Title:
ACCOMMODATION CONTAINER, ACCOMMODATION CONTAINER FOR ACCOMMODATING SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES AND METHOD OF CARRYING SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An accommodation container including: at least one first container body and at least one second container body which can be stacked onto the at least one first container body, respectively, and at least one accommodation part provided between the at least one first container body and the at least one second container body, the accommodation part being capable of accommodating a semiconductor device having a plurality of external connection terminals. The accommodation part is made of a soft material at least at a portion to be in contact with the external connection terminals of the semiconductor device.



Inventors:
Sasamura, Keiichi (AIZUWAKAMATSU-SHI, JP)
Hashiba, Hideyasu (KAWASAKI-SHI, JP)
Ando, Yukio (AIZUWAKAMATSU-SHI, JP)
Suzuki, Shigeo (KAWASAKI-SHI, JP)
Kanazawa, Yuuki (KAWASAKI-SHI, JP)
Application Number:
09/318731
Publication Date:
10/11/2001
Filing Date:
05/26/1999
Assignee:
SASAMURA KEIICHI
HASHIBA HIDEYASU
ANDO YUKIO
SUZUKI SHIGEO
KANAZAWA YUUKI
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/707, 206/722, 206/728
International Classes:
H01L21/673; (IPC1-7): B65D85/00; B65D85/30; B65D85/48
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BUI, LUAN KIM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STAAS & HALSEY LLP (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A container comprising: at least one first container body and at least one second container body which can be stacked onto said at least one first container body, respectively, and at least one accommodation part provided between said at least one first container body and said at least one second container body, said accommodation part being capable of accommodating a device having a plurality of terminals, said accommodation part being made of a soft material at least at a portion to be in contact with said terminals of the device.

2. An accommodation container comprising: at least one first container body and at least one second container body which can be stacked onto said at least one first container body, respectively, and at least one accommodation part provided between said at least one first container body and said at least one second container body, said accommodation part being capable of accommodating a semiconductor device having a plurality of external connection terminals, said accommodation part being made of a soft material at least at a portion to be in contact with said external terminals of the semiconductor device.

3. The accommodation container as claimed in claim 2, wherein said first container body and said second container body are entirely made of a soft material which is softer than said external connection terminals.

4. The accommodation container as claimed in claim 3, wherein said soft material is urethane.

5. The accommodation container as claimed in claim 2, wherein said first container body includes a first outer hard portion formed at an outer part by a hard material and a first inner soft portion formed at an inner part adjacent to the accommodation part by a soft material, and said second container body includes a second outer hard portion formed at an outer part by a hard material and a second inner soft portion formed at an inner part adjacent to the accommodation part by a soft material.

6. The accommodation container as claimed in claim 5, wherein said first outer hard portion and said first inner soft portion are formed integrally, and said second outer hard portion and said second inner soft portion are formed integrally.

7. The accommodation container as claimed in claim 2, wherein said first container body and said second container body can be separated at a level below a height of said semiconductor device in an accommodated state.

8. The accommodation container as claimed in claim 2, wherein said first container body and said second container body are made of members having an identical shape, each of said members having at least one upper accommodation part half body on its lower surface and at least one lower accommodation part half body on its upper surface, a plurality of said members being stackable.

9. The accommodation container as claimed in claim 2, wherein said at least one accommodating part is defined by fence members provided between said first container body and said second container body.

10. The accommodation container as claimed in claim 9, wherein said second container body is provided with fence portions for holding said fence members.

11. A container comprising: a plurality of container bodies; and at least one accommodation part provided between said container bodies, said accommodation part being capable of accommodating a device having a plurality of terminals, said accommodation part being provided with a plurality of protruded portions and a plurality of terminal accommodating portions formed between said protruded portions, said protruded portions being in contact with a bottom surface of a device housing at positions between said terminals, said device being supported such that said terminals and a lower one of said container bodies are not in contact, and a distance (E) between said terminal and said protruded portion being greater than a distance (D) between said device housing and said accommodating part (E>D).

12. An accommodation container comprising: a plurality of container bodies; and at least one accommodation part provided between said container bodies, said accommodation part being capable of accommodating a semiconductor device having a plurality of external connection terminals, said accommodation part being provided with a plurality of protruded portions and a plurality of terminal accommodating portions formed between said protruded portions, said protruded portions being in contact with a bottom surface of a semiconductor device main body at positions between said external connection terminals, said semiconductor device being supported such that said external connection terminals and a lower one of said container bodies are not in contact, and a distance (E) between said external connection terminal and said protruded portion being greater than a distance (D) between said semiconductor device main body and said accommodating part (E>D).

13. The accommodation container as claimed in claim 12, wherein said terminal accommodating portions are configured so as to correspond to the shape of said external connection terminals.

14. The accommodation container as claimed in claim 12, wherein said terminal accommodating portions penetrate through said container body and are open to an exterior environment.

