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This month, our contributors focus on designing PCBs with advanced, complex and emerging technologies. We investigate design strategies for boards that are on the cutting edge of technology, or crazily complex, or so new that designers are still writing the rules as they go.
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Enhancing Thermal Performance of CSP Integrated CircuitsFebruary 24, 2016 | Nicholaus Smith, Integrated Device Technology
Estimated reading time: 1 minute
In the portable electronics market, power management integrated circuits (PMICs) are increasingly found being packaged into ball grid array (BGA) and chip scale packages (CSP) for their lower material costs, improved electrical performance (no bond wire impedances), and smaller form factors. These advantages do not come without compromise: The silicon die of CSPs are no longer in direct contact with large heat-spreading thermal paddles (E-PADs) used for electrical and thermal conduction.
This is the primary performance trade-off; because the IC substrate is not in contact with an E-PAD there is no high-conductivity direct thermal connection from the substrate to the heat-spreading copper planes on the PCB. This article will discuss PCB level methods that will lower the operating temperature of CSP devices by examining methods to transfer heat from the source and transport it to the ambient environment by lowering thermal resistance of the CSP IC. There are usually multiple ways to enhance the performance while simultaneously lowering the operating temperature that can be incorporated into new boards or revisions of existing boards.
In order to meet size and weight requirements, constraints of portable electronic designs often force PCB designers to reduce the size of components and PCB real estate area. To meet these demands, the use of CSP packages to shrink the PCB area needed is a common change in designs. As a result of the reduction of total PCB area, the available options to move heat and route high-power PCB traces is also reduced. Furthermore, the thermal performance cannot be matched when a QFN is compared to an equivalent CSP package; therefore, it is imperative that the PCB is designed to optimize heat transfer from the CSP to the PCB, which in turn dissipates it into the atmosphere. The parameter measuring the heat conductivity is the junction-to-ambient thermal resistance specification, Theta-JA (ӨJA (˚C/W)).
To read this entire article, which appeared in the January issue of The PCB Design Magazine, click here.
In a previous column, the critical process of desmear and its necessity to ensure a clean copper surface connection was presented. Now, my discussion will focus on obtaining a void-free and tightly adherent copper plating deposit on these surfaces. After the desmear process, the task is to insure a continuous, conductive, and void-free deposit on the via walls and capture pad. Today, there are several processes that can be utilized to render vias conductive.
Panasonic’s Darren Hitchcock spoke with the I-Connect007 Editorial Team on the complexities of moving toward ultra HDI manufacturing. As we learn in this conversation, the number of shifting constraints relative to traditional PCB fabrication is quite large and can sometimes conflict with each other.
MKS’ Atotech, a leading surface finishing brand of MKS Instruments, will participate in the upcoming IPCA Expo at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) and showcase its latest PCB manufacturing solutions from September 13 – 15.
Flexible circuit applications can be as basic as furnishing electrical interconnect between two conventional circuit board assemblies, or to prove a platform for placing and interconnecting electronic components. During the planning and pre-design phase of the flexible circuit, there will be several material and process related questions that need to be addressed. Most flexible circuit fabricators welcome the opportunity to discuss their customers’ flexible circuit objectives prior to beginning the actual design process.
Electronics are continually evolving, driven by innovations in printed circuit board technology. Flexible PCBs have emerged as a revolutionary force, reshaping the PCB industry and influencing the design and functionality of countless electronic devices. Some believe that flexible PCBs are a relatively newer technology, but as we will see, that is not true. Since I’m an instructor, here’s a short history lesson on how we got here and what we can expect.