Survey Highlights Important Concerns and Issues with Copper Wire Transition

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Survey Highlights Important Concerns and Issues with Copper Wire Transition

SAN JOSE, Calif. –January 25, 2010SEMI recently completed a survey on behalf the World Gold Council to gain insight into current attitudes regarding the use of gold bonding wire versus copper bonding wire. The global survey shows that an increasing number of companies are considering copper wire for some new products, though a number of issues exist regarding this transition.

SEMI surveyed 46 leading semiconductor companies across the world to determine the extent of copper bonding wire programs in the industry and to identify the key issues and considerations related to decisions in selecting bonding wire material. Companies surveyed included both integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) and fabless semiconductor companies, with revenues totaling $137 billion in 2008, representing 55% of the global industry, and included responses from 14 of the top 20 supplier rankings for 2008.

The results show that 59% of the companies surveyed do not use copper wire technology in their products, 41% use it in some products and none of the companies use it in the majority of products. Of the companies surveyed, 72% are considering the switch to copper wire for some new products, 13% are considering it for the majority of products and 15% are not considering switching. There were serious concerns about the move to copper usage, of which the main concerns were:

  • In-service product reliability
  • Process yield
  • Unproven historical performance

When asked to expand on these concerns, issues that were highlighted included performance concerns specific to the automotive market, the increased costs in having to purchase new equipment, copper’s unsuitability for complex wire loop shapes in advance packages, difference in electrical performance and comfort with the established supply base for gold bonding wire.

To download a copy of the survey report, please visit

SEMI is the global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chains for the microelectronic, display and photovoltaic industries. SEMI member companies are the engine of the future, enabling smarter, faster and more economical products that improve our lives. Since 1970, SEMI has been committed to helping members grow more profitably, create new markets and meet common industry challenges. SEMI maintains offices in Austin, Beijing, Brussels, Hsinchu, Moscow, San Jose, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

World Gold Council’s mission is to stimulate and sustain the demand for gold and to create enduring value for its stakeholders. It is funded by the world’s leading gold mining companies. For further information visit


Steven Buehler/SEMI

Ph: 408.943.7049


Dan Tracy/SEMI

Ph: 408.943.7987



Richard Holliday

Ph: +44 (0)207 826 4712


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