15. The accommodation container as claimed in claim 12, wherein said plurality of container bodies are stackable.

16. A method of carrying semiconductor devices using an accommodation container having at least one first container body and at least one second container body which can be stacked onto said at least one first container body, respectively, and at least one accommodation part provided between said at least one first container body and said at least one second container body, said accommodation part being capable of accommodating a semiconductor device having a plurality of external connection terminals, wherein said accommodation part is made of a soft material at least at a portion to be in contact with said external connection terminals of the semiconductor device.

17. A method of carrying semiconductor devices using an accommodation container having a plurality of container bodies and at least one accommodation part provided between said container bodies, wherein said semiconductor devices are accommodated in said accommodation parts, said accommodation part being provided with a plurality of protruded portions and a plurality of terminal accommodating portions formed between said protruded portions, said protruded portions being in contact with a bottom surface of a semiconductor device main body at positions between external connection terminals of said semiconductor device, said semiconductor device being supported such that said external connection terminals and a lower one of said container bodies are not in contact, and a distance (E) between said external connection terminal and said protruded portion being greater than a distance (D) between said semiconductor device main body and said accommodating part (E>D)

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention generally relates to an accommodation container, and particularly relates to an accommodation container suitable for accommodating small-sized high-density semiconductor devices.

[0003] Recent small-sized high-density semiconductor devices may include devices such as a CPS (Chip Size Package) and BGA (Ball Grid Array). Also, in order to achieve a higher reliability of the semiconductor devices, various efforts are made during a manufacturing process.

[0004] The semiconductor devices are accommodated in accommodation containers for the following carrying and shipping operations. During the carrying process, the accommodation containers may be subjected to an external force, which could damage the semiconductor devices. Therefore, even if the semiconductor devices are manufactured with a comparatively high reliability, the overall reliability of the semiconductor devices may be reduced.

[0005] Accordingly, in order to improve the reliability of the semiconductor devices, there is a need for an accommodation container for accommodating the semiconductor devices which can prevent the semiconductor devices from being damaged during the carrying process.

[0006] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0007] FIGS. 1 to 3 are diagrams showing an accommodation container 1 of a first example for accommodating small-sized semiconductor devices 5 such as a CSP (Chip Size Package), a BGA (Ball Grid Array) and an LGA (Lead Grid Array).

[0008] The accommodation container 1 is a hard case made of hard resin. The accommodation container 1 includes an upper half body 3 and a lower half body 2. The lower half body 2 is provided with an accommodation part 9 for accommodating the semiconductor device 5 and a lower positioning fence 6 for positioning the semiconductor device 5. The upper half body 3 is provided with a pressure surface 8 for preventing the semiconductor device 5 from being raised in the accommodation part 9 and an upper positioning fence 7 cooperating with the lower positioning fence 6 for positioning the semiconductor device 5.

[0009] The semiconductor device 5 of a package structure described above includes a semiconductor device main body having external connection terminals on its mounting surface side. The semiconductor device main body is a structure having a semiconductor chip sealed therein and may be referred to as a “package” in the present application. FIG. 3 shows the semiconductor device 5 provided with solder bumps 4 (hereinafter referred to as “bumps”) which serve as external connection terminals. When an external force or an impact is applied, the bumps 4 may easily be deformed since the bumps 4 are made of soft solder.

[0010] In order to prevent such deformation of the bumps 4, the lower half body 2 of the accommodation container 1 of the related art is provided with a mounting part 10. For the sake of convenience, the mounting surface of the semiconductor device 5 is divided into a central region provided with the bumps 4 and a peripheral region (shown by “W” in FIG. 3) surrounding the central region. The semiconductor device 5 is accommodated in the accommodation container 1 in such a manner that the peripheral region of the semiconductor device 5 lies on the mounting part 10 of the lower half body 2.

[0011] With the above-described structure, the bumps 4 are held above the bottom surface of the accommodation part 9. Therefore, even if an external force or an impact is applied to the accommodation container 1, such external force or impact is prevented from being directly applied to the bumps 4. Thus, the bumps 4 are prevented from being deformed.

[0012] FIGS. 4 and 5 are diagrams showing the first example of the accommodation container when implementing an inspection of the bumps 4 of the semiconductor device 5. First, the accommodation container 1 is reversed upside down from the state shown in FIG. 3, so that the lower half body 2 will be positioned above the upper half body 3. Then, the lower half body 2 is removed from the upper half body 3. Thus, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the bumps 4 of the semiconductor devices 5 will be exposed and an inspection can be implemented.

[0013] FIGS. 7 and 8 are diagrams showing an accommodation container 1 of a second example of the related art. In the figures, elements similar to elements illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 6 are indicated by similar reference numerals. The accommodation container 1 is a hard case made of hard resin. The accommodation container 1 includes a lower container main body 1A and an upper container main body 1B.

[0014] The lower and upper container main bodies 1A, 1B are identical and are each provided with accommodation parts 9A for accommodating the semiconductor devices 5 and positioning fences 6A for positioning the semiconductor devices 5.

