Case Study: Custom High-Volume IRED

Incorporated in 1994, Clairex Semiconductor is an internationally-recognized leader in semiconductor packaging that specializes in the design and manufacture of precision optoelectronic products used across a wide range of industries, including the aerospace, motion control, medical, encoding, transportation, commercial, and consumer electronics sectors.

Based in Plano, Texas, Clairex Semiconductor manufactures hybrid components, arrays, infrared and visible LEDs, photo-IC design, emitter-detector assemblies, custom optics, and custom assemblies. We are known for our capability to design and manufacture custom components that strictly adhere to customer specifications.

An automotive customer in the UK needing a specific radiation pattern and temperature range saw an advertisement for the Clairex CLE335. Since reliability was a key element in the new function, the ratings on the CLE335 made Clairex stand out from the other potential suppliers that had been contacted. Knowing also that the principals of Clairex had years of experience with automotive programs in the US cemented the relationship and the first of many development trips were completed.

Creating the Custom Automotive IRED

Since the customer told Clairex at the outset that performance and cost were equally important, an effort was made to design the new IRED with mechanized assembly in mind; as many functions as possible had to be integrated into as few operations as could be conceived.

A Dallas-area company that specialized in the mechanization of semiconductor processing was contracted to develop the specific mechanized processes that Clairex did not have present in the factory at that time and integrate them into one stand-alone piece of equipment.

The resulting equipment performed:

  • Singulation of each discrete IRED from a leadframe containing 160 opportunities,
  • Formed both leads including a U-shaped strain-relief in each,
  • Performed precise mechanical measurements on each device in two planes,
  • Performed the full set of electrical tests required by the Procurement Document,
  • Performed high-current forward voltage testing at 125°C,
  • Inspected the symbolization for legibility,
  • Inserted the devices that passed all inspections into a pocket in a tape-and-reel station ready for shipment without further processing,
  • Operated at a rate of approximately 3600 parts per hour.

This equipment was monitored by one production operator, providing significant savings in production costs and an increase in final product reliability.

Learn More

Prior to this project, Clairex already had extensive experience involving a wide range of custom-designed optoelectronic components. However, the demand of the Automotive Market is unique in almost all technologies, and we knew from the outset that flexibility in production scheduling had to be included along with reliability and product cost. Clairex was the sole-source supplier for the duration of this program, delivering over 12 million custom 940nm IREDs to the customer over a span of several years.

Clairex Semiconductor’s engineering team develops custom solutions with the tight tolerances under aggressive timetables. To learn more about Clairex Semiconductor’s custom design and fabrication capabilities, contact us today.