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Publication numberUS20060081583 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/265,610
Publication dateApr 20, 2006
Filing dateNov 2, 2005
Priority dateSep 2, 1998
Also published asUS6121576, US6329637, US6420681, US6614003, US6967307, US20020179584, US20040035841
Publication number11265610, 265610, US 2006/0081583 A1, US 2006/081583 A1, US 20060081583 A1, US 20060081583A1, US 2006081583 A1, US 2006081583A1, US-A1-20060081583, US-A1-2006081583, US2006/0081583A1, US2006/081583A1, US20060081583 A1, US20060081583A1, US2006081583 A1, US2006081583A1
InventorsDavid Hembree, Warren Farnworth
Original AssigneeHembree David R, Farnworth Warren M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and process of contact to a heat softened solder ball array
US 20060081583 A1
Abstract
A method for enhancing temporary solder ball connection comprises the application of thermal energy to the solder balls, heating them to a submelting “softening” temperature, whereby the compression force required to connect all balls in a BGA is achieved at much reduced force, avoiding damage to the package, insert, substrate and support apparatus. Several forms of heating apparatus, and temperature measuring apparatus are disclosed.
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Claims(19)
1. A method for forming a portion of a solder bump of an array of solder bumps of a device to a contact site of a plurality of contact sites of a member, comprising:
providing the solder bump of the array of solder bumps at a temperature Ts below a melting temperature of the solder bump; and
moving the solder bump of the array of solder bumps of the device using a pressure less than substantially 22 grams-force for contacting the contact site.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the melting temperature of the solder bump of the array of solder bumps is T° C. higher than an ambient temperature To, and wherein the softening temperature Ts is in the range of about 0.5 T to 0.95 T above the ambient temperature To.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein the solder bump of the array of solder bumps contacts the contact site of the plurality of conductive contact sites at a pressure not substantially exceeding about 10 grams-force.
4. The method of claim 1, wherein the solder bump of the array of solder bumps contacts the plurality of conductive contact sites at a pressure in the range of about 2 to 10 grams-force.
5. The method of claim 1, wherein the semiconductor device having the array of solder bumps is heated by one of hot air convection and infrared radiation.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein the member having the plurality of conductive contact sites is heated by one of hot air convection, conduction from a heated object, and infrared radiation.
7. The method of claim 1, wherein the semiconductor device and the member are placed in a temperature-controlled oven for heating to the softening temperature Ts.
8. The method of claim 1, wherein the semiconductor device is held in a chuck, the chuck being heated.
9. The method of claim 1, wherein the member is held in a chuck, the chuck being heated.
10. The method of claim 1, wherein the member having the plurality of conductive contact sites is heated by electrical resistance wires.
11. The method of claim 1, wherein the member and a substrate are mounted on a mounting board having an integral heater, the integral heater controlled to heat the member to the softening temperature Ts.
12. The method of claim 1, wherein the array of solder bumps comprises Sn—Pb solder having a lead content in the range of about 40 to about 98 percent, and the softening temperature Ts comprises a range of about 140 to 180° C.
13. The method of claim 1, wherein heating comprises predetermining a heating time X to heat the solder bump of the array of solder bumps to the softening temperature Ts, and heating for the time X.
14. The method of claim 1, wherein heating comprises initiating the heating, measuring a temperature of one of the member and the semiconductor device, and stopping the heating to limit a temperature of the solder bump of the array of solder bumps to no more than the softening temperature Ts.
15. An apparatus for connecting a solder ball to a contact site comprising:
a first member having a solder ball thereon;
a second member having a contact site;
apparatus moving the first member against the second member for contact of the solder ball to the contact site, the first member contacting the second member at a pressure less than substantially 22 grams-force for the solder ball; and
apparatus for increasing the temperature of the solder ball and the contact site to a solder-softening temperature Ts.
16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the contact site comprises one of a substantially flat surface, a recess for receiving a portion of a solder ball, and a recess having at least one projection therein for deforming a solder ball inserted therein.
17. Testing apparatus for a semiconductor package having at least one solder ball on a surface thereof, the apparatus comprising:
an insert formed of generally noncompliant material having a first surface including at least one contact site for contacting the at least one solder ball and having a second surface;
a substrate having a first surface, having a second surface, the second surface of the insert secured to the first surface of the substrate, and having at least one lead on the substrate for connecting to at least one lead in a socket;
at least one electrical lead connecting the at least one contact site of the insert with the at least one lead of the substrate;
a test board having the socket with at least one contact lead connected to a testing circuit, the substrate and the insert for insertion into the socket for contact of the at least one lead of the substrate with the at least one contact lead of the socket; and
apparatus associated with at least one of the substrate, the insert, and the socket to increase the temperature thereof to a predetermined level.
18. The apparatus of claim 17, further comprising temperature-sensing apparatus attached to one of the substrate, the insert, and the semiconductor package.
19. The apparatus of claim 18, further comprising a temperature controller for controlling the apparatus to increase the temperature of the substrate, the insert, and the socket.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 10/651,664, filed Aug. 29, 2003, pending, which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 10/196,396, filed Jul. 15, 2002, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,614,003, issued Sep. 2, 2003, which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 09/892,156, filed Jun. 26, 2001, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,420,681, issued Jul. 16, 2002, which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 09/618,885, filed Jul. 18, 2000, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,329,637, issued Dec. 11, 2001, which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 09/145,832, filed Sep. 2, 1998, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,121,576, issued Sep. 19, 2000.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to semiconductor chip packages. More particularly, the present invention pertains to methods for electrical contact of an array of solder balls with a noncompliant surface.

