15.01.2021 - 10:03

Package and SiP-based Planar Antennas Realized with Active Mold Packaging

RF applications are diverse and sophisticated. They are used in a wide variety of sectors, ranging from consumer electronics and the automotive industry to the aerospace sector. For applications in these sectors, Active Mold Packaging (AMP) provides a space-saving, simple, and reliable method of integrating planar antennas directly into or onto packages.

Active Mold Packaging is a novel interconnect technology for IC packaging. Here, the previously unused areas of the epoxy mold compound (EMC) of an IC package is converted into an active carrier of electrical functionality. AMP offers additional metallization layers on the surface and in the volume of the EMC, thus enabling a new approach towards mmWave applications.

The simple, time-saving, and reliable technology is based on three proven and standardized electronic production technologies: EMC encapsulation, laser processing using laser direct structuring (LDS), and selective metallization of the laser-processed areas with copper. AMP is considered a mid-range packaging technology offering a resolution of 25 µm linewidth and space.

The AMP process is a progressive alternative to current mmWave antenna design and manufacturing approaches inside IC and SiP packages. One advantage of this innovative process is the direct connection to the underlying encapsulated circuit. The signal's path length, inductance, capacity, and impedance can be configured and fine-tuned with reduced complexity. Thanks to AMP, the yield and service life issues arising in other processes due to complex connections between the antenna and feed line are largely minimized.

AMP covers a wide range of RF applications. Areas of application spanning both 5G technology and “beyond 5G” (B5G) or RF technologies classified as 6G include waveguides and striplines as well as mmWave antennas in the form of antenna-in / on-package (AiP / AoP) modules, which operate, for example, in the sub-6 GHz, 24 GHz, 61 GHz, and 121 GHz ISM bands.

With AMP, 76-81 GHz automotive radar modules as well as 5G amplifiers and EMI shielding can be realized. Other applications of this process include package-on-package (PoP), 2L interposers, multi-chip modules (MCM), thermal management, and SiP connections.


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