SMTA International Conference Proceedings


Authors: Marie Cole and Jay Dietrich
Company: IBM Microelectronics Division
Date Published: 9/25/2005   Conference: SMTA International

Abstract: NOTE: This paper refers to Directive 2002/95/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union ("EU"), pertaining to the "restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment" (more usually referred to as the "RoHS Directive"). The RoHS Directive itself is not a law, but is rather "direction" to the EU member states to pass their own laws embodying the Directive's requirements. The focus in this paper is the RoHS Directive, not the laws of European Union member states.

This paper is not a complete or exhaustive assessment of RoHS Directive issues, or of the issues under any other legislation referenced in this paper, nor is it any representation or guidance from IBM on how to address such issues. Nothing in this paper represents IBM's positions on such issues. The information contained in this paper is provided on an "AS-IS" basis. Nothing in this paper constitutes any express or implied warranty by IBM that any package or product provided by IBM will not contain, or will only contain a certain amount of, any substance.

In no event will IBM be liable for damages arising directly or indirectly from any use of the information contained in this paper. Nothing in this paper is intended to interpret any specific provision or provisions of the RoHS Directive or any other legislation referenced in this paper, or to address the myriad of implementation and interpretation issues that will unquestionably arise under the RoHS Directive and such other legislation.

The management of materials in electronic products has become a critical business issue for electronics manufacturers, requiring new business process and business management approaches. Previously, environmental regulations were focused on managing and reducing the environmental impacts of manufacturing facilities. The regulatory focus has expanded to include reducing manufacturing and product end of life impacts through the regulation of the materials present in products. These requirements are largely driven by the RoHS Directive, with other regulations and initiatives underway in Japan, China, and individual states within the United States.

These initiatives demand a business response in several areas: understanding of customer and legal issues, development of a technology roadmap utilizing new solders for semiconductor products, acknowledgment of the business impacts, management of material data for components and products, integration of material requirements into existing quality control processes, and development of business processes to track and update product material properties and respond to customer requests for material information.

Significant technology challenges should be addressed in developing semiconductor products that incorporate the newly proposed solder alloys, finishes and associated processes. Lead bearing solder alloys have predominated in the electronics industry for years in card assembly alloys, BGA sphere alloys and terminal plating finishes. After choosing the appropriate replacement alloys for these applications, new processes to implement these alloys can be developed. The process changes driven by the characteristics of these alloys may in turn impact certain reliability attributes of the semiconductor products and should be evaluated.

Business processes must be established or modified to determine if the RoHS Directive, including the consideration of exemptions, or a company specific material specification applies to a proposed or current product.

Concurrently, materials data specific to the product lines must be gathered and managed to respond to requests for materials declarations. While the immediate focus of a material management process for many companies has been on establishing the required information to assess existing and planned products, it is important to consider business processes for assessing product material properties on an ongoing basis.

Key words: RoHS Directive issues, material declarations, materials management processes

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