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The endless pursuit of smaller packages

Posted: 15 Mar 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:embedded component packaging? ECP? DiP? multichip module? MCM?

We would be remiss not to discuss 2.5D with TSV package integration such as that used by AMD for their Fury X graphics cards released last year. Figure 7 shows their GPU die that is flip-chip bumped to a silicon interposer and surrounded by four Hynix high bandwidth memory (HBM) DRAM modules in a 2.5D integration scheme. The HBM modules are electrically connected to the GPU using Cu interconnects formed on the top surface of the interposer.

Figure 8 is a package cross section of AMD's Fury X graphics unit showing a portion of a Hynix HBM module affixed to a silicon interposer and the underlying FR4 substrate. The AMD GPU is also flip-chip bumped to the same interposer, but is to the right of the HBM, out of view in this image. The Si interposer with its 4 HBM modules and GPU is, in turn, bumped to the FR4 substrate.

Figure 7: AMD Fury X Graphics Unit. (Source: TechInsights' Analysis)

Figure 8: AMD Fury X Package Cross Section. (Source: TechInsights' Analysis)

The Cu traces used to connect the HBM modules to the FR4 substrate and GPU can be seen in figure 9, and these were formed using a conventional 65 nm dual-damascene process. We can also see the Cu filled TSVs used to connect the interposer to the FR4 substrate.

Figure 9: Si Interposer with Cu interconnects. (Source: TechInsights' Analysis)

We have taken a brief survey of three package integration schemes: multichip module (MCM), embedded component packaging (ECP), and 2.5D with TSV. And these seem to be all good solutions to the need for increased package integration.

To me it seems that much of this emerging packaging technology is being driven by the relentless pursuit of ever thinner and thinner smartphones. Rumour is that Apple's upcoming iPhone 7 has dispensed with the traditional earphone jack to achieve an even thinner profile. We wonder what packaging technologies the component makers will have to come up with to match. The wait to September and the iPhone 7 release is killing me.

About the author
Kevin Gibb is Product Line Manager at TechInsights.

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