Simco - ESD Hazards in Semiconductor IC Handlers

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In the semiconductor manufacturing industry, damage and yield losses attributed to the effects of static charges are well documented, along with the determination of many of the specific causes1. If ESD controls are not implemented properly, integrated circuits in handling equipment (IC handlers) can be subjected to Charged Device Model (CDM), Field Induced Model (FIM), and Machine Model (MM) ESD failure modes. This article reviews what we have found to be the most serious failure modes with such equipment – that have consequently resulted in the largest amount of documented ESD damage.

Many different manufacturing operations utilize IC handling equipment. Automatic and semi-automatic equipment with the ESD issues described in this article can include all of the following operations: isolation, singulation, epoxy operations, plating, lead inspection, lead forming, ink marking, laser marking, many types of sorting operations with pick and place capabilities, device testing (both electrical and optical), and many types of final packaging operations (trays, tape and reel, IC tubes, metal rails, etc.).

Test Sockets
Test sockets in IC handlers are commonplace throughout the industry. There are two, separate, typical failure modes that have been verified to cause device damage. First, many of these sockets can charge dramatically during movement or friction in automatic processes, during heating and cooling functions, and when contacted by operating personnel to name a few...

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