In 1965 Intel icon Gordon Moore identified an early trend in IC chip development that has driven the technology industry for over 55 years. The premise, known as Moore's Law essentially states that the number of the transistors in an IC chip doubles every two years, increasing the computing potential of the device exponentially over time.
This requires that either the chip doubles in size every two years or the size of the transistor reduces by two every two years. For practicality, the chip designers decreased the size of the transistor node otherwise your smart phone would be about the size of a standard automobile!
That said, the miniaturization has a profound effect on the plastics used to manufacture the devise and to test the devise.
The following are a few of the key requirements of plastic materials that have been effected by the dominant trend:
Cleanliness - As the features of the chip become smaller, it becomes critical that the material that is used in the equipment or process tools that build the layers of the chip is clean. Within the Semiconductor Equipment market, especially when wafer contact or proximity is inherent, clean has a completely different meaning.
Foreign particles need to be minimized to prevent any possible contamination onto the wafer. Plastic shape manufacturers have implemented strict parameters to insure materials are as clean as possible for use in critical processes in chip production.
Purity - Different from its relative, Cleanliness, purity refers to the ionic content of metal elements within the base resin. Semiconductor equipment manufacturing has identified 16 elements that can present an issue in chambers where the material is subjected to wear such as the Dielectric Etch Process chambers.
Here it is critical to understand wear rates and the composition of the resin in terms of suspect metal elements. As chip node sizes decreased, the requirements for allowable metal ions also decreased and lower wear rates are required.
Physical Properties - The reduction in chip node or transistor size has had a major effect in the IC test socket market. Here the engineer designs and develops apparatuses (test sockets) that secure the chip for functional testing. The chip miniaturization results in tighter hole patterns with increased hole counts, resulting in thinner cross sections of the test socket with increase number of holes machined into a decreasing footprint.
In this case, the plastic material must essentially perform a miracle that goes against all the laws of rheology! Material needs to be more micro machinable all while being more stable and deliver a stiffer property.
Consistency - Todays chip makers follow strict Copy Exact compliance in order to replicate the production of such micro devises. This means that the plastics in critical processes need to comply with consistency standards. Essentially this equates to consistency in raw material and the manufacturing process.
By virtue of being "plastic" the manufacture of plastic from raw resin to the manufacture of a shape has variability inherent throughout the process. This means that selecting the most consistent & stable products available is absolutely critical.
Port Plastics is steeped in knowledge when it comes to selecting the optimum materials for every facet of Semiconductor manufacturing.
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