[0015] In order to accommodate the semiconductor devices 5 in the accommodation container 1, first of all, the semiconductor devices 5 are placed in the accommodation parts 9A of the lower container main body 1A, as shown in FIG. 7. The lower surface of the package 17 lies on the mounting part 10A in the similar manner to the first example described above. Also, the peripheral edge of the package 17 opposes the positioning fence 6A. Thus, the semiconductor device 5 will be positioned in a predetermined place the accommodation container 1.

[0016] FIG. 8 shows a state where the upper container main body 1B is placed on the lower container main body 1A provided with the semiconductor device 5. The lower surface of the accommodation container main body 1B serves as a pressure surface 8A for restricting an upward displacement (slipping-off) of the semiconductor device 5. Thus, the semiconductor device 5 is accommodated between the lower and upper container main bodies 1A, 1B.

[0017] Now, the structure of the semiconductor device 5 to be accommodated in the accommodation container 1 will be described. The semiconductor device 5 is provided with solder bumps 4 provided on a bottom surface 17B of the package 17 in which a semiconductor chip (not shown) is sealed. The solder bumps 4 (hereinafter referred to as “bumps”) serves as external connection terminals. When an external force or an impact is applied, the bumps 4 may easily be deformed since the bumps 4 are made of soft solder.

[0018] In order to prevent such deformation of the bumps 4, the accommodation container 1 of the related art is provided with a mounting part 10A. For the sake of convenience, the bottom surface 17B of the package 17 is divided into a central region provided with the bumps 4 and a peripheral region (shown by “W” in FIG. 8) surrounding the central region. The semiconductor device 5 is accommodated in the accommodation container 1 in such a manner that the peripheral region of the package 17 lies on the mounting part 10A of the accommodation container 1.

[0019] With the above-described structure, the bumps 4 are held above the bottom surface of the accommodation part 9A. Therefore, even if an external force or an impact is applied to the accommodation container 1, such external force or impact is prevented from being directly applied to the bumps 4. Thus, the bumps 4 are prevented from being deformed.

[0020] In FIG. 7, the mounting part 10A is provided as a stepped configuration along the entire inner periphery of the accommodation part 9A.

[0021] FIG. 10 is a diagram showing a third example of the accommodation container of the related art. The accommodation container shown in FIG. 10 is provided with a plurality of mounting parts 10B configured as protrusions which are locally provided along the inner periphery of the accommodation part 9B.

[0022] Recently, there is a need for a semiconductor device with a further reduced size and higher density. Accordingly, the package of the semiconductor device tends to be reduced in size while the number of external connection terminals tends to be increased. Thus, an area of the central region of the mounting surface of the semiconductor device 5 needs to be increased. In other words, an area of the peripheral region (W) surrounding the central region tends to be reduced.

[0023] In the related art, it is possible to obtain the area of the peripheral region (W) sufficient for holding the semiconductor device 5 on the accommodation container 1. However, since the area of the peripheral region (W) surrounding the central region tends to be reduced as described above, it is difficult to maintain the peripheral region (W) sufficient for holding the semiconductor device 5 on the accommodation container 1.

[0024] Thus, a problem may occur during the carrying process, when the semiconductor device 5 with reduced size and higher density is accommodated in the accommodation container 1 having a conventional structure. That is to say, the peripheral region (W) of the package 17 may slip off from the mounting part 10 of the accommodation container 1 even in a case where a comparatively small external force is applied.

[0025] If the peripheral region (W) slips off from the mounting part 10, the bumps 4 made of soft material will collide with the bottom surface of the accommodation part 9 of the accommodation container 1, resulting in a deformation or breakage of the bumps 4.

[0026] FIG. 11 is a diagram showing a packaging process implemented in the related art for preventing the bumps 4 from being deformed or broken due to an external force or impulse applied during the carrying process. In detail, first, the accommodation containers 1 accommodating the semiconductor devices 5 are placed in an inner envelope 12 having a cushioning material 11 provided therein. Then, the inner envelope 12 is placed in an interior box main body 14 and is covered by an interior box lid 13. Then the interior box 13, 14 is placed in an exterior box 16. The exterior box 16 is also provided with a cushioning material 15.

[0027] In the related art, in order to protect the bumps 4 from the external force or the impulse, a plurality of packaging members 11 to 16 are required. Therefore, the packaging process is troublesome and results in an increased product cost.

[0028] Further, there is a need for an accommodation container which can be used for implementing a proper inspection. In the related art, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the upper half body 3 for holding the semiconductor device 5 during the inspection is configured as a so-called hard case structure. Thus, when an external force is applied to the upper half body 3, for example by a touch of a finger of an inspector, such external force will be directly applied to the semiconductor device 5. Then, as shown in FIG. 6, the semiconductor device 5 will be easily raised from the upper half body 3, and will lean on the upper positioning fence 7.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0029] Accordingly, it is a general object of the present invention to provide a container which can satisfy the needs described above.

