High-resolution cameras combined with high speeds support latest smartphones production demand, part 2

Posted by Gretchen Alper on Thu, May 24, 2012

Higher resolution cameras combined with high speeds allow for greater throughput and accuracy required by manufacturers of semiconductor packaging inspection equipment supporting smartphone production demand.


While companies like Samsung and Apple are responding to and feeding the consumers’ demands for more and better smartphones and tablets, the semiconductor manufacturing industry has grown by focusing on supporting them.

To increase the capabilities of smartphones, more powerful processors are required with higher density chips.  This presents new challenges for manufactures of inspection and metrology equipment as smaller features must be detected without compromises in throughput to help sustain or improve yield. Machine vision cameras taking advantage of the latest CMOS global shutter image sensors with high resolution combined and high speeds allow for a response to these changes.

With semiconductor back-end manufacturing, there are changes in packaging such as flip chip technology, which offers significant size savings.  The trend towards continuous miniaturization results in smaller bump sizes and a greater number of bumps.  This combined with the goal of 100% analysis at a high precision while maintaining high throughput; challenges bump inspection and component inspection equipment manufacturers.

Optical Bump Inspection Equipment verify:
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  • Missing bumps
  • Bridges
  • Nodules
  • Bump shapes
  • Missing material


Component Inspection involves 2D or 3D inspection of (more information: http://www.vision-systems.com/articles/2007/07/machine-vision-targets-semiconductor-inspection.html):

  • BGA substrates
  • Lead frames
  • Surfaces
  • Marks
  • Post dicing
  • Packages 

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Image Source:CPU collection Konstantin Lanzet


Again, machine vision cameras with combined high resolution and high speeds helps inspection equipment manufacturers to meet these latest requirements.  Here’s how:


Increased Throughput

Image sensors with a higher frame rate are just a starting point.  The image sensor design must be able to handle these high data rates within a critical timing tolerance to reliably produce quality images.  The resulting camera must ensure that the frame rates are actually captured in a consistent and dependable way.  Higher frame rates allow for gain in throughput

Throughput can also be increased with fewer movements.  Utilizing high-resolution high-speed image sensors drives throughput in step-shoot-move inspection systems by both reducing scan time as well as the number of scan positions per object. Uniformity challenges increase as a larger optical field-of- view requires more complex optics and the increase of defects pixels in the sensor.  Camera manufacturers can provide higher uniformity by grading the incoming sensor, including dedicated processing and eliminating blemishes in the manufacturing process and camera operation.


Increased Accuracy

As the objects to inspect/measure become smaller, higher resolution cameras with better spatial resolution can improve accuracy and precision.  This does require a high quality camera design.  As with all measurements, high quality means that the variations in the camera and the images are smaller than the variations of what you are trying to measure so you are not measuring within the noise of the camera.

Also, particular care has to be given to the optical design and precision of the image sensor placement in the camera. The alignment of the image sensor in the camera is key to have an optimal optical path.  This provides the accuracy for the overall system.  


The trend for increased smartphones and tablets will continue as Foxconn announced on May 21, 2012 that they will invest $210 million to build an Apple production line.


High-resolution cameras combined with high speeds that make full use of select image sensors provide the images required for inspection and metrology of the latest generation components that go inside your state-of-the-art smartphones and tablets.

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Topics: Applications