2. State of the Art

The testing of packaged semiconductor devices has always presented problems to device manufacturers. Various types of tests may be conducted at different stages of manufacture. In the current state of the art, “wafer sort” electrical tests may be conducted prior to packaging to determine nonworking dies. Following packaging, various tests including environmental tests as well as parametric and functional electrical tests may be performed. A final test which is known as “burn-in” may optionally be conducted. The test includes temperature cycling over an extended period of time. Essential to the testing of individual dies is reliable electrical connection of all die leads to the test board, without incurring damage to the die or testing apparatus, and easy disassembly from the testing apparatus. While “permanent” wire connections are widely used, wirebonding is time consuming and expensive, and also makes the matching of device impedance to the substrate impedance very difficult to achieve. Much effort is being spent on developing alternative methods to reduce the time and expense of using wire bonds. The replacement of wire bonds with ball grid array (BGA) connections is becoming more common. Temporary conductive attachment of solder balls to e.g., a test board is less than satisfactory.

Temporary connection of device circuits to a test apparatus is known to present a variety of problems. The insert member into which a semiconductor die is placed for testing is typically noncompliant, i.e., ceramic or silicon, for example.

The current method for joining a ball grid array (BGA) to a noncompliant, i.e., rigid surface such as a silicon micromachined pocket interconnect or insert, is to apply, at ambient temperature, a relatively high compression force of about 22-30 grams-force per solder ball. Theoretically, all balls of the array should be pressed into mechanical and electrical contact with the insert pocket. The use of compressive forces lower than the above results in a further increased frequency of unsatisfactory electrical connections.

The presence of such unconnected solder balls in a BGA attachment formed under ambient conditions is believed to be due to a significant variability in ball diameter and “height” which the industry has been unable to eliminate. As a result, the applied force of about 22-30 grams-force or even more per ball is, in practice, insufficient to ensure the required contact of all balls of the array. Furthermore, the use of compression forces in excess of about 30 grams-force tends to damage the underlying material of the die, insert, and/or substrate. For example, effective connection of a 48 ball BGA array using solder balls of a nominal diameter may require in excess of about 1.5 kg-force. Such pressures exerted on a die for connection to a ceramic insert may damage the die and/or insert and/or substrate below the insert. The total force required for connection of larger arrays will be even more. In addition, the use of larger balls not only increases the absolute variation in ball diameter but the force required to sufficiently deform each ball for establishing the required temporary electrical connection. The problem also exists with smaller solder balls such as comprise a fine ball-grid-array (FBGA) of 0.0125 inches (0.325 mm) diameter balls, for example. With the smaller diameter solder balls, variation in ball placement location may have a greater effect than nonuniform ball diameters.

To date, the industry has continued to use relatively high compressive forces and necessarily accepted the increased occurrence of electrical connection failures of a BGA and/or damage to the die, insert or substrate.

Ball grid arrays are used in a variety of semiconductor devices. Illustrative of such prior art are U.S. Pat. No. 5,642,261 of Bond et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,639,695 of Jones et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,616,958 of Laine et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,239,447 of Cotues et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,373,189 of Massit et al., and U.S. Pat. No. 5,639,696 of Liang et al.

Semiconductor devices having dual sets of outer “leads,” e.g., twin BGA surfaces or a combination of e.g., J-leads and solder bumps, are shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,648,679 of Chillara et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,677,566 of King et al., and U.S. Pat. No. 5,668,405 of Yamashita.

