Global SMT & Packaging International Digital Magazine

Global SMT April 2017 (17.4)

Global SMT & Packaging is THE assembly journal for electronics manufacturers worldwide.

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10 www.globalsmt.net Global SMT & Packaging • April 2017 The Struggle to Shrink System Size: Innovative Technologies Driving the Next Generation of Mobile Devices C onsumer electronics designers and manufacturers are in a constant balancing act to stay competitive with the addition of new innova- tive functionality while main- taining high yields at a competitive cost. Whether they're smartphones or wear- ables, IoT devices or automotive elec- tronics, there inevitably comes a point in the design process where designers just can't cram any additional components or circuitry into the device without adding undesirable bulk or cost. Try as they might, they've reached the limit. Or have they? When it comes to dreaming up the next generation of electronic devices, collaboration between designers and manufacturers creates a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Recent innovations in manufacturing processes have proven successful in improving functionality while continuing to shrink the size of devices, and if manufactur- ers haven't already implemented these processes, they're almost surely evaluat- ing them today. Advancements worth considering that can help designers get to higher-density electronics include: FAN-OUT WAFER LEVEL PACKAGING (FOWLP) – In conventional WLCSP (wafer level chip scale package) schemes, the I/O terminals are spread over the chip surface area, limiting the number of I/O connections. FOWLP, on the other hand, embeds individual die in an epoxy mold compound with space allocated between each die for additional I/O connection points, avoiding the use of more expen- sive silicon real estate to accommodate a higher I/O count. Leveraging FOWLP schemes, as seen in the A10 pro- cessor in Apple's iPhone 7, enables semicon- ductor devices with thousands of I/O points to be seamlessly con- nected via finely spaced lines as thin as two to five microns, thus max- imizing interconnect density while enabling high bandwidth data transfer. OLED – First- generation flexible Organic Light-emitting Diode (OLED) display technology is already making its way into the consumer mar- ketplace, but its full potential is far from realized. Samsung Galaxy Edge smart- phones and Apple Watches are among the first devices to incorporate this The Struggle to Shrink System Size: Innovative Technologies Driving the Next Generation of Mobile Devices BY HANOCH KOPEL, CORPORATE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, ORBOTECH

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