[0030] It is another and more specific object of the present invention to provide an accommodation container for a semiconductor device and a method of carrying the semiconductor device which can positively protect the semiconductor device with a simple structure.

[0031] In order to achieve the above objects according to the present invention, a container includes at least one first container body and at least one second container body which can be stacked onto the at least one first container body, respectively, and at least one accommodation part provided between the at least one first container body and the at least one second container body. The accommodation part is capable of accommodating a device having a plurality of terminals. The accommodation part is made of a soft material at least at a portion to be in contact with the terminals of the device.

[0032] The container described above can accommodate the devices in the accommodation part in such a manner that the terminals of the devices are in contact with the portion made of a material which is softer than the terminals. Therefore, the terminals will not be damaged or deformed when in direct contact with the accommodation part. Thus, semiconductor devices having small terminals at a narrow pitch can be securely accommodated in the container.

[0033] Also, the container described above is provided with a greater holding region. Therefore, the semiconductor devices can be securely accommodated even if an external force is applied.

[0034] Further, since the container itself has a cushioning effect, the container can be packaged in a simpler and smaller package.

[0035] It is still another object of the present invention to provide a container including a plurality of container bodies and at least one accommodation part provided between the container bodies. The accommodation part is capable of accommodating a device having a plurality of terminals. The accommodation part is provided with a plurality of protruded portions and a plurality of terminal accommodating portions formed between the protruded portions. The protruded portions are in contact with a bottom surface of a device housing at positions between the terminals. The device is supported such that the terminals and a lower one of the container bodies are not in contact. A distance (E) between the terminal and the protruded portion is greater than a distance (D) between the device housing and the accommodating part (E>D).

[0036] The container described above can accommodate the devices in the accommodation part in such a manner that the protruded portions formed in the accommodation part are in contact with the bottom surface of the device, while the terminals and the container body are not in contact. Therefore, the terminals will not be damaged or deformed when small-sized semiconductor devices are accommodated.

[0037] Also, since the distance (E) between the terminal and the protruded portion is greater than a distance (D) between the device housing and the accommodating part (E>D), when the device is displaced laterally in the accommodation part, the terminals will come into contact with inner walls of the accommodation part before coming into contact with the protrusions.

[0038] Therefore, the terminals will not be damaged or deformed when an external force is applied to the container and the device is displaced laterally in the accommodation part. Thus, a reliability of the container is improved.

[0039] Further, in order to achieve the above-described objects, an accommodation container for a semiconductor device and a method of carrying the semiconductor device which can positively protect the semiconductor device with a simple structure are provided.

[0040] Other objects and further features of the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0041] FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view showing an accommodation container of the related art.

[0042] FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of an accommodation container of a first example of the related art, particularly showing a region near an accommodating part.

[0043] FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional diagram of the accommodation container of the first example of the related art, particularly showing the region near the accommodating part.

[0044] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the accommodation container of the first example of the related art, particularly used for explaining a problematic aspect of the accommodation container of the related art.

[0045] FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional diagram of the first example of the accommodation container of the related art, particularly used for explaining a problematic aspect of the accommodation container of the related art.

[0046] FIG. 6 is another cross-sectional diagram of the accommodation container of the first example of the related art, particularly used for explaining a problematic aspect of the accommodation container of the related art.

[0047] FIG. 7 is an enlarged perspective view of an accommodation container of a second example of the related art, particularly showing a region near an accommodating part.

[0048] FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional diagram of the accommodation container of the second example of the related art, particularly showing the region near the accommodating part.

[0049] FIG. 9 is a side view of a semiconductor device, particularly used for explaining a problematic aspect of the accommodation container of the related art.

[0050] FIG. 10 is an enlarged perspective view of an accommodation container of a third example of the related art, particularly showing a region near an accommodating part.

[0051] FIG. 11 is a schematic view showing a problematic aspect of the accommodation container of the related art.

[0052] FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional diagram showing an accommodation container of a first embodiment of the present invention.

[0053] FIG. 13 is a perspective diagram showing a half body of the accommodation container shown in FIG. 12.

[0054] FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional diagram showing a first method of implementing an inspection of the semiconductor device.

[0055] FIG. 15 is a cross-sectional diagram showing a second method of implementing an inspection of the semiconductor device.

[0056] FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional diagram showing a stack of a plurality of the accommodation containers shown in FIG. 12.

[0057] FIG. 17 is a cross-sectional diagram showing an accommodation container of a second embodiment of the present invention.

[0058] FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional diagram showing an accommodation container of a third embodiment of the present invention.

[0059] FIG. 19 is a cross-sectional diagram showing an accommodation container of a fourth embodiment of the present invention.

[0060] FIG. 20 is a perspective view showing a stack of a plurality of the accommodation containers shown in FIG. 19.

[0061] FIG. 21 is a cross-sectional diagram showing a stack of a plurality of the accommodation containers shown in FIG. 19.

