AT&S develops innovative products facing the rising challenges of advancing miniaturisation, higher data rates/frequencies and higher power density

Published On: December 16, 20162.9 min read589 words

AT&S will be presenting its latest technologies and products at Nepcon 2017 in Tokyo from 18-20 January.

Leoben and Tokyo, December 16, 2016 – At Nepcon 2017 (18-20 January 2017) in Tokyo, AT&S will be presenting innovative technologies as a response to current challenges in telecommunication, automotive electronics, wearables and medical electronics. Advancing miniaturisation, high data rates and/or high frequencies, power electronics with increasing current densities and rising thermal problems, as well as optimised production processes are the challenges that modern applications face. AT&S will therefore present solutions for extremely compact substrates/modules, advanced heat management, Embedded Component Packaging (ECP®), HF printed circuit boards (PCBs) (such as automotive radar) and flexible PCBs for medical devices.

As part of their “Advanced Packaging”, AT&S have developed special process engineering solutions for component and semiconductor packaging – from embedding passive components to ECP for System-in-Boards (SiB) and System-in-Packages (SiP). The company now supplies ECP products in volume production, and has already implemented numerous products ranging from computer boards to medical sensor products and MEMS microphones.Many applications demand ever higher power densities, while at the same time heat dissipation has to be optimised. AT&S offers an embedded technology with galvanic copper and silver sinter interconnections that enables highly efficient power packages with minimal thermal and electrical resistance. This technology’s performance will be on show with 50 and 500 W demonstrators (pedelec applications) using embedded MOSFETs, passive components and logic circuits. Extensive tests have proven the designs’ high thermal and shock performance as well as excellent switching behaviour.

Inadequate thermal management is a frequent cause of faults in electronic designs using modern power semiconductors such as MOSFETs, IGBTs or GTOs with ever higher switching frequencies and/or more compact modules. So the key issue is to dissipate the heat from critical components. One possibility, for example, is to integrate “heat pipes” into the PCB. Heat is then better distributed across the PCB as a whole. Another innovative solution is to implement new materials under reasearch that have better thermal conductivity than copper by a factor of 2 to 5.

Ever higher speeds and HF designs also place high demands on printed circuit board technology. Technology drivers here include telecommunication on the path to 5G, but also the automotive industry with regard to automated/autonomous driving with complex driver assistance systems. The latter require numerous sensors, particularly radar at 24 to 77 GHz, and rapid processing of high data rates. On the materials side, AT&S is working intensively on products for the 35 to 90 GHz range with extremely low dielectric constants and loss factors. Other options for optimising transmission rates include the use of copper foils with reduced roughness, and process optimisations to reduce variations in the copper thickness. An efficient combination of logic and HF circuit enables the X-in-Board concept, in which, for example, a standard FR4 PCB is combined with a HF PCB. HF designs implemented by AT&S range from wireless 60 GHz communication products to 77 GHz radar systems for automobiles.

AT&S has also obtained certification for medical devices under the EN ISO 13485 standard. These diverse applications include diagnostic instruments (MRI, X-ray, ultrasound, etc.) but also therapeutic devices such as defibrillators, pacemakers and hearing aids, as well as blood glucose meters and ECGs. Surgical tools, biochips and RFID applications benefit from AT&S technologies too, such as flexible and rigid-flexible PCBs.

AT&S will be presenting its latest technologies and products at Nepcon 2017 – Asia’s leading exhibition for electronics development and manufacturing – in Tokyo from 18-20 January.