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HotRail Assembly machine supports RF power amps

Posted: 27 Aug 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:HotRail? radio frequency assembly? RF power amplifier?

Palomar Technologies has announced an RF precision assembly machine that supports RF power amplifier component assembly manufacturers. The die attach HotRail radio frequency assembly (RFA) cell is a fully automatic, high-accuracy (10?m) system that provides heat profile vs. time eutectic reflow on a single, large work area build site, the company indicated.

The die attach machine uses a general purpose optical workbench platform with command and I/O-rich programming to accommodate virtually any combination of material presentation devices for assembly automation. These component presentations include waffle pack, gel pack, tape and reel and expanded wafer configurations. Two- and four-inch waffle and gel packs may be used. Wafers from 3-8in can be accommodated, with multiple wafer presentation available (1-up, 2-up, 4-up and 6-up).

Using HotRail RFA technology, operators can load an entire shirt of parts at once while the component assembly system can eject and attach fragile die of materials such as Gallium Arsenide (GaAs), noted Palomar. The HotRail high-accuracy attach process provides void-free assembly and programmable steady state phased heat control for high-yield eutectic die attach.

An advanced temperature-profiling device and method eliminates eutectic control inconsistencies common in today's die-attach methods, and provides programmability for increased yield and throughput. RF headers are conveyed through a ramped temperature gradient that gradually brings the packages to the eutectic reflow temperature. After chip placement, the packages are conveyed out of the placement area and gradually returned to ambient temperature. The system supports tightly regulated temperatures of preheat, eutectic and cool-down zones.

The HotRail RFA enables an RF component manufacturer to achieve precision side-by-side placement of die for subsequent wire bonding of consistent wire loop profiles. Repeatable wire loop profiles are essential for meeting high frequency, RF device impedance specifications. The RF component assembly cell provides precision juxtaposition of die with steady-state heat eutectic processing, resulting in consistent wire loop bonding profiles from bond to bond.

There are many benefits derived from using the HotRail RFA. These advantages include quick and easy vacuum tool changeover for a wide range of parts and die during production. Up to eight eutectic collet or conical tip vacuum bond tools may be mounted and pre-calibrated in the bond head. Tools are changed "on the fly," speeding up assembly of multichip devices and eliminating the need for a space-consuming tool dock. This capability helps maximize production speed and yield over time. Careful handling of fragile parts and die is achieved via programmable force (10-400g in 1g increments), programmable approach speed and deceleration, and programmable over-travel (in 0.1mil increments). This helps to maximize product yield and performance, and minimize loss due to broken or impaired parts.

Transfer and scrub parameters are programmed and the temperature is set to achieve optimal placement, adhesion and alloy results. The header is heated and held to a set temperature for the duration of the eutectic assembly process. Preheat mesas or HotRails are available for faster part presentation. Nitrogen cover gas is applied to the reflow area for purification of the bonding area. Each die in the assembly sequence is transferred and scrubbed into place.

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