People all over the world have the habit of gift-giving during the holidays. This time of year, gift-givers take great pains to wrap their gifts in confetti or ribbons. While we go to great lengths to wrap our gifts, the gifts in them are often far more important than the looks. However, the same is not true for the packaging of semiconductors. In fact, developing new and creative ways to encapsulate our cutting-edge technology is critical to the future of semiconductors.
Take healthcare electronics, for example. Whether specialized components designed for patient care or wearable personal fitness devices, the circuit components contained in these breakthrough electronics must be packaged in smaller spaces than ever before, while at the same time Still can not affect its performance and reliability. The packaging of semiconductor products must cover and protect internal circuit components, allow access to external connections, and provide environmental sensing capabilities for certain applications.
In a hospital setting, X-ray, computed tomography (CT), and ultrasound equipment all require extremely high resolution to help medical professionals obtain the clearest image of internal tissue, while large digital images such as CT scans require The 1000s channel quickly converts individual pixels from analog to digital data while minimizing distortion. Therefore, we need to pack a considerable number of analog-to-digital converter (ADC) channels into a specific space to ensure that they can provide the corresponding performance. Typically, a single or a few practical high-speed ADCs cannot handle all the data required for large CT digital images, and there is not enough space to place multiple discrete ADCs next to each other.
This encapsulation technique is known as a third-dimensional application, and while it may not sound complicated, its practical operation presents many challenges. For example, the denser the ICs we package, the more likely they are to interfere with each other. At the same time, we also need to solve the problem of effective heat dissipation of the ADC, because the temperature increase in the package will affect the performance of the device.
Packaging becomes more challenging when external sensors are involved. In most cases, integrated circuits (ICs) can be safely enclosed within their packages, but external sensors must be exposed to the outside world to provide highly reliable information for the medical environment. Faced with these challenges, TI provides various examples in its latest white paper while introducing unique packaging technology solutions. The challenges of trying to maintain the same performance in a smaller space are numerous, and it is for this reason that innovation in packaging is a core competency for success.
For wearable personal fitness devices, the focus is no longer on massive data processing, but on minimizing size and weight while keeping costs low. In a smart watch, for example, the IC package must accommodate the Electronic components in the smallest possible volume so that the watch is not designed to be too bulky or cumbersome. Typically, the traditional package height for such applications is 0.4-0.5mm, and TI engineers have successfully developed a PicoStar™ package with a height of only 0.15mm, and plan to further reduce the height to less than 0.1mm.
The PicoStar can be embedded into a printed circuit board, allowing designers to save additional layers for ICs or sensors in space-constrained designs. In addition, TI can also provide MicroSiP™ (Microsystems in Packages) capable of integrating PicoStar packages and other system-level components. We need innovations like PicoStar and MicroSiP to make future wearable personal fitness devices more beautiful and elegant.
The trends in packaging in medical applications over the next 5 to 10 years will be exciting. With the advancement of technology, perhaps the packaging of ICs on circuit boards is no longer a problem, and instead research on IC packaging methods on prosthetics or skin-adhesive electronics. In addition, we must continue to innovate in the field of packaging, so that the packaging can be combined with biocompatible materials so that the body will no longer have an adverse reaction or rejection of these electronic products.
ICs developed by Texas Instruments engineers are constantly improving people’s lives. Just as we wrap and unwrap gifts during the holidays, this innovative packaging is a gift in itself, wrapping, protecting and enabling technologies that are changing the world.