IR Detection and Sensing
Infrared (IR) detection is poised for high growth over the coming years largely powered by the technology advances in wafer level packaging (WLP). These new MEMS-based platforms and the applications they serve are acting as catalysts to expand the market and help reduce costs.
WLP Streamlines Production
The advantage of wafer-level packaging is that it uses the same manufacturing process as that for a computer chip, but simplifies the process. In the traditional manufacturing model, the IR sensors would be assembled one unit at a time, which could include over 10 parts. The new streamlined WLP process can produce hundreds or even thousands of sensors per wafer depending on the configuration - and consists of assembling just two parts.
With WLP technology and its mass production, the cost per individual unit will continue to decrease. With the price of commercial goods dropping, consumers will be able to afford products once thought too expensive. Markets with the greatest potential to multiply under heightened consumer interest include thermal imaging, non-contact temperature measurement, motion sensing, surveillance and gas detection.
Thermal Imaging Market
As one of the projected growth industries, thermal imaging is gaining in popularity for a variety of applications. Currently, a consumer can purchase an iPhone case and convert it to a thermal imager for personal use. It is also basic in many new automobile models as a safety device. Since the thermal imaging system can “see” five times further than standard high beam illumination, it alerts drivers to pedestrians or animals which are not visible during night time driving. In law enforcement, officials are able to employ thermal imaging to track fugitives after dark. However, this usage has been somewhat limited due to the expense. With reduced costs, that would be expected to change.
Prepared for WLP Growth
Materion is well-positioned to address the increased demand for WLP technology. We have expanded our facilities with a 3,000 square foot class 1000 clean room outfitted with leading-edge coating chambers. The new clean room ensures a manufacturing environment that meets the most stringent non-defect requirements across the industry.
Additional capabilities include patterning equipment that is advantageous for even the most challenging profiled wafers. The dielectric coatings produced are also temperature-stable and able to pass exposure of up to 400 degree Celcius. The spectral uniformity of the coating across the 200mm wafers is unmatched in the industry and is custom-tailored to meet the specific needs of your end application/specification. For more information about Materion’s WLP technology, contact Bill Christopoulos, Director of Commercial Business at Basilios.Christopoulos@Materion.com