Developer and manufacturer of industrial storage and security products, Swissbit has expanded its production facility in Berlin, Germany by adding a new semiconductor packaging line to its electronics production. The assembly line offers a significant performance boost and operates on average up to 50 percent more efficiently than existing lines. It is used for the fully automated production of highly integrated memory solutions, including ultra-compact e.MMCs. The new equipment also positions the company as one of the only businesses in Europe able to produce solderable components such as BGAs (ball grid arrays) from small batches to high volumes, with a capacity of up to three million pieces per month. This type of component is used, among others, in automation, automotive and network technology.
“By acquiring equipment from the Advanced Semiconductor Packaging and Test divisions, Swissbit is bolstering the growth of its production capabilities,” the company said. “Around five million euros have been invested overall. Since 2008, Swissbit has exclusively manufactured in Berlin, and at the end of 2019, the company opened a new facility on more than 20,000 m2 of land. There are currently 250 employees there, and the number is growing.”
A total of 15 machines makes up the new production line for system-in-package components, together with various conveyor systems, buffers, and loading and unloading stations. The company produces a variety of memory products on the highly automated line, particularly the e.MMC series EM-30. It is a 153-ball BGA module with industrial-grade 3D NAND with memory capacities of up to 256 GB. The necessary balling, which involves the application of solder balls only 0.25 millimeters in diameter, is also carried out fully automatically by the production system. The highest traceability standards are met by the line that ensure fully traceable parts and components across the Trusted Supply Chain.
The manufacturer has invested 1.5 million euros alone in the installation of the state-of-the-art production line. Following extensive testing and qualification rounds, the line is now fully operational.
“The new line is a further building block in our strategic plan to ensure the highest quality for our products by fully controlling the production process. We are able to perfectly optimize the design from chip to package to module, firmware and manufacturing technology, allowing us to offer a range of services that are unmatched in Europe,“ says Lars Lust, General Manager APATS (Advanced Packaging, Assembly & Test Solutions) and Berlin Site Manager at Swissbit. „The ability to produce highly complex BGAs such as e.MMCs or NVMe BGAs completely independently and without the support of third-party manufacturers is becoming increasingly important for our customers globally. We provide everything from a single source and can guarantee requirements such as a Trusted Supply Chain, total traceability, or compliance with strict safety specifications. The investment further underlines the importance of our Berlin location and our ambition to specifically strengthen the European semiconductor industry in the wake of geopolitical challenges and crises.”