Journal of SMT Article

AUTOMATING OPTOELECTRONIC PACKAGING

Author: Bryan Pate
Company: Palomar Technologies Inc.
Date Published: 7/1/2001   Volume: 14-3

Abstract: Until recently, the assembly of optoelectronic components has been almost exclusively a manual process due to package complexity and relatively low production volumes. As the demand for photonics components grows, increasing emphasis is being placed on automating this assembly process to drive down component costs and increase volume.

Currently, optoelectronic component manufacturers are utilizing automated equipment to conduct multichip epoxy and eutectic die attachments and to wire bond. In the future, other processes requiring sub-micron resolution and involving complex sets of iterative alignment steps, such as active fiber alignment and active subcomponent alignment, will be performed by fully automated systems. This equipment will incorporate several technological advances that will reduce assembly time and increase yield.

Since the packaging process accounts for 60 to 80% of the cost of optoelectronic components today [1], advances in automation will be essential for controlling component costs and meeting demand. This paper analyzes some of the challenges to automation in the field of optoelectronics, the current state of the art for optoelectronic automated die attach and wire bonding, and presents an example of some of the cost advantages associated with automation.

Key words: Automation, eutectic attach, active alignment, optoelectronic packaging.



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