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IoT drives chip packaging innovation

Posted: 09 Mar 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Internet of Things? IoT? package? DRAM? TSV?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is fast becoming the norm in the semiconductor industry. This trend also means that low-power radio devices, sensing and actuation systems must be integrated in a single package.

For a large number of applications, the control of the devices will probably be done by handheld devices, so the overall footprint of the package is critical. The need for high performance multi-functional devices in a single package is pushing the industry to innovate in multi-chip packaging. This high level of integration has presented an enormous challenge, because all the individual components in the package must contact between their respective bond pads and the external board.

To adapt to the needs of multi-functional devices, the packaging industry has attempted several approaches like package on package, silicon interposers and embedded package. Percolation of these varieties of packages into the market is indicating that the packaging industry is getting ready for the era of IoT where its contribution will be enormous, especially from the sector of multi-chip packaging. The packaging industry is therefore constantly evaluating the form factor, the footprint, the efficiency of fan out and the manufacturing cost of multi-chip packages. TechInsights has analysed the similarities and differences in the package of various cutting edge technologies: Logic, DRAM and Flash in a presentation available via download here.

In this article, some of the interesting packaging innovations analysed at TechInsights during the last two years are presented. The following packages will be discussed: Avago's silicon interposers (2.5D) to connect SAW filters to a package substrate, Samsung's through silicon via (TSV) for backside illumination CMOS image sensor, Infineon's DrBlade embedded (chip last) package and Toshiba-Sandisk's eMMC SSD (stacked die + wire bonding).

AVAGO A790720: Power amplifier

Avago Technologies provides products in RF and microwave amplifiers including power amplifiers for wireless infrastructure. Silicon interposers are seen routinely in some of their devices analysed by TechInsights.

Figure 1, shows a module from a smartphone with its package mould compound removed to expose the layout of different dies. The package contains three SAW filters encapsulated inside the package. SAW filters are often used in mobile phones as RF pre-selection filters.

AVAGO A79720 power amplifier

Figure 1: Optical images of AVAGO A79720 power amplifier

Figure 2 is a cross-section through one of the SAW filters that is flipchip bumped to a Si-interposer, with a TSV providing interconnect between the saw filter and the module substrate. The via in the interposer is not filled with conductive material but has a Cu liner that is used as re-distribution line (RDL). These Cu lines extend from the bottom surface of the interposer and connect to solder balls of the package substrate. The via is about 90?m long and 30?m wide. The SAW filter has bond pitch of 210?m and the Si-interposer fans out the pitch to 325?m to connect to the package substrate.

AVAGO A79720 power amplifier

Figure 2: SEM cross-section through the SAW filter of AVAGO A79720 power amplifier


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