[0062] FIG. 22 is a cross-sectional diagram showing an accommodation container of a fifth embodiment of the present invention.

[0063] FIG. 23 is a cross-sectional diagram showing an accommodation container of a sixth embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0064] In the following, principles and embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0065] FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional diagram showing an accommodation container 20 of a first embodiment of the present invention. The accommodation container 20 accommodates semiconductor devices 5 between a pair of container half bodies 21.

[0066] In the following description, when necessary, the container half bodies 21 at upper and lower positions will be referred to as an upper container half body 23 and a lower container half body 22, respectively.

[0067] FIG. 13 is a perspective diagram showing a half body of the accommodation container shown in FIG. 12. As shown in FIG. 13, the container half body 21 is a plate-like member. An upper surface of the container half body 21 is provided with a plurality of upper accommodation parts 26 each defined by upper fences 27. Also, a lower surface of the container half body 21 is provided with a plurality of lower accommodation parts 25 each defined by lower fences 28. The lower fences 28 and the lower accommodation part 25 are not shown in FIG. 13.

[0068] In the present embodiment, the container half body 21 is entirely made of a soft material. In detail, the container half body 21 is made of an integrally formed urethane. Also, the hardness of urethane is selected to be softer than the hardness of the bumps 4 formed on the semiconductor devices 25 to be accommodated in the accommodation container 20. That is to say, the container half body 21 is made of a material which is softer than the bumps 4.

[0069] The accommodation container 20 has a basic structure in which a pair of the container half bodies 21 (the lower container half body 22 and the upper container half body 23) are provided in a stacked configuration. When the lower container half body 22 and the upper container half body 23 are stacked, the upper fences 27 of the lower container half body 22 will be in contact with the lower fences 28 of the upper container half body 23. Also, the lower accommodation part 25 and the upper accommodation part 26 cooperate so as to form an accommodation part 24.

[0070] In the following description, a line indicated by an arrow A is referred to as a separating level. In FIG. 12, at the separating level, the upper and lower fences 27 and 28 are in contact. In other words, the lower and upper accommodation parts 25 and 26 are in contact at the separating level A.

[0071] FIG. 12 is a diagram showing the semiconductor device 5 accommodated in the accommodation container 20. The semiconductor device 5 is accommodated in the accommodation container 20 in such a manner that the bumps 4 of the semiconductor device 5 are directly in contact with the bottom surface of the upper accommodation part 26 formed in the lower container half body 22. This is because, since the semiconductor device 5 has a reduced size and higher density, it is no longer possible to hold the accommodation structure of the related art as shown in FIG. 3.

[0072] In the related art, when the bumps 4 are directly in contact with the bottom surface of the upper accommodation part 26, there is a problem that the bumps may be deformed. However, the lower and upper container half bodies 22, 23 of the present embodiment, and thus the bottom surface of the upper accommodation part 26, are integrally formed of a soft urethane material.

[0073] Therefore, in the present embodiment, since the bumps 4 will be directly in contact with the bottom surface of the upper accommodation part 26, which surface is made of soft urethane, the bumps 4 will not be deformed or damaged. Therefore, it is possible to securely hold (or accommodate) the small-sized high-density semiconductor devices 5 in the accommodation container 20.

[0074] Also, since the bumps 4 are held with the bumps 4 being in contact with the accommodation part 24, the accommodation part 24 and the semiconductor device 5 will be in contact over a greater region. That is to say, a holding region is increased. Therefore, the semiconductor device 5 can be securely held even if an external force is applied to the accommodation container 20.

[0075] Further, since a cushioning effect may be provided for the accommodation container 20 itself, the accommodation containers 20 can be packaged with simpler and smaller packaging members as compared to those shown in FIG. 11. Thus, reduced manufacturing steps and cost can be achieved for a packaging process.

[0076] Also, in the present embodiment, the lower and upper container half bodies 22 and 23 are entirely made of urethane (soft material) as described above. Therefore, each of the lower and upper container half bodies 22 and 23 can be easily manufactured compared to a structure in which the soft material is locally provided on the accommodation container. Also, since the accommodation part 24 is entirely made of soft material, the semiconductor device 5 will not be damaged by being in contact with the accommodation container 20.

[0077] Further, in the present embodiment, the accommodation container 20 is constructed by a plurality of container half bodies 21 having an identical shape (the lower container half body 22 and the upper container half body 23). Therefore, a reduced manufacturing cost and easier management of the container half bodies 21 can be achieved compared to a structure in which the upper and lower container half bodies have different configurations. That is to say, it is not necessary to store the upper container half bodies 22 and the lower container half bodies 23 separately.

[0078] FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional diagram showing a stack of a plurality of the accommodation containers 20 shown in FIG. 12. As shown in FIG. 16, in the present embodiment, the lower container half body 22 and the upper container half body 23 have identical configurations. Also, the lower and upper container half bodies 22 and 23 are provided with the lower accommodation part 25 on the lower surface and the upper accommodation part 26 on the upper surface. Thus, by stacking the container half bodies 21 as shown in FIG. 16, the semiconductor devices 5 can be accommodated three-dimensionally. Therefore, the accommodation efficiency of the semiconductor device 5 can be improved.

