Delft University of Technology and ITEC have launched X.AL, a laboratory focused on developing the next generation of chip assembly equipment. “Mechanical limitations restrict the efficiency of today’s chip assembly equipment. A complex mechatronic machine needs to contact each individual chip before placing it. We’ll investigate contact-free methodologies in combination with extreme parallelization of the assembly process,” says Marcel Tichem, associate professor of precision and microsystems engineering at TU Delft and scientific leader of X.AL.
The amount of chips in consumer products is rapidly growing. For example, LED screens comprise millions of chips. The next generation of chip assembly machines must meet this growing demand for chips more efficiently. “Chips are assembled under very challenging conditions: extremely small chips must be picked and placed with great precision at a rate of 100 chips per second. In the ITEC X.AL, we combine the expertise of TU Delft with the ITEC experience in semiconductor equipment and automation technologies. This allows us to realize the breakthroughs for a super-efficient chip assembly process,” commented ITEC innovation director Joep Stokkermans.
Having been an in-house equipment manufacturer for Philips, NXP and Nexperia for thirty years, ITEC was spun out earlier this year. As an independent entity, the company is looking to address third-party markets.