Avago Makes RF Packaging Breakthrough with WaferCap Chip Scale Technology

Avago Technologies announced a breakthrough in packaging technology that brings wireless chip micro-miniaturization and high frequency performance to new levels. The company is a leading supplier of analog interface components for communications, industrial and consumer applications. Avago’s innovative WaferCap is the industry’s first semiconductor-based chip scale packaging (CSP) technology. With potential to reach the 100 GHz frequency range for a SMT packaging, WaferCap CSP has the same dimensions as an 0402 component and can reduce the amount of PCB space an RF device occupies by over 50%. Currently measuring 1.0 mm x 0.5 mm and a height of only 0.25 mm, WaferCap packaged parts reduce the thickness of any assembly. The ultra small product dimensions and performance levels resulting from WaferCap CSP provide a new level of design flexibility in device placement that will change the way RF designers think about a variety of wireless product designs.

Avago’s new WaferCap CSP technology allows high frequency devices to be batch packaged cost effectively using standard semiconductor processing techniques. With WaferCap, the air cavity created under the “lid” and immediately above the circuit makes it possible to achieve higher frequency ranges. The use of vias removes the need for costly and performance limiting bond wires. Additionally, direct contact between the package substrate and the RF MMIC improves RF performance because it reduces the RF signal path and provides less resistance when compared to typical SMT designs. It also improves the heat transfer from the device to the assembly by removing the intervening package. The improved thermal condition and reduced number of bond wires greatly increase the reliability of the parts.

The micro-miniaturization benefits of WaferCap CSP reduce the number of required components around the device and dramatically open up PCB space in an RF design. It also creates new avenues in which RF components can be placed. The elimination of wire bonds in the packaging process gives the device the flexibility and simplicity to fit in a variety of positions in a wide range of RF architectures.

No special tooling is required as assembly is done with standard SMT techniques. The devices can be directly soldered onto a board using standard soldering techniques. Traditional mass production “pick and place” or chip shooter machines can easily place a WaferCap packaged device onto any RF architecture.

Products based on Avago’s innovative WaferCap CSP are available today. The recently announced miniature VMMK-12xx FETs are shipping now. The world smallest RF amplifiers, VMMK-2×03, are currently sampling and will be generally available in Q4’08.

Avago’s RF/Microwave Solutions
With three decades of radio frequency (RF) and microwave design and manufacturing experience, Avago Technologies can help its customers meet the most demanding technical specifications and pass the most difficult regulatory tests around the world. Avago’s reliable RF/microwave components target wireless infrastructure, wireless data (GPS/WLAN/WiMax), handset, digital TV, VSAT and datalink applications and offer numerous benefits, including small packages, excellent power efficiency and industry-leading performance specifications.

About Avago Technologies
Avago Technologies is a leading supplier of analog interface components for communications, industrial and consumer applications. By leveraging its core competencies in III-V compound and silicon semiconductor design and processing, the company provides an extensive range of analog, mixed signal and optoelectronics components and subsystems to more than 40,000 customers. Backed by strong customer service support, the company’s products serve four diverse end markets: industrial and automotive, wired infrastructure, wireless communications, and computer peripherals. Avago has a global employee presence and heritage of technical innovation dating back 40 years to its Hewlett-Packard roots.

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