[0079] FIGS. 14 and 15 are cross-sectional diagrams used for explaining how the semiconductor devices 5 are inspected. Such inspections may include a visual inspection of a label formed on the upper surface 17A of the package 17 and a visual or image processed inspection of the bumps 4 formed on the lower surface (mounting surface) 17B.

[0080] In order to implement the label inspection of the semiconductor device 5, which is held at an accommodation state shown in FIG. 12, the upper container half body 22 is removed from the lower container half body 22. The separating level A is chosen at a level below a height H of the semiconductor device 5 in an accommodated state. With such a structure, in order to expose the upper surface 17A of the semiconductor device 5, the upper container half body 22 may be removed from the lower container half body 22. Thus, inspections such as the label inspection can be implemented.

[0081] Also, in order to implement a visual inspection of the bumps 4, the accommodation container 20 in a state shown in FIG. 12 is reversed in such a manner that the lower container half body 22 and the upper container half body 22 are positioned upside-down. Then, the lower container half body 22 is removed from the upper container half body 22. Thereby, the bumps 4 of the semiconductor device 5 will be exposed as shown in FIG. 15. Thus, the visual inspection of the bumps 4 can be implemented.

[0082] As has been described above, with the accommodation container 1 of the related art, the semiconductor device 5 may slip of f from the lower half body 2 and the upper half body 3 as a result of possible vibrations caused by a touch of the inspector.

[0083] However, the accommodation container 20 of the present embodiment includes the lower container half body 22 and the upper container half body 22 made of soft material (urethane). Thus, any vibrations described above will be absorbed by the lower container half body 22 and by the upper container half body 22. Therefore, the semiconductor device 5 will not slip off from the lower container half body 22 or from the upper container half body 22. Thus, the reliability of the inspection can be improved.

[0084] FIG. 17 is a cross-sectional diagram showing an accommodation container 30 of a second embodiment of the present invention. The accommodation container 30 of the present invention includes at least one lower half body 32 and at least one upper half body 33. The lower half body 32 includes a first outer hard portion 32A formed at an outer part by a hard material and a first inner soft portion 32B formed at an inner part adjacent to an accommodation part 34 by a soft material. The hard material is, for example, a hard resin and the soft material is, for example, urethane.

[0085] The upper half body 33 includes a second outer hard portion 33A formed at an outer part by a hard material and a second inner soft portion 33B formed at an inner part adjacent to the accommodation part 34 by a soft material. The hard material is, for example, a hard resin and the soft material is, for example, urethane.

[0086] Further, a plurality of fence members 35 are provided between the first and second inner soft portions 32B, 33B in such a manner that accommodation parts formed between the first and second inner soft portions 32B, 33B correspond to the shape of the semiconductor devices 5. The fence members 35 are made of a soft material similar to that of the first and second inner soft portions 32B, 33B.

[0087] Note that in the present invention, each one of the hard portions serves as a first outer hard portion 32A and as a second outer hard portion 33A. That is to say, the first outer hard portion 32A of the lower half body 32 accommodating upper semiconductor devices 5 also serves as the second outer hard portion 33A of the upper half body 33 accommodating lower semiconductor devices 5. An exception is that the second outer hard portion 33A at the uppermost position serves as a lid 31.

[0088] In the present embodiment, the lower and upper half bodies 32, 33 include the first and second outer hard portions 32A, 33A formed at outer parts by a hard material. The first and second inner soft portions 32B, 33B are formed at inner parts adjacent to the accommodation part 34 by a soft material. Thus, it is possible to maintain the rigidity of the entire accommodation container 30.

[0089] Therefore, the accommodation container 30 will not be flexed or deformed when the accommodation container 30 is grasped for being transferred or stacked. Thus, it is possible to improve the ease of handling.

[0090] Also, in the present embodiment, the first and second outer hard portions 32B, 33B and the first and second inner soft portions 32A, 33A are made of separate members. However, it is possible to provide the first outer hard portion 32A and the first inner soft portion 32B as an integrated member and the second outer hard portion 33B and the second inner soft portion 33B as another integrated member.

[0091] In order to achieve such structure, when forming the lower and upper half bodies 32, 33 using resin, the first and second inner soft portions 33A, 33B may be made by foaming.

[0092] With the structure described above, the accommodation container 30 can be manufactured with reduced components and manufacturing steps compared to those of the structure in which the outer hard portions 32A, 33A and the inner soft portions 32B, 33B are provided as separate members. Thus, it is possible to reduce the cost of the accommodation container 30.

