Fujitsu Limited announced that it will shift completely to the use of biodegradable plant-based materials for the manufacture of embossed carrier tape(1), used for packing large-scale integrated circuit chips (LSIs) when shipping them on reels (Figure 1). Fujitsu expects an 11% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2 ) emissions by employing biodegradable plant-based materials to produce embossed carrier tape, in place of polystyrene, a material which was conventionally used in the industry.
Fujitsu leads the IT industry with this biodegradable plant-based embossed carrier tape initiative, in view of objectives for reducing carbon dioxide emissions set forth in the Kyoto Protocol(2), which will go into effect on February 16, 2005. Through initiatives such as this, Fujitsu continues to contribute significantly to the reduction of both environmental burden and the consumption of petroleum resources.
Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Laboratories jointly developed this biodegradable plant-based embossed carrier tape, and in 2000 Fujitsu became the first company in the world to begin using plant-based embossed carrier tape as a packaging material of certain LSI products for mobile phones. At the same time, the biodegradable plant-based embossed carrier tape which Fujitsu invented as a new material has won high customer confidence for features such as its durability, protection against electrostatic discharge, and its ability to maintain accurate dimensions.
The plant-based embossed carrier tape is manufactured using polylactic acid derived from corn, and has such uses as packing material for shipment of LSI products. The tape is eco-friendly in that in addition to being biodegradable, it does not produce toxic emissions when incinerated.
Fujitsu had been employing this biodegradable plant-based embossed carrier tape for approximately 20% of its total production of embossed carrier tape, and from February this year Fujitsu will raise its usage rate to 100% and thereby use this plant-based embossed carrier tape for all of the LSI products it offers.
Because the polylactic acid used in Fujitsu’s embossed carrier tape is plant-based, in comparison to plastic that was conventionally used in the past, the energy required for necessary resin production can be reduced by approximately 18%. In addition, in terms of lifecycle assessment (LCA)(3) taking into consideration its impact on landfills and incineration waste, the plant-based embossed tape enables a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 11%.
These initiatives are reported in the “Research Report for Biodegradable Embossed Carrier Tape” published by the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA), of which Fujitsu is a member.
Figure 1. Fujitsu’s biodegradable plant-based embossed carrier tape wound on a reel
Glossary and Notes
(1) embossed carrier tape: A packing material that protects semiconductors from shock and static electricity when they are transported on reels from semiconductor factories to printed-circuit-board factories. In addition, on packaging lines of printed-circuit-board factories in which LSIs are embedded into customer’s products (circuit boards), LSI products which are packed with embossed carrier tape and wound on reels are attached to packaging equipment.
(2) Kyoto Protocol: A protocol adopted in December 1997, which sets forth objectives for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, which have a significant impact on global warming. The Kyoto Protocol will become legally binding to its 128 parties on February 16, 2005. The Protocol sets forth Japan’s target to reduce its greenhouse gas emission volumes between 2008 and 2012 by 6% in comparison to emission volumes of 1990.
(3) lifecycle assessment (LCA): A method that quantitatively evaluates the environmental burden of a product across the product’s entire lifecycle, from mining of resources, to manufacturing and through until disposal.
Advanced Packaging Technology R&D Dept.
LSI Packaging Division
Electronic Devices Business Group
Source: Fujitsu, press release of 2005-02-01.