Wire bonding is a fairly mature technology that has been used in medical implantable products for over twenty years. Today however, its relevance continues to grow as the size of die continues to get smaller. Size, weight and volume are paramount when developing and manufacturing an implantable medical device, which often needs to perform a specific function such as, monitoring or adjusting parameters of the device itself, monitoring patient data or communicating data from the device to the healthcare professional.

Wire bonding can be the answer to addressing many of the requirements mentioned above. This paper will review the current status of the use of gold ball wire bonding and its relevance to the medical device industry as well as discuss how advancements in wire bonding processes benefit today's implantable products.

Wire bond interconnections can be made using gold, aluminum and copper wires. They each have different bonding characteristics and therefore require different application methods and equipment. The advantages and characteristics of gold ball wire bonding will be reviewed as this process relates to High Value Medical Devices.

Achieving high yields can also be a challenge with any wire bonding processes. Today's smaller die and pads require smaller gage wires. Typical production requirements are .8 – 1.2 mil wire and 4X4 pads. The demand to still go smaller requires continual adaptations and ingenuity as wire thicknesses are being pushed to .5 mils and below. Bond pull testing at the beginning, mid and end of production runs becomes important to verify integrity of the wire bonds with such small wire gages.

The complexities involved in wire bonding can lead to increased cost as well. To address this, a single process procedure is being adopted by many, which eliminates pattern plating and saves time and money. This new process will also be explained and reviewed.

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