Chip carriers of several configurations are described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,371,912 of Guzik, U.S. Pat. No. 4,638,348 of Brown et al., and Japanese publication 60-194548 (1985).

Semiconductor devices joined in stacks are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,868,712 of Woodman, U.S. Pat. No. 4,841,355 of Parks, U.S. Pat. No. 5,313,096 of Eide, U.S. Pat. No. 5,311,401 of Gates, Jr. et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,128,831 of Fox, III et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,231,304 of Solomon, and U.S. Pat. No. 4,956,694 of Eide.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,637,536 of Val discloses a chip stacking configuration with solder ball connections.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,012,323 of Farnworth discloses a dual-die package having wire interconnections.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,761,681 of Reid discloses a multi-chip device having elevated (conductor covered mesa) interconnections.

Despite the advanced state of the art in lead interconnection, device packaging and testing, the temporary connection of semiconductor devices to testing apparatus and burn-in boards remains an area which needs improvement.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention pertains to methods for electrical contact of an array of solder balls with a noncompliant surface, that is, the mechanical and electrical contact of a ball grid array (BGA) to a relatively noncompliant contact set such as a silicon micromachined pocket interconnect (i.e., “insert”) for a test pad or burn-in board (BIB).

The present invention further provides a reliable BGA connection method and apparatus whereby the required pressure is much reduced to eliminate or significantly reduce compression-caused damage to the die, insert and/or substrate.

The present invention comprises methods and apparatus for softening solder bumps or balls so that all of the bumps/balls in an array readily conform to a matching array of conductive contact pockets or pads in another body. The array of solder bumps/balls is heated to a softening temperature lower than the melting point of the solder and quickly placed in slightly compressed engagement with the contact pockets or pads of a substrate. As compared to joining the arrays at ambient temperature, all bumps/balls of the BGA are reliably connected, and the connection is achieved at a much reduced pressure, avoiding damage to the die and/or substrate. In addition, much less stress is placed on the apparatus holding the packaged die, the insert and test board.

The softening temperature to which the solder is heated is below the melting temperature of the solder alloy.

A variety of heating apparatus and methods is disclosed, including direct heating of the bumps/balls, heating of the entire assembly, heating of a chuck holding the IC, heating of a chuck holding the insert, direct heating of the insert or substrate, etc. A temperature sensing circuit may also be incorporated into the insert, substrate, or substrate retaining socket for the purpose of measuring and controlling the temperature to which the bumps/balls are heated.

While electrical contact is readily maintained during electrical tests or burn-in by maintaining a small compressive force, ball contact is easily removed by discontinuing the compressive force and lifting the BGA from the insert or substrate to which it was electrically connected.

The invention is applicable to a wide variety of solder compositions, solder bump designs and ball diameters.

Other features of the invention will become clear from study of the following description and related figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is illustrated in the following figures, wherein the elements are not necessarily shown to scale:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an insert assembly for the electrical testing of a typical flip-chip semiconductor package with BGA, wherein heat enhancement of the BGA connection in accordance with the invention is shown;

FIG. 1A is an edge view of a ball grid array on a semiconductor chip;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an insert assembly for the electrical testing of a typical flip-chip semiconductor package with BGA, showing the package in compressive engagement with the insert assembly for heating enhancement of the BGA connection in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of a substrate member of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of a substrate member of the invention;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of a heating assembly of the invention; and

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of various solder ball contact sites to which the invention may be applied.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to method and apparatus embodiments for the uniform temporary electrical connection of solder bumps, e.g., solder balls, of a semiconductor device to another body. Rapid thermal softening of the solder bumps may be achieved by a variety of specific methods and apparatus, as described herein. The methods are particularly useful for attachment of solder bumps to the surface of a noncompliant body such as formed of silicon, ceramic, etc.

As shown in drawing FIG. 1, a semiconductor package 10 is exemplified by a flip-chip package (FCP) with a ball grid array (BGA) 30 of a plurality of solder bumps or balls 12 on one surface 14 of the semiconductor package 10.

A test apparatus for evaluating circuit performance of the semiconductor package 10 is shown as including an insert 16 and a substrate member 18. The insert 16 is noncompliant and is typically formed of ceramic or silicon with a pattern of electrical contact sites 20 micromachined on its upper surface 22. The contact sites 20 may comprise simple planar pads, or contact pockets of any configuration, as explained infra. The contact sites 20 are connected by conductive traces, not visible, to bond pads 24, the latter being connected by wire bonds 26 to conductive traces 28 on the substrate member 18. The wire bonds 26 and conductive traces 28 on the insert 16 and substrate member 18 may be encapsulated in resin for protection. Other means for connecting the contact sites 20 to a controller for conducting a test, burn-in, etc., may be used, as known in the art.

