The electronics industry has progressed to the point of cliché with respect to use of the adjectives smaller, faster, lighter and cheaper to describe their goals. Although the goals may be cliché, they are real, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to hit them. IC foundries have been making incredible strides in hitting the goals, but what of the rest of the industry infrastructure? IC’s alone cannot continue to carry the system performance improvements. Breakthroughs are required in electronics packaging if we are continue to improve the whole system.
One of the technologies being used to achieve the required breakthroughs is the use of lasers. They perform functions as diverse as primary image patterning, via drilling, and solder mask imaging where the traditional manufacturing methods do not use lasers. This paper will examine where, how and why the lasers are used, and develop some general guidelines for laser process selection.