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Silver bonding wire may replace gold wire in semi-conductors thereby reducing noble metal bullion costs by approximately 80 percent and providing the same level of productivity.

13 Jun 2011

TOKYO (Commodity Online): Silver bonding wire may replace gold wire in semi-conductors thereby reducing noble metal bullion costs by approximately 80 percent and providing the same level of productivity.

There is a growing movement among semiconductor manufacturers to replace gold wire, which is currently the most widely used bonding wire for connecting lead frames and IC chips, with copper wire, which enables the cost of noble metal bullion to be reduced by approximately 90 percent, according to Tanaka Denshi Kogyo K.K, world's leading bonding wire manufacturer. The compnay will begin sales of SEA silver bonding wire on June 14.

With gold prices rallying, silver bonding wire has become a cost-effective alternative.

Efforts are currently being made to address the reduced lifespan that has been deemed to be a shortcoming of copper wire by providing improved functionality through the use of palladium surface coating. However, copper wire is characterized by hard balls formed at the tip of bonding wire, which damage the aluminum electrodes on the IC chip, and this resulted in concerns about bonding and long-term reliability. Furthermore, the necessity to use a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen gas, which poses problems with regard to safety and running costs, and the need for ultrasound imprinting time during adhesion to be longer than for gold wire, has resulted in the issue of being unable to increase production speed.

By developing a silver alloy containing optimal metals for resolving such issues, and establishing manufacturing technology for mass production, Tanaka Denshi Kogyo has succeeded in the mass production of silver wire (SEA type) that meets performance requirements while maintaining productivity on par with gold wire, which had been deemed to be impossible until now. The main features of the product are as follows

-Compared to gold wire, noble metal bullion costs can be reduced by approximately 80 percent
- Due to excellent bonding, the wire offers long-term reliability meeting high performance requirements
(Aluminum electrodes are not damaged because balling is as soft as gold wire)
- Same level of productivity as gold wire
(Sufficient adhesion under almost the same conditions as gold can be achieved through the optimization of silver alloy)
- It is easy to switch from gold wire since it only requires safe and inexpensive nitrogen gas

The product can be used to replace gold wire mounting in a wide range of products such as semiconductors and LEDs. Furthermore, in the short wave range (450 to 495nm) that is vital for lighting LEDs, the product exhibits a high reflectance rate of 80 percent, compared with gold's reflectance rate of 50 percent. Mounting the product in LEDs enables the luminosity loss to be lower than when using gold wire, making it extremely effective for the manufacture of high-luminance LEDs.


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