[0093] FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional diagram showing an accommodation container 40 of a third embodiment of the present invention. The accommodation container 40 of the present invention includes at least one lower half body 42 and at least one upper half body 43. The lower half body 42 includes a first outer hard portion 42A formed at an outer part by a hard material and a first inner soft portion 42B formed at an inner part adjacent to the accommodation part 44 by a soft material. The hard material is, for example, a hard resin and the soft material is, for example, urethane. The upper half body 43 is made of a hard resin.

[0094] The lower half body 42 has a structure similar to that of the second embodiment described above. Also, the upper half body 43 is provided with fence portions 45 for holding the fence members 35.

[0095] In the present embodiment, the lower half body 42 and the upper half body 43 are provided as a combined member. An exception is that the upper half body 43 at the uppermost position serves as a lid 43. If at least a portion of the accommodation container to be in contact with the bumps 4 of the semiconductor device 5 is made of a soft material, it is possible to achieve effects similar to the above-described effects.

[0096] In the following, further embodiments of the present invention will be described.

[0097] FIG. 19 is a cross-sectional diagram showing an accommodation container 120 of a fourth embodiment of the present invention. The accommodation container 120 accommodates the semiconductor devices 5 therein. Generally, the accommodation container 120 includes an accommodation container main body 126, a protruded portion 122, a terminal-accommodating portion 123, a semiconductor device accommodating portion 124, and a positioning fence 127.

[0098] The accommodation container 120 is a hard case made of hard resin. In the following description, the accommodation container 120 at the lower position may be referred to as a lower accommodation container 120A and the accommodation container 120 at the upper position may be referred to as an upper accommodation container 120B. Note that the lower accommodation container 120A and the upper accommodation container 120B have identical structures.

[0099] The lower and upper accommodation containers 120A and 120B cooperate so as to accommodate the semiconductor devices 5. In the present embodiment, the semiconductor device 5, having a structure as shown in FIG. 9, is a so-called BGA-type semiconductor device having a plurality of bumps 4 provided on the lower surface 17B of the package 17.

[0100] In the following, the structure of the accommodation container 120 will be described in detail. As shown in FIG. 20, the accommodation container 120 is a plate-like container provided with a plurality of positioning fences 127 on an upper surface for defining a plurality of semiconductor device accommodating portions 124. The semiconductor device accommodating portion 124 is a recessed structure formed on the surface of the accommodation container main body 126. The semiconductor device accommodating portion 124 includes a bottom surface 125 having a plurality of protruded portions 122 protruding upwards which are formed integrally with the bottom surface 125.

[0101] The protruded portions 122 are positioned such that the upper surfaces of the protruded portions 122 are in contact with the lower surface 17B of the package 17 at positions where the bumps 4 are not formed. In other words, when the semiconductor device 5 is accommodated in the semiconductor device accommodating portion 124, the semiconductor device 5 is supported by the plurality of protruded portions 122.

[0102] As shown in FIG. 19, the bumps 4 provided on the package 17 will be placed between the protruded portions 122. In the following, regions surrounded by the protruded portions 122 in which the regions bumps 4 are to be accommodated will be referred to as terminal accommodating portions 123.

[0103] The protruded portion 122 has a height (FIG. 19, arrow H) greater than a diameter (FIG. 19, arrow R) of the bump 4 (H>R). Also, a pitch (FIG. 19, arrow P) between neighboring protruded portions 122 is also greater than the diameter (FIG. 19, arrow R) of the bump 4 (P>R). Therefore, when the semiconductor device 5 is accommodated in the semiconductor device accommodating portion 124, each bump 4 will be loosely fit in the terminal accommodating portion 123. In other words, the bumps 4 and the accommodation container 120 will not be in contact. Therefore, the bumps 4 can be prevented from being damaged or deformed.

[0104] As shown in FIG. 19, the semiconductor device accommodating portion 124 has tapered side walls (hereinafter referred to as positioning fences 127). The positioning fences 127 guide the semiconductor device 5to the predetermined position on the protruded portions 122.

[0105] Since the positioning fences 127 serve as guiding members for guiding the semiconductor device 5 to the predetermined position in the semiconductor device accommodating portion 124, the semiconductor device 5 can be easily and securely accommodated in the semiconductor device accommodating portion 124. Also, since the semiconductor device 5 is accommodated with improved accuracy, the bumps 4 will not be in contact with the protruded portions 122. Therefore, the bumps 4 can be prevented from being damaged or deformed.

[0106] As has been described above, the accommodation container 1 of the related art (see FIGS. 1 to 11) is configured such that the peripheral region A of the package 17 is placed on the mounting part 10A or 10B. With such structure, for example due to an external force during a carrying process, the semiconductor device 5 may slip off from the mounting part 10A of the accommodation container 1. Therefore, the bumps 4 may be damaged.

[0107] However, the accommodation container 120 of the present embodiment is structured such that the semiconductor device 5 is placed on the upper surfaces of the plurality of protruded portions 122. Thus, the semiconductor device 5 can be prevented from slipping off from the protruded portions 122.

