The Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) yesterday
signed a $19,192,716 cost-shared agreement with Plastic Packaging Consortium,
led by National Semiconductor Corporation, Sunnyvale, Calif., to advance the
technology and domestic production infrastructure for plastic packaging of
integrated circuits. The government's share of funding is $9,578,005, with the
balance being supplied by industry. This project is sponsored under the
Technology Reinvestment Project (TRP).
The other consortium members are: Amoco Chemical Company, Naperville, Ill.;
Leading Technologies Inc., Apollo, Penn.; Delco Electronics Corp., Kokomo Ind.;
Dexter Electronic Materials, Olean, N.Y.; IPAC, San Jose, Calif.; Olin
Corporation, New Haven, Conn.; Rohm and Hass Company's Plaskon Electronic
Materials Inc., Spring House, Penn.; and Sheldahl Inc., Northfield, Minn.
Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., will be a subcontractor to
Low cost packaging is important for all military systems. In the past,
however, military users have been hesitant to use plastic packaging due to
concerns about reliability and power dissipation capability. This program will
address those concerns through technology enhancements and extensive
reliability characterization. As a result, many military applications will be
able to achieve substantial cost reductions by adopting plastic packaging.
Furthermore, with defense consumption now below three percent of the total
integrated circuit market, it is essential that DoD be able to utilize standard
industry packaging approaches while still meeting harsh defense requirements.
This program addresses those needs by establishing an on-shore production
infrastructure capable of cost-effectively meeting both military and commercial
Plastic packaging is generally the lowest cost approach to provide the
necessary protection, thermal management, and electrical connectivity for
integrated circuits, and is used for about 98 percent of all integrated
circuits. However, in order to meet the complexity, power, performance, and
reliability demands of future military and commercial integrated circuits,
plastic packaging technology will have to be enhanced. Furthermore, almost all
plastic package assembly is done offshore.
This two-year effort will put in place a total industry capability from
packaging materials to final assembly, which will be able to meet the future
needs of the semiconductor industry with flexible, cost-effective, on-shore
production capability. Enhancements will be made in plastic package
reliability, power dissipation capability, and signal density, and these
capabilities will be demonstrated on a number of military and commercial