Full Service Bonders

The principle of inference is a practice in science that allow us to identify the impact or nature of something that is challenging, if not altogether impossible, to see directly. Surprisingly, this is very true of the die-bonding ecosystem. At the most basic level nothing has changed in 50 years; discrete elements are picked, placed and attached to a substrate. Looking at the technologies that these finished packages now enable, however, presents a considerably more interesting and profound narrative. With that in mind, we consider the following as a window into the die bonding world.

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It is difficult to think of life without television, which as a video interface, is now more integral to our working life, than a mode of entertainment, though with the commercialization of social networking, the difference between the two is increasingly blurred. Despite this incredible ubiquity, only in this decade we are beginning to move towards celebrating the centenary of early television prototypes and first analogue transmission (1928) and first regular broadcaster (1936). Against this decided, slow but effectual progress, today’s devices and the range of services connected to them, are almost unrecognizable against earlier models. Certainly, it is literally impossible to think of a future without further, breath-taking, progress. Indeed, 6G may be the tool which makes real the hitherto sci-fi fiction of holographic projection on a par with something close to what is really in front of our eyes. But that is a story we have told elsewhere.

As we are implying, connected to recent developments in television, must be the rather less glamorous, yet as technically influential, and certainly necessary to that evolution, is the die bonder family. Already past its half-century birthday, developments in vision capability, sound and data communication already alluded to would not—and could not—exist without the presence and contribution of these systems.

Over the past twenty years, the speed of change in the television ecosystem increased with exponential speed, to the point that in just two short decades we have moved from heavy clunky glass tubes providing for around than a mere 500 lines of resolution to easily carried 8k technologies, utilizing organic-based pixels and with in-built sound coming from 9 channels (including the screen itself) and color variations that are literally trillions in number. In a very similar fashion, this same impressive catalogue of change finds parallel in die bonding.

From the essentially single-purpose early bonder family of the 1980s, today’s systems comprise at least five substantive evolutionary types, many more if important distinctions and specializations—such as those serving opto-electronics—are added in. Beyond this there are placement and alignment solutions that challenge logic—such as those in single photon quantum technologies—let alone the more immediate physical challenges. These developments feed into a chicken-and-egg scenario of technical growth and advancement covering every aspect of digital communication, and much more. The technology of the 2020s and beyond would not be possible without these systems, yet these systems required these advances for they themselves to evolve.

This latter sentence, perhaps succinctly summarizes the current state of play of the entire bonding ecosystem. This is perhaps nowhere better narrated that in considering market size, which has risen ten-fold since the start of the new millennium, and three-fold over the past decade alone. Beyond the speed of packaging advance, what is particularly extraordinary is the fact that this growth (with some bumps) has continued in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash, and more recently, COVID and recent and continuing geo-political and economic challenges. This speaks exactly to the urgent nature of the underlying technological drivers, principally, security, eco-energy and digitization.

For established manufacturers with large portfolios and clear developmental focus these changes are an intimate part of their culture, for others, and especially those relatively new to their chosen markets, these recent (post-2012) evolutions, are not only potentially bewildering, but represent the threat of too many rabbit holes in the journey to discover the best route to bonding commercial and technical solutions that enable sustainability and market traction for new devices and products. This is the significant micro-verse of invention and innovation.

This blog is dedicated to those who can identify with this conundrum and who occupy the niche of cutting-edge development. As the heading graphic implies, it is precisely at this juncture where Palomar Technologies is exceptionally well placed to meet customer needs with a full and all-round set of support and application services. We write confidently on the basis of provisions actually made over the decades; real-life work facilitating a broad variety of needs for commercial maturation, from development and early market entry, to enabling all possibilities of lateral product ranges and commercialization.

More particularly, our range of systems—and even more impressive underlying knowledge bank—embraces decades of experience in supporting customers in taking that exciting step from semi-automatic to fully automatic manufacturing output, at the same time robustly maintaining that ability to simultaneously develop and prototype new devices from the original concept. In short, Palomar possesses a proven and effective series of solutions for innovators and technologies near the beginning of their potential and exploitation, as equally, those ready for seize the opportunity of moving into their next generation iteration.

Yet this is not all. At the other end of the spectrum is another very different form of customer. Robust and long-lived technologies are an essential part of the global military, security, power and communications infrastructure, but even the hardiest of these need elements of repair or replacement. More so, the best solution is one that can cover as many if not all these potentials. Again, this is where Palomar has historically provided effective solutions.

Despite the very differing nature of these two scenarios, they are united in requiring systems that are highly adaptable, very versatile, capable of serving the most demanding packaging requirements, and yet able to produce the number of devices required by the economics of commercial realities.

Through decades of experience, Palomar Technologies not only has not only earned itself a very solid place on such a “map”, but, as with all mature companies, our provision includes a large range of complementary and support roles focused in our global innovation and assembly service centers, that cover both technical enhancements and synergies, but an extraordinary and proven knowledge bank of how to fully exploit and use these in support of our customers goals and ambitions. These options both allow for risk sharing (and thus risk reduction) and savings in time where the latter is at a premium (and when isn’t it?).

If Palomar's solutions are utilized by some of the world’s leading multinational technology and aerospace companies, we also work on some amazing projects with a variety of SMEs, but sadly, in both cases, we can say no more than that. If we were in the gasoline business, we would very definitely be a “full-service” provider indiscriminate of our costumer’s size, only concerned with helping each fulfill their respective potential, and exceed that potential, where possible. To explore your options still further, we offer the opportunity to directly contact our non-sales but technical professionals with a view to ascertaining if Palomar systems and services suit your current need and future development plans. We are particularly keen to support our customers in Europe through our new Assembly Service base in Germany, complementing our existing centers in the US and Asia.