The substrate member 18 and attached insert 16 are typically inserted into a socket on a test fixture or a burn-in board (BIB), neither shown in drawing FIG. 1.

In accordance with the invention, the ball grid array 30 of solder bumps/balls 12 is heated and compressed under a slight pressure into the contact sites 20, shown here as indentations or pockets. The solder bumps/balls 12 are heated to a submelting softening temperature Ts and are uniformly contactable to the contact sites 20 by an increased deformation under the slight compression force.

In one simple embodiment, an external heater 40 emitting infrared radiation or heated air 42 is positioned to heat the semiconductor package 10 including the solder bumps/balls 12 to the desired softening temperature, and the BGA 30 is quickly inserted and compressed by force 38 into engagement with the contact sites 20 at a relatively low pressure such as about 2-10 g-force per solder bump/ball 12. Referring to drawing FIG. 1A, of course, the required force per solder bump/ball 12 will vary, depending upon the softening characteristics of the particular solder composition used, the temperature to which the solder bumps/balls 12 are heated, the nominal ball diameter 32, the maximum variation in ball diameter 32 and the variation in drop distance 34 between ball centers 34A and the surface 14 of semiconductor package 10. Typically, the required compression force 38 at the softening temperature Ts to achieve complete ball connection is about 8-25 percent of the force at ambient temperature.

Instead of directly heating the semiconductor package 10 to soften the solder bumps/balls 12, heat may be applied to the insert 16 or substrate member 18 before connecting the BGA 30 to the contact sites 20. Also, the semiconductor package 10 may be indirectly heated by applying thermal energy to a chuck, not shown, which holds the package.

As shown in drawing FIG. 2, a semiconductor package 10 with an array of solder bumps/balls 12 is placed on an insert 16, and placed under a compression force 38. Thermal energy is applied either to the back side 36 (as shown in FIG. 1) of the semiconductor package 10, to the insert 16, to the substrate member 18 (as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5), to a compression member, not shown, compressing the back side of the semiconductor package 10 with compression force 38, or to a socket, not shown, which surrounds the substrate.

Alternatively, the assembly of semiconductor package 10, insert 16 and substrate member 18, together with compression and support apparatus, may be placed in a temperature controlled oven and rapidly heated to the desired softening temperature Ts.

Thus, the solder bumps/balls 12 may be heated by conduction, convection or radiation, or any combination thereof. For example, an external heater 40 (FIG. 1) may heat the semiconductor package 10, insert 16, substrate member 18, or a socket 66 into which the substrate member 18 fits by radiation or heated air 42.

The solder bumps/balls 12 may be of any diameter 32, including those of a fine ball grid array (FBGA), where the balls have a pitch of less than one (1) mm.

The solder bumps/balls 12 may be formed of various solder compositions, including tin-lead solders having a lead content of about 30 to 98 percent. Solder compositions having the higher lead concentrations often have a higher melting point.

A softening temperature Ts of about 130° C. to about 180° C. has been found useful for reducing the compression force 38 to a relatively low value and simultaneously ensuring electrical contact of all solder bumps/balls 12.

As shown in drawing FIG. 3, resistive heating elements 44 may be applied to the top surface 48 of the substrate member 18, preferably under the insert 16 and substantially beneath the semiconductor package 10. The heating elements 44 are shown as having heater power leads 54, 56 for providing sufficient power to quickly heat the insert 16 including the electrical contact sites 20, not shown, and the solder bumps/balls 12, not shown, which are in engagement with the contact sites 20.

All of the conductive traces on substrate member 18, including conductive traces 28, heater power leads 54, 56, and heating elements 44 may be formed simultaneously by screening a thick film of conductive material onto the substrate member. This method of forming conductive traces on a surface is well known in the art.

