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Karl's Tech Talk
By Karl Dietz
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Karl’s Tech Talk: Electronic Packaging Levels
Electronic packaging refers to the integration of electronic elements into a functioning device by forming connectivity at different levels.
Levels of Electronic Packaging
One distinguishes between different levels of electronic packaging, a convention that is not always consistent. It typically refers to the initial connection of the chip (integrated circuits, central processing unit, memory chip, graphic processor, etc.) to other elements or connecting structures as first level packaging. Such first level packages typically serve the function of fanning out the very tight I/O grit of the chip to a larger pad footprint that can be more easily connected to other elements. Examples of such packages are leaded components, wire-bonded packages or flip chip packages. Depending on the position of the connecting pads on the package, one distinguishes between dual in-line packages, perimeter arrays, and area arrays. First-level packages may also incorporate passive components such as capacitors or resistors.
Second-level packaging typically refers to the fabrication of a circuit board (PCB, motherboard) and the mounting of first level packages and passive components (capacitors, resistors, inductors) to such a board (assembly).
Third-level packaging normally refers to the connection of assembled boards to elements such as power supplies, displays and ultimately to the “box,” which is the final electronic device.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of The PCB Magazine.
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