Using copper wire bonding in chips for autos

Normally in this blog, products and applications are discussed. But today, I’m going to talk about a little about the chip packaging and bonding technology. Semiconductor packaging is an integral part of the design process and strategic differentiator for our analog and embedded processing products. TI's innovative packaging technologies are designed to solve customers' problems by delivering advances in miniaturization, integration, high reliability, high performance and low power. 

Before 2008, our chips manufactured for auto applications utilized gold wire for bonding chips to lead frames & substrates within the semiconductors. Gold was thought to be more reliable for high-reliability applications, such as automotive. But we knew that Cu wire would be just as reliable, also offering quality and cost benefits, as well as equal or better manufacturability than gold.  Cu also delivers 40 percent higher electrical conductivity to give customers a boost in overall product performance with a number of our analog and embedded processing parts.

The majority of our existing analog and CMOS silicon technology nodes have been qualified with copper, and all new technologies and packages are being developed with copper wire bond.  Cu wire is at 71 percent of TI’s total wire usage.  In fact, since 2008, TI has shipped more than 22 billion units with copper wire bonds from its internal sites.  

We are currently shipping about two billion units of copper wire bond technology each quarter.  This includes production for key automotive segments such as safety (e.g., anti-lock brake systems, power steering, stability control), infotainment, body and comfort, and powertrain.  Enabling copper wire bond technology for automotive applications requires significant development to automotive standards and strict manufacturing discipline. Our extensive manufacturability and reliability testing meets automotive industry qualification requirements and includes thorough process corner development, production quality and reliability monitoring and manufacturing controls.

Having multiple wire bond capabilities that support a wide range of silicon technologies and product applications is a great benefit to our customers. Our flexible manufacturing strategy also improves customer delivery and performance for products using copper wire bond.  We have a clear capacity advantage, both internally and with qualified subcontractors, that enable us to meet all levels of customer demand.

If you’d like to learn more about Cu wire bonding and TI’s packaging technology, I recommend one of these resources:

  • Can TI specify the material of bonding for each IC ????We are using  certain TI parts  at high temperature above 150  degree Celsius, we had observed that bonding with  gold has better reliability than copper

  • I just read the white paper, good job and nicely written. Some years ago, I worked with the guys in TI Dallas to help with wire bonding. Back then, the intermetallic alloys between gold ball bonds and aluminum bonds pads were critical. especially when trying to avoid the purple plague! Galvanic corrosion of the bond pad during wafer dicing was one of the problems. Now you are bonding copper wire to copper bond pads I assume the intermetallic issue has gone away. However, can you tell me if corrosion of the copper bond pad is an issue?