Rethinking the basics with mSAP

mSAP technology enables the production of printed circuit boards and IC substrates of a size and complexity that almost rivals products from the semi-conductor industry. mSAP stands for “modified semi-additive process” – a technology in which the conducting paths used to conduct signals on a printed circuit board or substrate are not etched out of a copper layer in the usual way. Instead, the conductive material is only applied to the PCB in places where it is actually needed. Unlike the conventional method, this makes for significantly tighter signal lines and smaller distances between the conducting paths.

AT&S Explainer Movie - mSAP Technology

By adopting this technology, AT&S is solving the question of the limit to how many increasingly small structures can be placed on the chemically etched conducting paths on PCBs. With mSAP, copper is only applied to the places where electricity will later flow. What’s more, it is done so precisely that the conducting paths can be placed closer together. mSAP takes miniaturisation in microelectronics to the next level.

Benefits of mSAP technology

  • mSAP saves space as it allows denser conducting path layouts. This opens the way for the miniaturisation of PCBs and devices.
  • Short signal paths enhance signal transmission on the PCB.
  • mSAP offers better performance at a smaller size.
  • Radically thin PCBs for radically thin devices.
  • mSAP shrinks PCBs, freeing up space for sensors, cameras and larger batteries.

Radical miniaturisation

mSAP provides another boost to miniaturisation for the electronics industry, as circuits can be planned and executed in exceedingly compact spaces, thanks to their smaller structural dimensions. It also reduces the risk of short circuits on densely packed circuit boards, because (unlike their chemically created counterparts) mSAP conducting paths do not extend across the base. This means that although the distances between them are small, there is no risk of signal interference.

mSAP in practice

Smile for the camera

Smartphone cameras take perfect pictures thanks to mSAP.

With mSAP, powerful electronic circuits can be installed in the smallest of spaces – essential for very thin, compact devices like smartphones and hearing aids. mSAP is also ideal for processing the high-frequency signals that will be used by future generations of mobile networks. The compactness of mSAP PCBs and their short signal paths allow them to process high-frequency signals with virtually no loss. mSAP systems have recently proven their worth in the development of cameras for modern smartphones. Only the highly compact mSAP PCBs made it possible to combine multiple cameras in one microelectronic system. Radical miniaturisation of this kind also lowers the power requirements – an incredibly important consideration for devices that rely on batteries.

Want to learn more about miniaturisation?

Various technologies and solutions can be used to harness the benefits of miniaturisation and heterogeneous integration.

In our white paper, we take a closer look at three of them and show how they can help you implement innovative medical applications.

Read more
mSAP is changing the rules of the game for miniaturisation

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