Characterization of Die Stresses in Large Area Array Flip Chip Packages
Type of DegreeThesis
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Microprocessor packaging in modern workstations and servers often consists of one or more large flip chip die that are mounted to a high performance ceramic chip carrier. The final assembly configuration features a complex stack up of area array solder interconnects, underfill, ceramic substrate, lid, heat sink, thermal interface materials, second level solder joints, organic PCB, etc., so that a very complicated set of loads is transmitted to the microprocessor chip. Several trends in the evolution of this packaging architecture have exacerbated die stress levels including the transition to larger die, high CTE ceramic substrates, lead free solder joints, higher level of power generation, and larger heat sinks. Die stress effects are of concern due to the possible degradation of silicon device performance (mobility/speed) and due to the possible damage that can occur to the copper/low-k top level interconnect layers. In this work, test chips containing piezoresistive sensors have been used to measure the stresses induced in microprocessor die after various steps of the assembly process as well as to characterize stresses induced by various mechanical clamping scenarios. The utilized (111) silicon test chips were able to measure the complete three-dimensional stress state (all 6 stress components) at each sensor site being monitored by the data acquisition hardware. The test chips had dimensions of 20 x 20 mm, and 3600 lead free solder interconnects (full area array) were used to connect the chips to the high CTE ceramic chip carriers. Before packaging, the sensor resistances were measured by directly probing the stress test die. The chips were reflow soldered to the ceramic substrate, and then underfilled and cured. Finally, a metallic lid was attached to complete the ceramic LGA package. After every packaging step (solder reflow, underfill dispense and cure, lid attachment and adhesive cure), the sensor resistances were re-measured, so that the die stresses induced by each assembly operation could be characterized. The build-up of the die stresses was found to be monotonically increasing, and the relative severity of each assembly step was judged and compared. Such an approach allows for various material sets (solders, underfills, TIM materials, lid metals, and lid adhesives) to be analyzed and rated for their contribution to the die stress level. Baseline resistance changes with temperature were determined for the test packages. Finally, mechanical and thermal characterizations of the utilized underfill material were performed.