QFN PRE-MOLDED LEADFRAME HAVING A SOLDER WETTABLE SIDEWALL ON EACH LEAD
The present disclosure is directed to a leadframe package having solder wettable sidewalls that is formed using a pre-molded leadframe and methods of manufacturing the same. A metal plated leadframe with a plurality of recesses and a plurality of apertures is placed into a top and bottom mold tool. A molding compound is then formed in the plurality of recesses and apertures in the leadframe to form a pre-molded leadframe. A plurality of die and wires are coupled to the pre-molded leadframe and the resulting combination is covered in an encapsulant. Alternatively, a bare leadframe can be processed and the metal layer can be applied after encapsulation. A saw or other cutting means is used for singulation to form leadframe packages. Each resulting leadframe package has a solder wettable sidewall for improving the strength of solder joints between the package and a circuit board.
- 1. (canceled)
- 2. A method, comprising:
forming a pre-molded leadframe by; positioning a first side of a leadframe on a first mold tool, the leadframe having a plurality of first recesses and a plurality of apertures, each first recess of the plurality of first recesses having a size and a shape configured to receive one of a plurality of ridges of the first mold tool, the leadframe also having a plurality of die pads and a plurality of leads; positioning a second mold tool on a second side of the leadframe, the second mold tool having a plurality of second recesses; forming a plurality of first molding compound portions in the plurality of apertures; and forming a plurality of second molding compound portions in the plurality of second recesses.
- View Dependent Claims (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
- 9. A device, comprising:
a leadframe including a first surface, a second surface opposite the first surface, a die pad, and a first lead; a first molding compound portion between the die pad and the first lead, the first molding compound portion including a third surface substantially co-planar with the first surface, and a fourth surface substantially co-planar with the second surface; a second molding compound portion on the first surface of the lead; and an encapsulant on the first surface of the leadframe, on the fourth surface of the first molding compound portion, and on the second molding portion.
- View Dependent Claims (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)
- 17. A device, comprising:
a leadframe including; a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface; a die pad; and a first lead including a first flange, the first flange including a first exposed surface transverse the first surface and the second surface; a first molding compound portion separates the die pad from the first lead; a second molding compound portion on the first surface of the leadframe and on the first lead; and an encapsulant on the first surface of the leadframe, on the first molding compound portion, and on the second molding compound portion.
- View Dependent Claims (18, 19, 20, 21)
The present disclosure is directed to a leadframe package with a solder wettable sidewall formed using a pre-molded leadframe and methods of manufacturing the same.
A typical semiconductor package includes a die coupled to a leadframe and various electrical contacts. The resulting combination is then covered with an encapsulant to create the package. Lands (also referred to as leads) located on a bottom surface of the package and, in many cases, side surfaces of the package provide electrical connection to a circuit board, such as a printed circuit board (PCB). When coupling the package to the PCB, the packages are mounted directly on the surface of the PCB using surface mount technology (SMT).
Although SMT allows for smaller packages, it also creates some disadvantages. In particular, the solder joints between the package and the PCB can be weakened due to the PCB and the package having different coefficients of thermal expansions (CTE). Thus, the reliability of the package may in some cases depend on the integrity of the solder joints and therefore, stronger solder joints are desired. But, most surface mount leadframes only have solder wettable material on the bottom of the package. The sidewalls of the package are often comprised of material that is incompatible with solder, which results in weak solder joints, or no solder joints, between the PCB and the sidewalls of the package. Finally, in some cases, the force of manufacturing processes in select locations of the thin metal leadframe results in leadframe bouncing, which may cause the thin metal of the leadframe to crack or fracture.
Past responses to these issues have been to add additional elements to the package. These solutions are often cost-prohibitive because adding additional elements increases the number of steps in the manufacturing process, which decreases efficiency and necessarily increases the per unit manufacturing cost of each package. Further, many solutions prevent the package from being inspected by Automatic Visual Inspection (AVI), which can result in lower package reliability and cycle life because the solder joints cannot be properly inspected before leaving the manufacturing facility.
These issues are embodied in a typical semiconductor package 20, as shown in
Embodiments of the present disclosure are directed to leadframe packages having a solder wettable sidewall that are formed using a pre-molded leadframe and methods of manufacturing the same. In one embodiment, a pre-molded leadframe is formed by using a bottom mold tool having a plurality of ridges. A mold release film is placed over a first surface of the bottom mold tool and each of the ridges. Then, a leadframe is formed with a plurality of recesses having a size and shape to match the ridges and having a plurality of apertures between die pads and the leads of the leadframe. After forming the plurality of apertures and recesses, a metal layer is formed on the leadframe, such that the metal layer surrounds each die and each lead. The leadframe is then placed on the bottom mold tool and a top mold tool with a plurality of cavities is placed on the other side of the leadframe.
