Laser Cutting in the Semi Conductor Industry

The semiconductor industry involves everything from the design, development, manufacture and selling of small electronic parts, card and chips. These semiconductors will be present in pretty much every single modern technical device that we use. Reading this article on a laptop, computer or smartphone? Semiconductors play a part in that.

Clearly, semiconductors are a vital part of modern society, so it’s important that everything from the design to the selling of these parts runs smoothly. Below we have explained how laser cutting helps with this process.

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Laser cutting helps to create these complex semiconductors

Some background information on the semiconductor industry

The semiconductor industry started in around the 1960s, but has noticed widespread and rapid growth as innovation and technological breakthroughs continue to be experienced each year.

A semiconductor, as its name implies, is a device which is only partly conductive. It is built in such a way so as to conduct electricity in some conditions, but not others. They are built from solid chemical elements or compounds.

This industry is dominated by the US, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and the European Union, and currently has a global worth of around $334 billion, although this is expected to increase to around $341 billion by 2018. With a continued focus on new technologies, semiconductors are becoming more and more popular as each year passes.

Why is laser cutting used in the semiconductor industry?

As explained above, semiconductors are more popular than ever. This means that the production of them has increased tenfold, and manufactures want more semiconductors out of the door in less time. Furthermore, semiconductors have also had to become smaller due to the increasingly smaller size that modern day electronics are taking.

So we’re left with a manufacturing process that needs to be working quicker, at a higher rate, and to a more specific degree. While this may sound like its asking too much, processes using fiber lasers, such as laser cutting, were made for this level of efficiency and quality.

One of the biggest advantages that laser cutting has for the semiconductor industry is the level of precision it can provide with its cuts. Previously, using more conventional methods, space had to be left on a semiconductor to allow room for a cut; laser cutting ensures that this needn’t be the case.

The other benefits that laser cutting provides is that it can switch quickly between multiple applications, reducing the time left between each task, and can work at an incredibly fast rate to keep up with the demand.

It also increases safety as the laser beam is required to be enclosed in a glass box, and the cut that the machine will deliver will be completely clean. This is a vast improvement on older forms of more conventional cutting machines that were previously used in the past.

Finally, laser cutting is extremely useful in this industry as it is a non-contact process, meaning that it won’t cause any unnecessary heat damage to the surrounding area of the semiconductor. As these parts are to be installed in highly complex machines and devices, it’s important that their quality isn’t compromised in any way.

How is laser cutting used in the semiconductor industry?

The semiconductor industry and electronics industry are two closely related industries, as the semiconductors that are produced form some of the parts that are implemented in the electronic products. Therefore, laser cutting works much the same way in these two industries.

Primarily, laser cutting is used within the semiconductor industry in order to laser cut uSD cards and circuit boards, as well as matrix lead frames. These parts will then go on to become essential components of our TVs, automobiles, medical devices, smartphones and more.

Laser cutting is immensely beneficial to this industry not just because of the high precision at which it can cut, but also because of the complex shapes that it can cut too. Semiconductors are never just one shape or size, and must be adapted to fit the new device that they are to be installed within. This also applies to the fact that laser cutting works well with the multiple materials used for semiconductors, including metal and silicon.

Find out more about laser cutting from SPI Lasers

As well as the semiconductor and electronics industries, laser cutting offers practical uses in the building of aircraft and automobiles, as well as having life-saving properties that are useful for the medical sector.

With a number of unique benefits and advantages, it has become one of the most useful processes used across a range of industries. We’ve listed a detailed FAQs page here should you have more questions, and you can find out more about how SPI Laser’s range of Fiber Lasers can be used for laser cutting.

Alternatively, please feel free to get in contact with us here.

 

Image credit: webandi and Carlos Muza

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