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Quilt Packaging of RF Systems with Ultrawide Bandwidths
Keywords: interchip intereconnects, SiP, ultrawideband interconnects
Radio frequency (RF) performance of systems is significantly affected by the electrical properties and structure of the interconnect technology. Wire- and bump bonds to substrates can add inductance and capacitance that increase loss and latency, add resonances, and limit bandwidth, and approaches to mitigate these effects can increase power consumption. Chip stacking, in development is the silicon digital IC community, may ameliorate these effects for digital systems, but may not be suitable for RF analog circuits. Here, we present an alternative approach, called “Quilt Packaging (QP),” that is complementary to chip stacking, and is more relevant to the heterogeneous combinations of technologies that will be needed for advanced optical and RF systems. Quilt Packaging is a 2D approach that incorporates metallic features, or “nodules,” at the periphery of the dice to facilitate direct chip-to-chip interconnection. By connecting these nodules, which are as small as 10 microns wide (along the edge) and 20 microns deep (into the substrate), we form a “quilt” of chips touching at their edges that are interconnected with very wide bandwidths. The quilt of interconnected ICs is then placed into an electronic system, either in a package or on a board, in the same way that a individual conventional chip would be. We have demonstrated both theoretically and experimentally that the QP paradigm is capable of providing record-breaking RF performance in the plane of the ICs. We have previously reported measured insertion loss between Si ICs of 0.1 dB at 40 GHz. We will present simulations to 110 GHz showing projected losses as low as 0.05 dB at 110 GHz for optimized structures. Time domain measurements show delays as small as 2 ps between chips. We will also present frequency-domain measurements to 110 GHz that are currently in progress. We expect these results to highlight the promise of QP interconnects for RF system integration.
Patrick Fay, Professor
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN


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