Semiconductor technology applies thermoset transfer molding

Transfer molding with a thermosetting compound and a proprietary tool is being positioned as an alternative to use of thermoplastics and standard injection molding in the production of some semiconductor devices.

Dutch firm Sencio BV (Nijmegen) says its nCapsulate technology can deliver better isotropy and thermomechanical stability than thermoplastics and standard injection molding.

Ignas van Dommelen, manager sales and marketing for Sencio, told PlasticsToday his company's transfer molding process utilizes an undisclosed thermoset compound with unique flow properties.Sencio nCapsulation

"During molding, the compound becomes fluid with a very low viscosity so that the tiny, 25-µm wires are not bent," van Dommelen said. "This is not possible with injection molding."

van Dommelen said the tool used for transfer molding is made from hardened steel and its exact costs vary depending on "the outline to be realized."

The goal of encapsulation is to protect sensitive semiconductor and micro-electro-mechanical (MEM) devices from outside forces like humidity, salt, or other contaminants. Sencio said traditional encapsulation technologies can deliver excellent protection, but noted there are technical limitations during the molding stage that restrict them to standard shapes and form factors.

In contrast, Sencio's nCapsulate technology results in what they call "freeform encapsulation," wherein functional features that streamline assembly or integrate device encapsulation can be built directly into system housing components, leading to faster, more cost-effective system assembly.

Sencio and semiconductor assembly and test service provider ATEC signed a deal in April wherein Sencio is able to maintain a captive assembly line at ATEC's Laguna, Philippines plant. Sencio said this gives its customers a cost-effective, high-volume, TS16949 and ISO14001 qualified assembly operation.

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