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Matsushita embeds SoCs, components in substrate

Posted: 17 Sep 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:matsushita electric? simpact? multilayered module? soc? passive component?

Matsushita Electric Ind. Co. Ltd. has developed a 3D, multilayered module technology that connects SoCs with passive components by embedding them in substrate layers.

Called Simpact, the technology represents an effort to meet growing demand for more-compact component modules.

In a Simpact module, a system function is realized by embedding passive components and semiconductors in multiple, layered substrates. One layer of the module has a composite substrate made of ceramic powder and thermosetting resin with inner vias filled by conductive via paste, a mix of conductive filler, resin and a hardening agent.

To form a Simpact module layer, conventional passive components and semiconductors are aligned on a copper foil and then pressed onto the substrate resin. The resin hardens at about 2000C and via paste hardens at a slightly lower temperature. The conductive vias harden first and maintain their shape to support each layer as the substrates harden, embracing SoCs and passive components. After the chips and components are embedded, a conductive pattern is formed from the copper foil.

The same procedure is repeated for each layer and the layers are piled up to form multilayered Simpact modules.

Yasuhiro Sugaya, a staff engineer at Matsushita's packaging technology group, said other types of 3D system modules now exist. "But only passive components such as resistors and capacitors are deposited on the substrate by thin-film technology," he said. "The process is very complex and semiconductors cannot be embedded."

With Simpact, bare SoCs as well as passive components can be embedded during multilayer substrate production. Users can choose from a range of SoCs and components, he said, helping to shorten development time.

A prototype Simpact module was about one-fourth the size of conventional modules with corresponding functionality.

Products on way

Matsushita plans to offer products based on Simpact, short for System In Module using Passive and Active Components Embedding Technology, in 2004.

"First we will apply this technology for Matsushita products," said Mamoru Takeda, director of Matsushtia's devices development center. "But eventually, we may seek some form of collaboration with outside companies to make Simpact (a) de facto (standard)."

A multilayer Simpact module shortens the connecting distance between components and SoCs and suppresses noise, said Sugaya. He said he expects a big demand from high-frequency communications applications.

Each layer can be 1005m to 5005m. The prototype has three layers and with surface-mount chips is 2mm thick.

Before embedding SoCs and passives, said Sugaya, Matsushita will provide a test scheme. But layer-by-layer test is not practical when the module goes into volume production.

Seiichi Nakatani, manager in packaging technology, said, "It may be necessary to negotiate with chip suppliers to assure the percentage of defective chips (remains) at a certain low level."

- Yoshiko Hara

EE Times

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