Ribbon Bonding

Ribbon bonding can be used when an application calls for high power and high frequency packaging. The ribbon allows for the creation of an interconnect, with a larger cross section that serves to substitute multiple wires to be bonded, having the distinct advantages of traditional round wire wedge bonding coupled with measureable performance, yield and process improvements.

Benefits of Ribbon Bonding:

1. Ribbon bonding is a possible solution for high volume, lower cost bonding, providing productivity, performance and reliability (as compared to wire bonding)

  • Can bond complex packages up to a point
  • The geometry of ribbon bonding is better suited for thin packages because its large area can carry a greater cross section; this is in comparison to the industry standard of ball bonding

2. Because of the sturdy large area, it has greater ability to handle higher frequencies

  • For applications that require great amounts of bandwidth, ribbon bonding can be an ideal solution

3. Interestingly, we have seen ribbon act as an “unofficial” substitute for aluminum wire; applications that we’ve seen use this are implantable medical devices such as pace makers and cancer drug regulators

Disadvantages of Ribbon Bonding:

1. The wedge Bbonder (which performs ribbon bonding) is an older technology and simply pales in comparison to a modern wire bonder on many different levels

  • Speed - not as fast by an order of magnitude
  • Precision and accuracy - as components get smaller and require greater yield; not a good option for testing or prototyping
  • Modern flexibility – simply does not have it (for example, it cannot bend laterally)
  • Modern efficiency – is efficient, but simply not as efficient as a the modern wire bonder

Hughes Aircraft, the former parent company of Palomar Technologies, designed, manufactured and sold some of the first wedge bonders using ribbon bonding technology. Ribbon bonding was originally designed for applications in the defense market in the 1970s and 1980s and lay dormant until it was awoke in fine ribbon wire during the “Optoelectronic Boom” of the late 1990s. Today, it remains a viable and cost effective option if your application calls for it.