A thermocouple junction 50 or other temperature detecting device may be installed in or on the insert 16 or substrate member 18 for obtaining temperature feedback and controlling the bump/ball temperature to attain a maximum desired softening temperature Ts. Thus, for example, as shown in drawing FIG. 3, a temperature sensor 50 (such as a thermocouple junction) may be fixed on the top surface 48 of the substrate member 18 or back side 52 (FIGS. 1 and 2) of the insert 16, and have thermocouple leads 58 connected through otherwise unused conductive traces 28A, 28B to measurement/control instrumentation, not shown. In use, a heater controller, not shown, determines the measured temperature and shuts off (or reduces) power to the heating elements 44 upon sensing a predetermined temperature. A recorder, not shown, may be used to calibrate the measurements such that a desired softening temperature may be precisely attained.

A short heating time is preferred, extending only several seconds or less. Most preferably, the heating time is less than one second. Thus, the heater power leads 54, 56 to the heating elements 44 must be sufficiently large to carry the necessary electrical load. In general, installation of the heating elements 44 on the insert 16 will require separate heater power leads 54, 56. Normally, wire bonds 26 (FIG. 1) are incapable of carrying the necessary load.

Another form of heating apparatus which may be used in the invention is illustrated in drawing FIGS. 4 and 5. The substrate member 18 has on its back side (underside) 46, as shown in FIG. 2, a pattern of heating elements 44 with junctions 62, 64. The junctions 62, 64 may be planar pads or conductively surfaced indentations in the back side 46.

As shown in drawing FIG. 5, a semiconductor package 10, insert 16, and substrate member 18 are positioned in a socket 66 on a test board 70. Test board 70 may be a board for an electrical test, for burn-in, or other purpose. The socket 66 is typically formed with walls 68 and base 72, and many sockets 66 may be mounted on a single test board 70 to enable simultaneous testing or burn-in of many semiconductor packages 10.

A pair of through-holes 74, 76 is formed in the test board 70 along axes 84, 86, and the axes which pass through junctions 62, 64, respectively. Two metal spring-loaded compression pins 80, also known as “pogo pins,” are mounted in the test board 70 or in another substrate 90 underlying the test board 70. Substrate 90, having a plurality of pogo pins 80 projecting therefrom, is known as a bed-of-nails (BON). The pogo pins 80 have a base 78 and a spring-loaded pin 82 which is axially movable relative to the base 78. The spring-loaded pins 82 are shown passing through-holes 74, 76 to electrically contact the junctions 62, 64 when in compression, power leads 92, 94 from the two pogo pins 80 providing sufficient electric power to the heating elements 44 for rapidly heating the solder bumps/balls 12. Following testing, the spring-loaded pogo pins 80 will push the substrate member 18 from the socket 66 with a short stroke.

In drawing FIG. 6, several types of BGA contact sites 20 are shown as examples illustrating the wide variety of solder bumps/balls 12 and contact sites 20 combinations whose temporary connection is enhanced by use of an elevated submelting softening temperature Ts. Each solder bump/ball 12 attached to semiconductor package 10 is configured to be in compressive conductive contact with a contact site 20.

Contact site 20A comprises a flat pad or surface of the insert 16.

Contact site 20B is a spherical indentation in the insert 16.

Contact site 20C is a shallow spherical indentation.

Contact site 20D is a spherical indentation having a central axially directed projection 96 which punctures and enters the softened solder bump/ball 12. Preferably, the projection 96 is pyramidal in shape.

Contact site 20E is a spherical indentation having several, typically four, peripheral projections 98 which contact and are forced into the circumferential surface of the solder bump/ball 12.

The illustrated contact sites 20 to which the invention may be applied are exemplary only and not exhaustive.

It is clear that a wide variety of apparatus may be used for heating ball-grid-array connections, of which those described herein are representative.

The invention has been illustrated in application to the testing of a flip-chip device. However, the temporary BGA connection of any device, including other chip scale packages (CSP), is enhanced by this process and apparatus.

It is apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications, including variations in heating procedures and structures, may be made to the BGA connection method and apparatus of the invention as described herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.

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US7541827 *Jun 9, 2006Jun 2, 2009Semiconductor Manufacturing International (Shanghai) CorporationBGA package holder device and method for testing of BGA packages
US7648856 *Aug 28, 2006Jan 19, 2010Micron Technology, Inc.Methods for attaching microfeature dies to external devices
US7679171 *Jun 21, 2005Mar 16, 2010The Charles Stark Draper Laboratories, Inc.Sensor isolation system
US7735041 *Aug 3, 2006Jun 8, 2010Chipx, Inc.Methods and computer readable media implementing a modified routing grid to increase routing densities of customizable logic array devices
US7932739May 7, 2009Apr 26, 2011Semiconductor Manufacturing International (Shanghai) CorporationBGA package holder device and method for testing of BGA packages
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