Preparing for Increased ESD Device Sensitivity

Preparing for Increased ESD Device Sensitivity
In this paper the authors share what has been learned about real-time ESD event detection in hopes it aids the equipment manufacturer's preparedness.
Production Floor


Authored By:

Julian A. Montoya
Intel Corporation
Hillsboro, Oregon USA


With the push for ever improving performance on semiconductor component I/O interfaces, semiconductor components are being driven into a realm which makes them more sensitive to electrostatic discharge, potentially increasing in sensitivity by 50% every 3-5 years. Today, the majority of modern day semiconductor components are being designed to meet 250Volts of charge device model sensitivity, and that could decrease to 125Volts in the next 3-5 years, and could again decrease to 50Volts-70Volts in the following 3-5 years. The entire electronics industry must prepare for this challenge.

In preparation for this upcoming challenge, we along with some other semiconductor companies are embarking on an educational awareness and preparedness initiative with ODM's/OEM's. This includes awareness of the industry technology roadmap, and educating them on what they need to do to prepare for this challenge. As part of the preparedness initiative, we request that they start considering real time electrostatic discharge (ESD) detection within their "high-risk" modules; such as automated surface mount equipment, where direct measurements have confirmed semiconductor components are directly exposed to ESD events.

The call to action for automated surface mount equipment manufacturers is to start to evaluate, and implement, real-time ESD detection technologies in areas where direct contact with the component (i.e.. pick and place) occurs, and incorporating this real-time detection into their new equipment designs, as well as preparing retrofit kits for existing equipment sets. This is not a trivial task and will require time to develop and implement, so we urge the equipment manufacturing community to begin the process now in preparation for the increase in device sensitivity. In this paper, we will share what has learned about real-time ESD event detection in hopes it aids the equipment manufacturer's preparedness.


It has been shown that real-time ESD event detection is feasible, and that it can be directly related to what the component experiences in an industry standard charge device model tester. Its implementation does require the end user to expend engineering resources to calibrate and integrate into a given piece of equipment, but this effort provides the end user of the equipment the ability to determine ESD risk in real-time. That is a valuable asset as component level ESD sensitivities increase as process technology progresses, customer demand for increased data throughput performance increases, and package sizes remain large and can potentially grow in surface area.

The call to action for equipment developers/manufacturers, and end users, is to begin to investigate the implementation of real-time ESD event detection in future equipment designs, and also consider how this technology can be retrofitted into existing equipment configurations, if the need arises.

Initially Published in the IPC Proceedings


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