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Advantages of using LCP Based Pre-Molded Leadframe Packages for RF & MEMS Applications
Keywords: Cavity Packages, Engineered plastics, Molded packages
The Air cavity package (ACP) is a widely used option for RF products, Hybrid circuit assemblies and optical/photonic devices. Typical standard ACP are metal cans and ceramic leadless chip carriers (LCC). Custom ACP are also provided by machined metal housings and LTCC options. However over the past 10- 15 years, the development of MEMS Sensors and LED devices has seen the use of Thermoplastic pre-molded leadframe packages become the number 1 choice for custom application specific housings. These products are now maturing and moving to “standard” package outlines where possible. The experience gained with sensors is now being reviewed by the emerging RF application markets. Here LDMOS power and MMIC devices are now being widely used in wireless network applications which require low cost, lightweight, robust packaged devices. The development of thermoplastic materials has been pushed by the electronics industry to suit higher temperature applications especially as a result of the introduction lead-free (RoHS) processing conditions. Liquid crystal Polymers (LCP) have now become the choice for plastic body components and connectors and been developed to suit temperatures of 300 degree C and above. This means that packages made with such materials can now withstand typical reflow soldering processes used in high volume system manufacturing. However, the properties of LCP present a number of manufacturing challenges for the users and hence Interplex have developed in-depth design, manufacturing and test skill set which can match the needs for smaller, lower cost plastic ACP packages, such as QFN, utilizing a range of LCP materials. This presentation will look at some of the stages of the development of MEMS packages, already developed to suit robust, high volume applications. It will detail some of the necessary test processes now required to qualify the technologies and show how the materials and manufacturing processes can be developed to provide enhanced reliability for non hermetic class packages. Further Interplex will propose some new development concepts that will extend the performance of these materials to meet the more stringent needs of the developing RF and power component markets for better performance packages.
Andy Longford, Consultant
Interplex Engineered Products/PandA Europe
East Providence, RI

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