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RF Packaging: Challenges and New Approaches to Achieve Optimal Performance and Cost
Keywords: packaging for RF, design for RF applications, design for cost with RF
RF packaging presents significant challenges in terms of substrate design, materials, processes and quality control so that adequate signal integrity, low overall cost, compatibility with system integration and performance metrics can be achieved. As other semiconductor sectors, RF applications are pushing the boundaries of existing silicon and packaging technology envelopes, themselves evolving rapidly to meet the challenges imposed by market conditions. In particular, we see novel devices operating at ever increasing frequencies with very strict demands on signal integrity as well as low interference with adjacent subsystems . To look for solutions to all of these challenges, the packaging engineer must search beyond traditional process and materials, looking for new technology approaches that address all of these requirements in a cost efficient and timely manner. The main purpose of this paper is to cover practical aspects of design, manufacture and quality control for RF packages. It will introduce some of the tools Amkor uses for packaging RF such as substrate design rules, codesign and electrical validation of designs, use of highly engineered materials tailored for application requirements, extensive use of integrated and discrete passives, different interconnect applications like regular flip chip, wirebonding, fine pitch copper pillar, and use of integrated passives and finally, conformal shield for EMI noise mitigation. Examples of many of the applications where we have used these techniques will be discussed and some of the challenges and solutions which allowed bringing these products to market discussed. It will be shown that there is no universal answer for packaging RF die and that practicing good design for manufacture and design for cost approaches sometimes conflicts with performance requirements and that trade offs need to be make to optimize the product for the specific market application.
Fernando Roa, Director CSP, SIP, Hybrid Packaging
Amkor Technology, Inc.
Chandler, AZ
USA


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