Enhancing Punch MLF Packaging with Edge Protection Technology

Resolving the issue of package cracks/gaps on MLF/QFN packaging.


Quad Flat No-Lead (QFN) semiconductor packaging provides a small form factor as well as good electrical and thermal performance for low cost. Add demonstrated long term reliability to its benefits and it is easy to see why it has been a preferred automotive package for many years. QFNs are offered in saw and punch formats with punch being a well-defined and used solution in the automotive market [2].
In spite of its wide usage, a long-standing concern with the punch form factor of MicroLeadFrame® (MLF®)/QFN packaging has been the tendency of the exposed corners and top edge flange areas to experience cracking after assembly during handling, electrical test operations, shipping and surface mount technology (SMT) printed circuit board (PCB) assembly. These gaps or micro-cracks may compromise the integrity of the package resulting in the semiconductor device’s functionality and/or performance being compromised.

To resolve the issue of package cracks/gaps, Amkor Technology has developed a solution known as Edge ProtectionTM technology (EPT) [1]. EPT improves the robustness of the package by extending the molding compound encapsulate to the exposed edge areas of the top flange and corners. This white paper will provide background on MLF/QFN packaging identifying the concern and provide the details of the EPT solution that has demonstrated significant improvements while maintaining conformance with the Package Outline Drawing (POD).

By Marc Mangrum, Director, MLF Leadframe Products, 2020

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