Today, a growing number of OEMs have a sound understanding of how significant PCB hybrid manufacturing is for their new generation of products. That’s because their customers in the medical electronics, mil/aero, commercial, and industrial sectors are demanding greater electronics functionality in smaller, portable devices. This means those devices are based on smaller printed circuit boards (PCBs).
PCB manufacturing has evolved from through-hole to SMT manufacturing over the years. But, now, with those new customer demands, traditional SMT manufacturing is merging with microelectronics manufacturing, involving chip on board (CoB) installation, flip chip assembly, wire bonding, and die attach. This is known as PCB hybrid manufacturing, Fig. 1.
To learn more about PCB hybrid manufacturing, read our recent article in SMT007 Magazine. In the meantime, here are some tips and hints that’ll get you on the way to learning more about this advanced PCB manufacturing.
- Microelectronics and traditional SMT components have different coefficients of thermal expansion (CTE) and must be carefully considered.
- Component placement for each type of manufacturing is critical and must be evaluated at the layout phase.
- Learn more about die attach methods since this is a major aspect of microelectronics.
- Understand there are different epoxies with different chemical compositions when it comes to using SMT components versus microelectronics components.
- It’s important to apply heat from the top of the component rather than the bottom to assure microelectronics MEMs, sensors, or a die doesn’t get overheated and damaged.
- Physical separation of the SMT and microelectronics manufacturing areas is critical to maintaining product integrity and reliability.
Hybrid manufacturing is a new and major industry endeavor. It’s critical for existing and new OEMs launching into the next round of small PCB designs to get a clear understanding of all the new manufacturing technologies supporting new products. It is especially important to place extra emphasis on microelectronics manufacturing and its requirements for absolutely clean surfaces so that these assemblies are properly performed without jeopardizing reliability.