October 19, 2020

IC substrate material (BT material/ABF/C2iM)

HOREXS professional in IC substrate PCB boards manufacture for 10 years.Main product such as all kind of memory card,IoT,MiniLED,Medical,Others.

IC substrates originated in Japan and have been developed for more than 30 years. Japanese companies in the IC substrate industry are the pioneers of IC substrates, with the strongest technical strength and the most profitable CPU substrate technology; Japan has a first-mover advantage The IC substrate industry chain is very complete; at the same time, Japan is manufacturing precision equipment (etching, electroplating, exposure, vacuum lamination, etc.) and upstream materials (BT materials, ABF materials, ultra-thin copper foil VLP, ink, chemical Products, etc.) are mostly in a monopoly or semi-monopoly position, resulting in most of the profits in the entire electronics industry chain or IC carrier industry chain, which ultimately go to Japanese IC carrier boards and upstream companies, while domestic IC carrier board manufacturers rely solely on cost Management and manufacturing process to earn relatively meager profits (compared to high-end products FCBGA, etc.), while the profits of Japanese material manufacturers and equipment manufacturers should be considerable, and they have strong bargaining power and product voice; The base material (sheet) made of the board accounts for 10-20% of the manufacturing cost. This article summarizes the information collected from various aspects, and summarizes the base materials currently used in IC substrates, so that we can learn new things in the future.

The overall IC substrate market in 2017 was 6.7 billion US dollars; Japan occupied high-end markets such as FCBGA/FCCSP/embedded substrates; and temporarily occupied the high-end demand of consumer electronics (SAMSUNG uses shinko MCeP substrates; Intel CPU Using ibiden FCBGA substrate); South Korea and Taiwan IC carrier board companies are closely cooperating with the local industry chain. South Korea has about 70% of the global memory production capacity. The Semco product line mainly provides SAMSUNG customers FCPOP products, DAEDUCK/KCC/LC/Simmetch, etc. Both have IC substrate factories; Taiwan has 65% of the world's foundry capacity, and IC substrates are provided by Nandian, Jingsus, Xinxing, etc. IC substrate manufacturers in mainland China are mainly production bases established in China by IC substrate manufacturers from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, such as Shanghai ASE, Jiangsu Group, Jingsus Technology Tripod, Huangshi Xinxing Electronics, Qinhuangdao Foxconn, etc. Domestic domestic investment only has large-scale production capabilities such as Shennan Circuits and HOREXS. In 2017, Shennan Circuits IC substrate market share was about 1.1% (output value of about 750 million RMB). The following table shows the output value of the world's top ten IC substrate companies in 2017 (in billions of dollars); it can be seen that the top ten IC substrate companies have occupied about 85% of the market. And basically FC/Coreless/embedded substrate. However, the in-FO WLP and other packaging technologies adopted by the iPhone in 2017 will greatly reduce the amount of FCCSP (PoP packaging), which will have a certain impact on the scale or growth rate of the IC substrate market. It is currently predicted that the annual growth rate of IC substrates will be 2%. Around (it is expected to reach a market of $7.7 billion in 2022).

With the development of IC substrates up to now, its materials started from BT resin, and later PC development requires FC-BGA (Intel origin) to use ABF materials, and around 2010, it began to use MIS (Hengjin Technology called C2iM substrate) substrates. (Plastic packaging material); In the future, these three types of materials will gradually be used as the main substrate of IC carrier; because these three types of products, especially MIS, will form the other pole of IC carrier (which can be manufactured by packaging and testing factories) Reasons: cost advantage, L/S technology advantage, industrial integration advantage, etc.); this article mainly introduces each material from the history and application level of each material.

【1】BT material

Basically, more than 70% of IC substrates in the world use BT materials (according to the IC substrate material, the expected output value is 800 to 100 million US dollars); because of the technical requirements of IC packaging, the packaged substrate is required to have high heat resistance, humidity resistance and rigidity ( Low CTE), at the same time it has a small loss for the signal; and BT resin has such characteristics, high Tg (255~330℃), heat resistance (160~230℃), moisture resistance, low dielectric constant (Dk) And low loss factor (Df) and other advantages. The first to develop BT resin was developed by Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company under the technical guidance of Bayer Chemical Company in 1982. This resin has patents and is also commercially produced. Therefore, MGC is currently the world’s largest manufacturer of BT resins. In the field of packaging substrates, it has a world leading position. The picture below shows the latest product route of MGC BT resin.