With the molds in place, molding compound is formed in the apertures between the die pads of the leadframe and in the cavities of the top mold tool. When the top and bottom mold tools are released, a pre-molded leadframe remains with molding compound in the plurality of apertures and on a first surface of the leadframe. The molding compound in the pre-molded leadframe provides additional support to the leadframe above the plurality of recesses, which prevents leadframe bouncing during processing and thereby reduces the likelihood of leadframe damage during incorporation of the leadframe into a package. Once the pre-molded leadframe is formed, the leadframe is incorporated into a package by coupling one or more die to each die pad and coupling a plurality of wires between each die and the metal layer on one or more leads. Then, an encapsulant is formed over the die, the wires and the pre-molded leadframe. The resulting combination is then separated with a mechanical blade or other cutting means at the plurality of recesses to form packages with solder wettable sidewalls.
In another embodiment, a pre-molded leadframe with a plurality of recesses on a first surface is incorporated into a leadframe package. A plurality of die are coupled to the pre-molded leadframe on a second surface and a plurality of wires are coupled between each die and one or more leads. An encapsulant is then used to cover the die, the wires, and the pre-molded leadframe. Next, a metal layer is formed on the first surface of the leadframe, including each of the plurality of recesses. A saw or other cutting means is then used to separate the resulting combination at the plurality of recesses. The result is a leadframe package having a solder wettable sidewall formed using a pre-molded leadframe.
When a package with solder wettable sidewalls is mounted to a PCB or other circuit board, the solder wettable sidewalls enable strong solder joints to be formed between the leads of the package and the PCB. This also increases the solder contact area between the package and the PCB, which results in less resistance and a lower thermal load per solder pin. This reduced thermal load allows for a reduction in the number of pins required to handle the power supply load. If fewer pins are required to carry the positive and negative power supplies, then the package can be made with fewer pins, saving money. It also allows for an increase in the number of signal and data pins in the resulting device, if needed.
In the drawings, identical reference numbers identify similar elements or acts unless the context indicates otherwise. The sizes and relative positions of elements in the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale.
In the following description, certain specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of various embodiments of the disclosure. However, one skilled in the art will understand that the disclosure may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known structures associated with electronic components and fabrication techniques have not been described in detail to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the descriptions of the embodiments of the present disclosure. The drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale and some features are enlarged to provide a more clear view of particular features.
Unless the context requires otherwise, throughout the specification and claims that follow, the word “comprise” and variations thereof, such as “comprises” and “comprising,” are to be construed in an open, inclusive sense, that is, as “including, but not limited to.”
The use of ordinals such as first, second and third does not necessarily imply a ranked sense of order, but rather may only distinguish between multiple instances of an act or structure.
Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment. Thus, the appearances of the phrases “in one embodiment” or “in an embodiment” in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the particular features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments.
As used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” include plural referents unless the content clearly dictates otherwise. It should also be noted that the term “or” is generally employed in its sense including “and/or” unless the content clearly dictates otherwise.
The present disclosure is generally directed to providing a leadframe package with a solder wettable sidewall that is formed using a pre-molded leadframe. An exemplary embodiment of a pre-molded leadframe 30 is shown in
The plurality of die pads 42 are separated by a plurality of apertures 38. In this embodiment, the plurality of apertures 38 are filled with a first plurality of molding compound portions 40. A second plurality of molding compound portions 46 are placed on the first side 32 of the pre-molded leadframe 30 at a location that is adjacent to the plurality of recesses 33 that are formed on the second side 34 of the leadframe between the first lead 48 and the second lead 50 of each of the plurality of leads 44. The plurality of recesses 33 define sidewalls 56 that are exposed to an exterior environment. When the pre-molded leadframe 30 is formed into a package, as described below, the sidewalls 56 are covered by a metal layer to create packages with solder wettable sidewalls. In an alternative embodiment, the metal layer is formed on each of the plurality of die pads 42 and each of the plurality of leads 44 prior to forming the first and second plurality of molding compound portions, as in
The first plurality of molding compound portions 40 and the second plurality of molding compound portions 46 each provide support to the pre-molded leadframe 30 when the leadframe undergoes additional processing. A typical leadframe is a very thin, wide layer of copper or other metal that is likely to crack or fracture during the die and wire attach processes, or during other steps in manufacturing. Usually this damage is the result of leadframe bouncing, which occurs after a force is applied in a certain area of the leadframe and the effects of the force spread throughout the leadframe, causing the thin material to bounce. The first plurality of molding compound portions 40 and the second plurality of molding compound portions 46 provide additional material in vulnerable locations of the leadframe 30. This increased area of material results in lower stresses for the leadframe 30 when subjected to the same forces inherent in the manufacturing process. As a result, the likelihood of cracking or fracture is greatly reduced. The stress is further reduced by the molding compound material itself, which acts as a buffer to absorb vibrations that occur due to leadframe bouncing or other manufacturing induced forces.
