Taiwan's National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) develops aluminum ball bonding technology.
Aluminum wire developed for use in semiconductor packaging.
A process based on aluminum wire has been developed by Taiwan's National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) to further reduce production costs.
After four years of R&D, a team led by NCKU professors has overcome problems such as the poor conductivity and ductility of aluminum and developed fine aluminum wires for use in ball wire bonding.
The use of aluminum instead of gold or copper in ball wire bonding could help chipmakers significantly reduce their production costs.
The key to the breakthrough technology is aluminum wires coated with a layer of nano-zinc, NCKU disclosed. The diameter of the aluminum wire is about 18 micrometers, and the purity of aluminum has been enhanced to improve the material's thermal conductivity, ductility and toughness.
NCKU also claimed it has been granted a patent for the aluminum ball bonding technology in Taiwan. The university has also applied for a patent in China.
NCKU's research paper regarding the aluminum ball bonding technology will be published in July 2016.
(copper wire is considered a cheaper alternative to gold wire for ball wire bonding used in semiconductor packaging, until now)