged integrated circuit may be fabricated by mounting a die carrying the integrated circuit on a package carrier that provides electrical connections from the die to the exterior of the package. The die includes an area array of electrically-conductive contacts, or bond pads, that are electrically connected to a corresponding area array of conductive contacts on the package carrier, known as solder balls or bumps. Typically, the solder bumps are registered with the bond pads and a reflow process is applied to create electrical connections in the form of solder joints between the die and the package carrier by heating the package. Similarly, electronic components may be electrically coupled to a circuit board by placing the components on the circuit board so that the components are positioned with electrical leads on contact pads that have been coated with a solder paste. The circuit board may then be heated so that the solder paste melts or reflows, thereby coupling the electronic components to the circuit board.
"To improve the durability of electrical devices, the gap between the die, package carrier, and/or circuit board is commonly filled with an encapsulant material. Underfilling with encapsulant material may increase the ability of the electrical device to withstand mechanical shock and vibration, protect electrical connections from environmental conditions, and provide improved thermal coupling between the mounted device and the underlying substrate. One method of underfilling involves dispensing a low-viscosity encapsulant material with strong wetting characteristics along a side edge of the gap so that the encapsulant is drawn into the gap by surface tension wetting or capillary action. To improve flow, the viscosity of the encapsulant material may be reduced and the flow rate increased by pre-heating the substrate before the encapsulant material is dispensed onto the substrate. The substrate may be also be heated to cure the encapsulant after the encapsulant has flowed into the gap.
"Consequently, there is a need for improved apparatuses and methods for heating substrates in the electronics industry."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In one embodiment, an apparatus for processing a substrate is provided. The apparatus includes a heater including a plurality of heater blocks, and a controller coupled with the heater. The controller is configured to independently adjust an amount of heat supplied from each heater block of the heater to the one or more substrates.
"In another embodiment, a method of processing a substrate is provided. The method includes independently adjusting an amount of heat supplied from each of a plurality of heater blocks to the one or more substrates.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate various embodiments of the invention and, together with the general description of the invention given above, and the detailed description of the embodiments given below, serve to explain the principles of the invention.
"FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a package assembly of a die, shown in phantom, and a substrate during an underfilling operation.
"FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the package assembly of FIG. 1 following an underfilling operation.
"FIG. 3 is a block diagram showing a non-contact heating system configured to heat a substrate.
"FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a heater including a plurality of heater blocks on a support assembly.
"FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the bottom of the support assembly of FIG. 4.
"FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the heater in FIG. 4 with a portion of a top plate cut-away to reveal internal details of the support assembly.
"FIG. 7 is an exploded view of one of the heater blocks of FIG. 4.
"FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional perspective view of the heater block of FIG. 7.
"FIG. 9 is a bottom perspective view of the heater block of FIG. 7.
"FIG. 10 is a front view of the heater of FIG. 4 installed on a lift assembly.
"FIG. 11 is an exploded view of the lift assembly of FIG. 10.
"FIGS. 12 and 13 are diagrammatic views illustrating a substrate processing system that includes the heater and lift assembly of FIG. 10.
"FIG. 14 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a heater.
"FIG. 15 is a perspective view of the heater in FIG. 14 with a part carrier and frame."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Aguilar,
Keywords for this news article include: Circuit Board,
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