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As the demand for flip-chip interconnects mounts across an increasingly large spectrum of products and technologies, several wafer-bumping processes have been developed to produce the small solder features required for this interconnect technology. These processes differ significantly in complexity and commensurate cost. Recently, a new bumping process developed at IBM Research called injection-molded solder, or IMS, has shown the capability to combine low-cost attributes with high-end capabilities. The development of IMS technology was driven by the need to reduce wafer-bumping costs while simultaneously addressing the conflicting needs of increasing wafer dimensions to 300 mm, decreasing bump and pitch dimensions below 75 µm on 150-µm centers, and optimal Pb-free alloy selection and processing. This paper describes IMS technology for both standard eutectic SnPb and Pb-free wafer bumping. Existing mainstream bumping technologies are also reviewed, with a focus on the challenges of new industry requirements. Early manufacturing challenges are addressed, including solutions that demonstrated the appropriateness of IMS technology for low-cost 300-mm Pb and Pb-free wafer bumping. Early process and reliability data are also reviewed.
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