Through-hole technology promises smaller mobile phone cameras
November 9, 2007 Oki has developed a new manufacturing technique that makes it possible to further miniaturize camera modules for mobile phones. The company announced it has started a contract assembly service for W-CSP (Wafer level Chip Sized Package) semiconductors using through-hole technology - a process which can halve the size of conventional camera modules.
In order to miniaturize a camera module, it is necessary to miniaturize its image sensor. Oki’s new W-CSP technology includes creating a through-hole in the silicon substrate such as an image sensor, and putting an electrode through the hole. By using this technology on the image sensor, users can eliminate wire bonding for camera modules and thus, reduce the size. Oki also adopts a low-profile cover glass on the image sensor, enabling manufacturers to make a module thinner than conventional ones.
“OKI is currently one of the industry’s largest-scale manufacturers of W-CSP technology, packaging LSIs of a size equivalent to the semiconductor chip itself. Based on the through-hole W-CSP technology, manufacturers can make smaller camera modules, responding to trends such as the steadily shrinking size of mobile equipment,” said Takaki Yamada, President of Silicon Microdevice Company at Oki Electric Industry. “We plan to increase the production level to 10,000 wafers per month within the fiscal year ending March 2009 and are considering increasing up to 20,000 wafers per month by the fiscal year ending March 2010, taking the expected demand increase into consideration.” In September, Oki established a volume production line for through-hole technology based W-CSP assembly at its production site in Tokyo and started operation in October. In addition to semiconductor assembly, OKI will launch a contract manufacturing service for making ultra small camera modules.
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