BT resin is mainly formed by the polymerization of B (Bismaleimide) and T (Triazine). In the 1990s, Motorola proposed the BGA construction method and mastered the key structure patents. At the same time, Japan’s Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company (MGC) Owning the key material BT resin (Bismaleimide Triazine Resin, referred to as BT resin) formula and manufacturing technology patents, under the complementary technology of two powerful international manufacturers, created an IC substrate made of BT resin substrate. The longest-lasting, product-recognized and stable material process technology, breaking through its patent restrictions, has long become the industry's biggest challenge. The figure below is a summary of the BT resin PP and the dielectric layer.

The patent term of Mitsubishi Gas's BT resin has expired. Many manufacturers want to enter this market (including domestic Shengyi Technology). However, due to the long-term use habits of downstream manufacturers, it is difficult to enter the IC substrate material market. Although Nanya Plastics, Hitachi Chemical and Isola also have BT resin substrates on the market, the market has not responded well. The main reason is that once the BT carrier board has passed the certification of end customers such as Motorola, Intel and other large manufacturers, it is very difficult to change the raw materials. In addition, IC carrier board manufacturers have a certain degree of proficiency in the usage habits and material characteristics, which makes it difficult for new manufacturers Therefore, the demand of IC substrate manufacturers to reduce the price of raw materials is not easy to achieve. Unless the user manufacturers can jointly use new materials, on the one hand, it will increase the opportunities for new materials to replace raw materials, and on the other hand, it can stimulate raw material manufacturers to cooperate with price reductions. First, IC substrate manufacturers can reduce production costs and help increase profits.

At present, the market share of BT materials is mainly dominated by Japan’s MGC. Korea has Doosan and LG; Japan’s Hitachi, Sumitomo, etc.; Taiwan: South Asia, Lianzhi, etc. have a small share, and domestic Shengyi technology is developing (around 2013) Product samples are available).

[2] ABF material (Ajinomoto Buildup Film)

ABF resin is a material led by Intel. It is used for the production of high-end carrier boards such as the flip-chip assembly process. Because it can be made into thinner circuits, suitable for high pin count, high transmission IC packaging. The ABF material is produced exclusively by Japan’s Ajinomoto. The manufacturer first started with monosodium glutamate and food seasoning as the industry, and subsequently started the development of FC-BGA substrates with Intel’s opportunity, resulting in ABF being basically called CPU FC-BGA products. Standard materials.

The core structure of the substrate still retains the glass fiber cloth pre-impregnated BT resin as the core layer (also known as Core Substrate), and then increases the number of layers in each layer by building up, so the double-sided core is Basically, add up and down symmetrical layers, but the up and down build-up structure discards the original prepreg glass fiber cloth laminated copper foil substrate, and replaces it with electroplated copper on the ABF, which becomes another A copper foil substrate (Resin-Coated Copper Foil, referred to as RCC), which can reduce the overall thickness of the carrier board and break through the difficulties encountered in the original BT resin carrier board in laser drilling. In recent years, the carrier board with ABF resin as the process structure has also developed to coreless technology, also known as coreless substrate (Coreless Substrate). This carrier board structure is to remove the glass fiber cloth of the core layer and directly use ABF resin Replace, but the added layer part will be replaced by film (Prepreg) as required to maintain the rigidity of the carrier. The most commonly used line width/line spacing (L/S) 12/12um for the carrier board made of ABF resin as the material structure; the current theoretical capacity is basically around 5/5um;

ABF materials are mainly used in the SAP process, and the technical difficulties are in PTH (low stress of copper, surface roughness and adhesion, etc.; Laser micro-holes; electroplating/flash corrosion/demolition and other technologies); there are a number of global IC substrate manufacturers There are only a handful of companies producing ABF materials (SAP process), mainly including: Japan IBIDEN, SHINKO, Kyecora (5/5um in mass production), SEMCO in South Korea; Chongqing ATS (12/12um in mass production); Taiwan Xinxing, Nandian, etc. ; As the SAP process L/S is close to the physical limits of general PCB circuit production (combination, yield, etc.), the process environment and cleanliness requirements are extremely high, requiring automation and process stability management (syrup analysis, CPK, quality monitoring, etc.) ) Unusual PCB can imagine its difficulty. The SAP process mass production factory has a huge investment (plant construction, automation level, material purity, material and ruuning cost, etc.). Generally, the production capacity is 10000m2/month, and the initial investment is expected to be 1.5-2 billion RMB; If there is no major customer order support and initial capital reserve in the early stage, the IC carrier board certification cycle is 1-2 years (large customers); it is difficult for ordinary enterprises to enter this field. Because the SAP process must be separated from the existing MSAP/tenting process if it needs to take the mass production route, a separate factory must be set up.