An exemplary embodiment of a method of manufacturing the pre-molded leadframe 30 is shown in
Once the mold release film 64 is in place, a leadframe 29 is placed on the bottom mold tool 58 and the mold release film 64, as shown in
The solder wettable layer 82 can be applied at any one of various different stages in the process. In the embodiment of
With the leadframe 29 in place, a top mold tool 66 is placed over the leadframe 29, as in
Once the first plurality of molding compound portions 40 and the second plurality of molding compound portions 46 are formed, the bottom mold tool 58 and the top mold tool 66 are released and the pre-molded leadframe 30 is removed from the mold tools, as in
An exemplary embodiment of a leadframe package 70 with solder wettable sidewalls that is formed using a pre-molded leadframe is shown in
The plurality of leads 74 are spaced apart from the die pad 43 by the plurality of apertures 38. The plurality of apertures 38 are filled with the first plurality of molding compound portions 40, which may be formed using the process described above with reference to the pre-molded leadframe. The leadframe package 70 also includes a portion of one or more of the second plurality of molding compound portions 46 on the first side 78 of the plurality of leads 74.
The die 72, the plurality of wires 76 and the second plurality of molding compound portions 46 are encapsulated by an encapsulant 84. Once the first plurality of molding compound portions 40 and the second plurality of molding compound portions 46 are cured through the forming process, the application of heat and pressure to form the encapsulant 84 will not cause the first and second plurality of molding compound portions 40, 46 to melt or degrade. In other words, the melting or degradation temperature of the first and second plurality of molding compound portions 40, 46 after curing is below the temperature at which the encapsulant 84 is placed.
In the embodiment of
In an alternative embodiment, the sidewall 85 is substantially vertical and the lead portion 86 includes the sidewall 85 and the flange 83, as described below. As a result, the entire sidewall 85 is covered by the metal layer 82. A width or height of the flange 83 may vary depending if a deeper recess is cut into the second side of each of the plurality of leads, as described above with reference to the pre-molded leadframe.
An exemplary embodiment of a method of manufacturing the leadframe package 70 with solder wettable sidewalls that is formed using a pre-molded leadframe is shown in Figures
As illustrated in
After removal from the mold, the metal layer 82 is formed on any exposed metal surface of the array. Thus, it will be formed on each of the plurality of die pads 42 and each of the plurality of leads 44, including the sidewall of the leads, as in
After the layer 82 is formed, a mechanical blade or other cutting means is used to singulate the resulting array to obtain individual packages 70, as in
In an alternative exemplary embodiment, the leadframe package 70 has the lead sidewall 85 without the flange 83 where the metal layer 82 covers the entire lead sidewall 85. In this embodiment, a tie bar is attached to a leadframe before processing in order to prevent leadframe bending or bouncing during processing. Then, the leadframe with the tie-bar attached can be cut all the way through at the plurality of recesses 33 to form the first lead 48 and the second lead 50 of each of the plurality of leads 44 and a second plurality of apertures between the first lead 48 and the second lead 50. The resulting leadframe having the second plurality of apertures is placed in the bottom mold tool 58, with the ridges 62 having a height sufficient to occupy the second plurality of apertures.
Then, the second plurality of recesses 68 are formed with a depth that corresponds to the second plurality of molding compound portions 46 having a sufficiently thick cross-section to support the leads 48 and 50 during processing. Then, the pre-molding and package formation processes continues according to the present disclosure until the tie bar is removed with a trimming machine or other cutting means prior to singulation of the respective packages. After singulation, the leadframe package 70 has the lead sidewall 85 that is covered with the metal layer 82. This increased contact surface area allows for stronger solder joints to form between the package 70 and the PCB or other circuit board, which improves reliability and further reduces resistance compared to a package with the metal layer 82 on only a portion 86 of the sidewall 85.
The various embodiments described above can be combined to provide further embodiments. All of the U.S. patents, U.S. patent application publications, U.S. patent applications, foreign patents, foreign patent applications and non-patent publications referred to in this specification and/or listed in the Application Data Sheet are incorporated herein by reference, in their entirety. Aspects of the embodiments can be modified, if necessary to employ concepts of the various patents, applications and publications to provide yet further embodiments.
These and other changes can be made to the embodiments in light of the above-detailed description. In general, in the following claims, the terms used should not be construed to limit the claims to the specific embodiments disclosed in the specification and the claims, but should be construed to include all possible embodiments along with the full scope of equivalents to which such claims are entitled. Accordingly, the claims are not limited by the disclosure.