Not All Plating Lines Are Created Equal


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Großmann: Correct. If you look at the process times, there’s much more inside from the vibrators to get the gases out of the holes. We don’t vibrate the flight bar. The side waves correctly go through the hole. It goes through the flight bar and has a very special way to reach all of the areas. It’s not vibrating on the top. It’s controlled, and all those little things put together in one tank make up this special ability to get much smaller holes plated and more even plating.

Holden: That differentiates you from everybody else, which is good because you can’t hold back advancing design rules because the semiconductors demand that. We didn’t invent it; the semiconductor companies are driving us. Now, they’re down to seven-nanometer transistors that turn on and off very fast, which means everything is a transmission line, and with the critical distance, you had to treat it as a transmission line shortens, etc. People want everything to be smaller, including their holes and their lands. But you have to get metal into them. The old way to do it was to put it in the tank for three or four hours, which works but is not necessarily very productive compared to a different way of doing it. Then, you have what we call the boundary conditions. You have this waste treatment and air minimization, which is kind of the boundary part of the cost. It’s not part of getting metal into the hole, but it’s still about the total cost.

Großmann: The total cost includes that.

 LUDY_FIG2.jpg

Figure 2: Ludy modular-integrated plating cell.

LUDY_FIG3.jpg

Figure 3: Ludy uses sealed tank covers to minimize ventilation and solution loss as well as optimize rinsing, blow-off devices, and drip shields.

Holden: We have to worry about the environment.

Großmann: Yes. The wastewater gets vaporized, the water gets extracted, and since this is fully deionized water, it gets back to the process. Water is also very expensive, especially processed water. What remains is much less to take care of compared to the wastewater itself. This can all be additive, so you get the overall mostly green area. You still have something to throw away, but it’s much less.

Holden: How does the Ludy equipment minimize the need for ventilation and fume scrubbing?

Großmann: The closed-system solution sucks in the exhaust air, feeds it into an energy storage unit, and reinserts it into the system as a bath heating.

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