The current materials of ABF have undergone several generations of updates, evolving toward thinner, Low DK/Df, and circuit bonding strength; the following picture shows the series of ABF materials.

[3] C2iM (MIS) molding material

The full name of C2iM substrate is Copper Connection in Molding, and it is named C2iM by Taiwan supplier Hengjin Technology. This substrate is based on epoxy resin (Epoxy resin) molding material as the base material, as shown in Figure 3. In the process, the horizontal or vertical copper wires are electroplated on the molding layer of each layer. Because the pre-mold process is the main process in the process, and the material itself also has mold sealing The effect was first developed by Singapore APSi (Advanpack Solutions innovations). At the beginning of development, this substrate was also called Molded Interconnect Substrate (MIS).

In the MIS substrate manufacturing process, the conduction of the wires in the vertical stack (copper pillars) and the horizontal wiring (Layout) are all processed by electroplating, except for the line width/line spacing (L/S) which can be advanced to the fine line specification. In addition to meeting the requirements of the carrier board for advanced semiconductor packaging, the process of electroplating via holes of any shape can also increase the wiring density of the carrier board. At present, the line width/line spacing (L/S) specifications that are ready for mass production are the first Mainly to meet the requirements of the current stage of the assembly, respectively: 20/20μm, 15/15μm, 12/12μm; the current carrier structure layer can reach 3 layers, the thickness of the carrier board, a single layer (1L) is about The thickness is about 110μm, and the two-layer (2L) is about 120μm, and the three-layer (3L) is 185μm. The thickness design is mainly determined by the process specifications of the downstream assembly plant.

The MIS substrate is different from the traditional carrier board, which requires organic materials (including glass fiber, BT or ABF or PP resin, etc.). The main feature of MIS is that the cold-rolled steel plate (SPCC) is plated with copper on the upper and lower sides and the circuit is etched. The copper pillars are used to connect the upper and lower layers, and the epoxy resin (EMC) dedicated line is refilled. Compared with the aforementioned EPP process, since the two are also the action of increasing layers from a base plate, they have the same flexibility in the number of layers that can be produced. However, in terms of material selection, MIS uses its own cheaper epoxy resin (about 40% of BT material), and because it is covered by glue, the actual material consumption is also less than EPP (because the fixed size of PP requires Cutting so will incur a certain cost). In addition, plating the conductive copper pillars directly upward on the bottom line can also save the cost of laser drilling. In summary, MIS has the most advantages in terms of material cost and manufacturing process.

The original holder of the technology is Singapore APS, and the technology has been transferred and authorized to Singapore carrier board manufacturer MicroCircut Technology (MCT, invested in 2009), and Jiangsu Changdian Technology (JCET, 600584.SH), And used by three companies, Hengjin Technology (PPt, unpublished) established in Taiwan in October 2014. MCT mainly produces two-layer board structure, the customer is MediaTek (MTK), JCET mainly produces single-layer boards, customers include Texas Instruments (TI) and Spreadtrum Technology, while Hengjin Technology (PPt) focuses on higher-end three-layer boards It’s worth mentioning that Hengjin Technology has joined the MIS production line and injected a strong shot into the entire MIS supply chain at the right time, which not only increased market capacity, but also resulted in supply The number of suppliers and production and distribution have changed from two suppliers in Singapore (MCT) and China (JCET) to three suppliers (Taiwan, PPt). In the future new generation of mobile phone chip battlefields, it is very likely that the traditional BT carrier board/ABF carrier board will open up another path, and it is expected to get rid of the predicament of the monopoly of key components by Japanese suppliers. under. The table is a summary table of the comparison of the three MIS manufacturers.

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