Micralyne Newslyne - August 2008
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Welcome to the August 2008 Edition of Newslyne, Micralyne's quarterly e-newsletter. In this edition learn about Electroplating of AuSn eutectic solder for MEMS packaging, process interface and recent Micralyne news.

Micralyne a finalist for two prestigious awards
CEO of MEMS Manufacturer is up for the title of Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year

(click here for details)

CEO of MEMS Manufacturer is up for the title of Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year


Contents - August 2008

:: Message from the CEO
:: Electroplating of AuSn eutectic solder for MEMS packaging
:: Micralyne News & Events


Message from the CEO

Mr. Chris Lumb, President & CEO, Micralyne
Mr. Chris Lumb, President & CEO, Micralyne
The Design - Process Interface: is the Boundary Distinct?

One of the challenges you'll have to address if you use an external fab to make your parts - and most MEMS product companies do use external fabs - is to get the interaction between product and process right. This should be easy, right? You, the product designer, state your requirements, and the fab tells you whether it has processes that can deliver your product to you.

In principle, this is the way it should work. In reality, it's not that straightforward. Here are a few reasons why:


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Although MEMS processes are more standardized than in previous years, MEMS fabs almost always have to develop new processes, or at least tune existing processes, to deliver new designs to their customers. Thus, good dialogue between design and process experts is helpful to ascertain where and how to develop new processes, or whether design changes can achieve product requirements more easily.

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MEMS components are always part of a larger system. Product designers can have more freedom with non-MEMS specifications if they can achieve tight MEMS specifications, and vice versa. Good dialogue between product designers and process providers can help optimize tradeoffs required to achieve full product specifications.

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Test and validation frequently requires measurements that can not be done with existing processes and tools. Ascertaining product quality therefore frequently means either developing new processes, and/or developing new validation techniques. Understanding where and how validation is required is critical to both design and process experts, for achieving both quality and cost goals.

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"The sum of the parts can be greater than the whole": by this I mean that no single person or team has all the answers for perfect product development. Frequently, the dialogue between product and process experts creates synergies that produce better products than either could have done separately. The process experts have seen many product examples, and may have breakthrough ideas that can make product design better. Alternatively, good product designers may have seen other process techniques employed that can aid the fab.


In a perfect world, product and process are independent. We don't, of course, live in a perfect world, and better products result from more interaction between design and process experts. Better products result from dialogue, mutual understanding, commitment to outcomes, and empathy for each other's constraints.

I welcome dialogue and feedback on these thoughts - write me at clumb@micralyne.com, or call me at 780-431-4414.

- By Chris Lumb, President & CEO, Micralyne -


Electroplating of AuSn eutectic solder for MEMS packaging

Micralyne Inc.
In the drive to reduce packaging cost, wafer level packaging has become an important part of MEMS manufacturing. There are different methods for performing wafer level packaging such as fusion bonding, anodic bonding and
Fig. 1: EEJA cup electroplater.
Fig. 1: EEJA cup electroplater.
eutectic bonding to name a few. Gold-tin (AuSn) solder is routinely used for eutectic bonding. AuSn eutectic solders are unique material for wafer level packaging, mainly due to their excellent thermal properties, mechanical strength and relatively low melting temperature, which makes them an attractive choice for hermetic sealing.

Application methods for deposition of AuSn solders for MEMS wafer level packaging is
mostly concentrated on costly PVD methods such as evaporation and sputtering techniques. However, electroplating is an economic, alternate deposition option that allows for high placement and composition accuracy. Micralyne has exclusive right to a patented process for electroplating of AuSn solder alloy, at
Fig. 4: SEM image of gold-tin solder electroplated on a 6" wafer using the cup plater. A sub-micron, densely packed grain structure can be seen on a smooth plated surface
compositions from 10 to 40 Sn (wt%), including commercially important Au-20Sn eutectic composition. Visit www.goldtinsolder.com for more information on Micralyne's gold-tin solder service.

In spring 2008, Micralyne installed a production-scale cup plater, EEJA_CP-0172, to expand its electroplating capabilities, in order to meet the customer requirements for AuSn electroplating needs. The EEJA electroplater is a semi-automated tool, plating wafers using an inverted fountain system. This new system provides superior uniformity and plating rates, reduced wafer processing time and
greater process control.

Gold-tin solder plated using this electroplater
has void free dense microstructure with excellent adhesion which are important factors for hermetic seal. With the unique pre-sensitizing process in place, Micralyne has been able to plate features as small as 5 microns in
Fig. 5: SEM cross section image of the same gold tin plated sample shown in Fig. 4. Dense columnar growth can be seen extending throughout the film.
size.




- By Siamak Akhlaghi and
Kar Mun Cheng-

email: karmun@micralyne.com
email: siamak@micralyne.com
web: www.micralyne.com






MEMS News, Events & Resources

MEMS Foundry Continues Support of CMC Microsystems TEXPO Awards
Micralyne Inc., a world leading MEMS Foundry, was pleased to announce its continued support for the Micralyne Microsystems Design Award presented at the CMC Microsystems Annual Symposium. Micralyne has supported the TEXPO student competition awards since 2001.
::Read Full Release


CEO of MEMS Manufacturer is up for the title of Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Micralyne Inc.'s Chris Lumb, CEO of the leading independent MEMS manufacturer, has been selected as a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award for 2008 in the category of Biotechnology & Technology.
::Read Full Release


MEMS Foundry makes the cut for the 2008 EuroAsia IC Industry Awards
Micralyne Inc., a world leading MEMS foundry, has been selected as a finalist for the EuroAsia IC Industry Awards in the category of Foundry of the Year.
::Read Full Release


Employees of MEMS Manufacturer Give to China Earthquake Relief
Employees of Micralyne Inc. banded together to raise funds for China Earthquake Relief through World Vision Canada.
::Read Full Release


Contact Information: Micralyne Inc.
1911-94 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6N 1E6
Phone: 1.780.431.4400 Fax: 1.780.431.4422
Email: info(at)micralyne.com