"Semiconductor Device with Conductive Pillars Having Recesses Or Protrusions to Detect Interconnect Continuity between Semiconductor Die and Substrate" in Patent Application Approval Process
This patent application is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Semiconductor devices are commonly found in modern electronic products. Semiconductor devices vary in the number and density of electrical components. Discrete semiconductor devices generally contain one type of electrical component, e.g., light emitting diode (LED), small signal transistor, resistor, capacitor, inductor, and power metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET). Integrated semiconductor devices typically contain hundreds to millions of electrical components. Examples of integrated semiconductor devices include microcontrollers, microprocessors, charged-coupled devices (CCDs), solar cells, and digital micro-mirror devices (DMDs).
"Semiconductor devices perform a wide range of functions such as signal processing, high-speed calculations, transmitting and receiving electromagnetic signals, controlling electronic devices, transforming sunlight to electricity, and creating visual projections for television displays. Semiconductor devices are found in the fields of entertainment, communications, power conversion, networks, computers, and consumer products. Semiconductor devices are also found in military applications, aviation, automotive, industrial controllers, and office equipment.
"Semiconductor devices exploit the electrical properties of semiconductor materials. The atomic structure of semiconductor material allows its electrical conductivity to be manipulated by the application of an electric field or base current or through the process of doping. Doping introduces impurities into the semiconductor material to manipulate and control the conductivity of the semiconductor device.
"A semiconductor device contains active and passive electrical structures. Active structures, including bipolar and field effect transistors, control the flow of electrical current. By varying levels of doping and application of an electric field or base current, the transistor either promotes or restricts the flow of electrical current. Passive structures, including resistors, capacitors, and inductors, create a relationship between voltage and current necessary to perform a variety of electrical functions. The passive and active structures are electrically connected to form circuits, which enable the semiconductor device to perform high-speed calculations and other useful functions.
"Semiconductor devices are generally manufactured using two complex manufacturing processes, i.e., front-end manufacturing, and back-end manufacturing, each involving potentially hundreds of steps. Front-end manufacturing involves the formation of a plurality of die on the surface of a semiconductor wafer. Each semiconductor die is typically identical and contains circuits formed by electrically connecting active and passive components. Back-end manufacturing involves singulating individual semiconductor die from the finished wafer and packaging the die to provide structural support and environmental isolation. The term 'semiconductor die' as used herein refers to both the singular and plural form of the words, and accordingly, can refer to both a single semiconductor device and multiple semiconductor devices.
"One goal of semiconductor manufacturing is to produce smaller semiconductor devices. Smaller devices typically consume less power, have higher performance, and can be produced more efficiently. In addition, smaller semiconductor devices have a smaller footprint, which is desirable for smaller end products. A smaller semiconductor die size can be achieved by improvements in the front-end process resulting in semiconductor die with smaller, higher density active and passive components. Back-end processes may result in semiconductor device packages with a smaller footprint by improvements in electrical interconnection and packaging materials.
"A conventional semiconductor die has a plurality of conductive pillars formed on the active surface of the die. A substrate has a plurality of contact pads and conductive traces formed on a surface of the substrate. The semiconductor die is mounted to the substrate and the conductive pillars are electrically and metallurgically connected to the contact pads or conductive traces. In some cases, less than all of the conductive pillars on the semiconductor die make good electrical contact to the contact pads or conductive traces on the substrate. An electrical interconnect failure between the conductive pillars on the semiconductor die and contact pads or conductive traces on the substrate should be detected during manufacturing.
"X-ray imaging techniques are commonly used to examine the integrity of connections between the semiconductor die and substrate. X-ray imaging techniques have proven ineffective for the inspection of joints formed using conductive pillars and bump material in part because it is difficult to confirm the degree of interconnection of the joint formed between the conductive pillar and contact pad or conductive trace on the substrate."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "A need exists to detect continuity of an electrical interconnect between the conductive pillars on the semiconductor die and contact pads or conductive traces on the substrate. Accordingly, in one embodiment, the present invention is a semiconductor device comprising a semiconductor die. A conductive pillar with a recess or protrusion is formed over a surface of the semiconductor die. A substrate includes a bump material deposited over a surface of the substrate to flow into the recess or over the protrusion.
"In another embodiment, the present invention is a semiconductor device comprising a semiconductor die. A conductive pillar includes a recess or protrusion is formed over a surface of the semiconductor die. A bump material is reflowed over the conductive pillar to indicate electrical continuity.
"In another embodiment, the present invention is a semiconductor device comprising a semiconductor die. A conductive pillar including a recess or protrusion is formed over a surface of the semiconductor die to indicate electrical continuity.
"In another embodiment, the present invention is a semiconductor device comprising a semiconductor die and a conductive pillar including a recess or protrusion formed over a surface of the semiconductor die.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"FIG. 1 illustrates a printed circuit board with different types of packages mounted to its surface;
"FIGS. 2a-2c illustrate further detail of the representative semiconductor packages mounted to the printed circuit board;
"FIGS. 3a-3m illustrate a process of forming a conductive pillar having a recess on a semiconductor die;
"FIGS. 4a-4f illustrate mounting the semiconductor die to the substrate and detecting continuity of the electrical interconnect by presence of bump material in the recess;
"FIGS. 5a-5l illustrate a process of forming a multi-layer conductive pillar having a recess on a semiconductor die;
"FIGS. 6a-6d illustrate mounting the semiconductor die to the substrate and detecting continuity of the electrical interconnect by presence of bump material in the recess;
"FIGS. 7a-7h illustrate a process of forming a conductive pillar having a protrusion on a semiconductor die; and
"FIGS. 8a-8d illustrate mounting the semiconductor die to the substrate and detecting continuity of the electrical interconnect by presence of bump material on the protrusion."
URL and more information on this patent application, see: Chen,
Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Circuit Board, Semiconductor,
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