Microvia formation using advanced plasma or laser technology

The project aims to develop a commercially viable, volume
manufacturing process for the mass production of high
reliability microvias, using a combination of either plasma
or laser technology and new materials.

The purpose of this project is to develop a commercially viable, high volume manufacturing process for the mass production of high reliability microvias ( > 0.250 mm holes), using either advanced plasma or laser technology and new materials. The need for this development arises amongst others from the trend towards much smaller and lighter components with peripheral - and area - array dense grids of input/output (I/O). This means that the I/O density at Printed Circuit Board (PCB) level must increase in line with the external I/O of both SMT, TAB and ball grid array devices. Increasing the PCB layer count and fine line technology can do much to meet these demands. The associated cost of manufacturing small holes ( > 0.250 mm) and high layer count boards increases at an exponential rate with circuit complexity. Small, blind, buried and through holes are currently available today and are made by conventional mechanical means. Even in the simplest of digital cellular phone boards, the cost of drilling these holes, however, represents approximately 30% of the PCB's total cost. This is caused by the fact that the investment costs in NC drilling machines are extremely high and each hole has to be drilled individually. These conventional mechanical means are nevertheless unable to make holes smaller than 0.250 mm cost effectively as the market demands more frequently. This project seeks to obtain an alternative technology for the formation of microvias (< 0.250 mm holes) with which it is possible to significantly reduce the manufacturing bottleneck and hence reduce the manufacturing cycle time. The primary project deliverables are the following: 1. To study and demonstrate the viability of producing microvias in the range of 0.050 to 0.250 mm diameter, using either advanced plasma or laser techniques, 2. study and evaluate the material properties of a small, pre-defined range of organic reinforced di-functional and multifunctional epoxy materials and compare their electrical, chemical, physical and process ability properties against those of conventional FR4 and non- reinforced polyamide materials, 3. develop a detailed commercial cost matrix showing the competitive cost advantages of using either of the new technologies versus conventional manufacturing processes, 4. develop a volume manufacturing process for the selected technology, 5. quantify commercial and technical advantages as regards new products and work with selected customers to introduce the technology into volume products. Future demand for this technology is enormous, particularly in the areas of mobile computing and communication, where both space and weight are of major importance. Furthermore, the use of technology in manufacturing MultiChip Modules type laminate (MCM-L) will also be of great importance. The project can be divided into the following phases: Phase 1: research on alternative materials in interaction with plasma and laser technology Phase 2: development of prototype (product/process).
Project ID: 
1 230
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
1 090 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.