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Question Should wafer fabs take the same level of precaution for EOS/ESD during the processing of the wafers as they do when the dies are sawed for assembly? If so, why?. - Anonymous, Austin, TX
Answer You've taken the first step, that is the awareness of the need to minimize the exposure of a semiconductor material to a high energy electrical pulse. A wafer, with its high population of micro-circuits can be just as sensitive to receiving a high energy pulse as any other packaged chip. The metal pads may be smaller and harder to touch, but if a charged conductor where to discharge onto one of the micro-pads and deliver a large current or voltage potential across two points, the surrounding semi-conducting material may be damaged. We know of no current studies which site examples or case studies, but applying the logic of an ESD and the sensitive semi-conducting material (for certain devices), there is a good chance, when combined, could lead to a degradation on your ultimate yield or cause quality problems further down the product line.
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