Have you ever wondered how your portable devices regularly boot up and maintain power to run multiple components? If you take the cover off your laptop or phone and look into its guts you will probably see a circuit board. And on that board you will see a round, thin, wafer.
Silicon as a semiconductor
This would be a silicon wafer. And companies like PCA have produced billions of these for several decades to help channel power through these boards. The reason? Silicon is a natural semiconductor.
What this means is it is both an insulator and a carrier of power. Thus, it moves a charge through the circuit at the same time it protects it from overloading. Hence, one of the reason your device can be constantly power cycled without a failure.
One is not like the other
While it seems so simple, not all silicon wafers are built the same. Diameters and thickness may be different depending on the power they need to channel. In addition, technology manufacturers normally need a variety of these for product testing.
This means producers might need to package numerous wafers into one shipment. Instead of doing this by hand, these companies rely on an automated pick and place process.
The die is cast
When properly configured, auto pick and place machines use specific dies to assemble the different wafers into packages. And it does so without damaging any wafers that come through. In turn, a variety of sizes can be loaded for one company as long as it is properly programmed into the machine.
Pick and place benefits
There are benefits to this form of package distribution. First, the wafers are cleanly relocated without risk of damage. Second, all movements are tracked by computer and added into shipping logs. Third, silicon wafers can be packaged per company code or special request. Finally, while an automated method may be more costly at first, the return on investment quickly outweighs it.
Do you want to know more? Reach out to your wafer producer and ask them to provide their specification.