[0108] Also, when the semiconductor device 5 is simply placed on the upper surface of the protruded portions 122 and is displaced laterally (FIG. 19, arrows X1 and X2), the protruded portions 122 will not come into contact with the bumps 4. This is explained below.

[0109] Referring to FIG. 19, the distance between the peripheral side 17C of the package 17 (see FIG. 9) and the semiconductor device accommodating portion 124 (in detail, the positioning fences 127) is indicated by an arrow D. This distance will be hereinafter referred to as a package-fence distance D. Also, the distance between the bump 4 and the protruded portion 122 is indicated by an arrow E and will be hereinafter referred to as a bump-protrusion distance E.

[0110] In the present embodiment, the package-fence distance D and the bump-protrusion distance E satisfies the relationship E>D. Therefore, even if the semiconductor device 5 is displaced in a lateral direction on the protruded portions 122, the peripheral side 17A of the package 17 will come into contact with the positioning fence 127 before the bumps 4 come into contact with the protruded portions 122.

[0111] Therefore, the bumps 4 made of soft material will not contact the protruded portions 122 and will be prevented from being damaged or deformed even if the semiconductor device 5 is displaced in the semiconductor device accommodating portion 124 due to an external formed applied on the accommodation container 120. Thus, it is possible to improve a reliability of the accommodation container 120 during a carrying process. Further, with such a structure, the accommodation containers 120 can be packaged with simpler and smaller packaging members as compared to those shown in FIG. 11. Thus, reduced manufacturing steps and cost can be achieved for a packaging process.

[0112] FIG. 20 is a perspective view showing a stack of a plurality of the accommodation containers 120 shown in FIG. 19. As has been described above, the accommodating container 120 of the present embodiment includes the container main body 126 having a plurality of semiconductor device accommodating portions 124. In the present embodiment, the accommodation containers 120 are stackable.

[0113] In detail, as shown in FIG. 19, in the accommodating container 120 of the present embodiment, the container main body 126 is provided with stepped portions 128 and leg portions 129 provided on the peripheral position. The leg portions 129 of the upper accommodation container 120B can be fitted to the stepped portions 128 of the lower accommodation container 120A. Thus, the accommodation containers 120 are stackable in a vertical direction. FIGS. 20 and 21 are diagrams showing the plurality of accommodation containers 120 in a stacked state.

[0114] Thus, by providing the plurality of semiconductor device accommodating portions 124 on the container main body 126 and by stacking the plurality of accommodation containers 120, numerous semiconductor devices 5 can be accommodated in a three-dimensional manner. Therefore, the accommodation efficiency of the semiconductor devices 5 can be improved.

[0115] FIG. 22 is a cross-sectional diagram showing an accommodation container 130 of a fifth embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 23 is a cross-sectional diagram showing a sixth embodiment of an accommodation container 140 of the present invention. In FIGS. 22 and 23, elements similar to elements illustrated in FIGS. 19 to 21 are indicated by similar reference numerals.

[0116] Referring to FIG. 22, the accommodation container 130 of the fifth embodiment of the present invention is provided with terminal accommodating portions 133 defined by protruded portions 132, the terminal accommodating portions 133 being configured so as to correspond to the shape of the bumps 4. In other words, the terminal accommodating portion 133 is a recessed portion having a substantially spherical shape.

[0117] With the container device 130 of the fifth embodiment, the distance between the bump 4 and an inner wall of the terminal accommodating portion 133 will be kept at a substantially uniform distance at any position. Therefore, the bumps 4 can be prevented from being in contact with the protruded portions 132 for an external force applied in any direction.

[0118] Referring to FIG. 23, the accommodation container 140 of the sixth embodiment of the present invention is provided with terminal accommodating portions 143 defined by protruded portions 142, the terminal accommodating portions 143 being penetrated through the container main body 126 and open to an exterior environment.

[0119] With the container device 140 of the sixth embodiment, it is now possible to connect test pins (testing terminals) 146 to the bumps 4 via openings formed at the lower parts of the terminal accommodating portions 143. That is to say, the semiconductor devices 5 can be tested while being accommodated in the accommodation container 140. Therefore, there is no need to transfer the semiconductor devices 5 from the accommodation container 140 to a testing table during a testing process. Therefore, it is possible to improve a testing efficiency of the semiconductor devices 5. Further, a visual inspection of the bumps 4 can be implemented via the opening described above.

[0120] The first to sixth embodiments of the present invention have been described with the BGA-type semiconductor device 5 having bumps 4 serving as the external connection terminals. However, the present invention can also be applied for accommodating semiconductor devices having any other package structure.

[0121] Also, the first to third embodiments of the present invention have been described with urethane used as a soft material. However, the soft material is not limited to urethane, and any other material softer than the external connection terminals provided on the semiconductor device can be used.

[0122] Further, the present invention is not limited to these embodiments, but variations and modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention.

[0123] The present application is based on Japanese priority application No. 10-336234 filed on Nov. 26, 1998 and No. 10-361614 filed on Dec. 18, 1998, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.