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Anti-Counterfeit, Advanced Microelectronics Packaging Solutions for Miniaturized Medical Devices
Keywords: Anti-Counterfeit, miniaturization, advanced packaging
There is a strong desire to develop anti-counterfeit, advanced packaging that can meet the growing demand for miniaturization, high-speed performance, and flexibility for handheld, portable, in vivo, and implantable devices. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified counterfeiting to be a major risk to the medical device industry. Reports such as those published by the International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT) identify and discuss in detail some of the issues involved. Tampering of electronic components is a twofold risk. First, sensitive health information stored on a device can be accessed and vital information for device operation can be altered. Secondly, replacement of components with counterfeit components can cause a device to malfunction or carry out malicious acts. The wide range of applications for medical electronics drives unique requirements that can differ significantly from commercial & military electronics. To accomplish this, new packaging structures need to be able to integrate more dies with greater function, higher I/O counts, smaller die pad pitches, and high reliability, while being pushed into smaller and smaller footprints. As a result, the microelectronics industry is moving toward alternative, innovative approaches as solutions for squeezing more function into smaller packages. In the present report, key enablers for achieving reduction in size, weight, and power (SWaP) in electronic packaging for a variety of medical applications are discussed. Advanced microelectronics packaging solutions with embedded passives are enabling SWaP reductions. Implementation of these solutions has realized up to 27X reduction in physical size for existing PWB assemblies, with significant reductions in weight. Shorter interconnects can also reduce or eliminate the need for termination resistors for some net topologies. Successful miniaturized products integrate the following design techniques and technologies: component footprint reduction, thin high density interconnects substrate technologies, I/O miniaturization and IC assembly capabilities. This paper presents fabrication and electrical characterization of embedded actives and passives on organic multilayered substrates. We have designed and fabricated several printed wiring board (PWB) and flip-chip package test vehicles focusing on embedded chips, resistors, and capacitors. Embedded passive technology further enhances miniaturization by enabling components to be moved from the surface of the substrate to its internal layers. The use of thin film resistor material allows creating individual miniaturized buried resistors. These resistors provide additional length and width reduction with negligible increases to the overall substrate and module (SiP) height. Resistor values can vary from 5 ohm to 50 Kohm with tolerances from 5 to 20% and areas as small as 0.2 mm2. The embedded resistors can be laser trimmed to a tolerance of <5% for applications that require tighter tolerance. The electrical properties of embedded capacitors fabricated from polymer-ceramic nanocomposites showed a stable capacitance and low loss over a wide frequency and temperature range. A few test vehicles were assembled to do system level analysis. Manufacturing methods and materials for producing advanced organic substrates and flex along with ultra fine pitch assemblies are discussed. A case study detailing the fabrication of a flexible substrate for use in an intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) catheter demonstrates how the challenges of miniaturization are met. These challenges include use of ultra-thin polymer films, extreme fine-feature circuitization, and assembly processes to accommodate die having reduced die pad pitch. In addition, new technologies for embedding a variety of active chips are being developed. A variety of active chips, including a chip having dimensions of one millimeter square, have been embedded and electrically connected to develop high performance packages. The paper also describes novel anti-counterfeiting approaches for the fabrication of medical devices. A variety of nano-micro composite based signature materials well suited for electronic packaging applications have been developed. These materials enable verification of authenticity with excellent control of signature properties.
Rabindra Das, Principal Engineer
Endicott Interconnect Technologies, Inc.
Endicott, NY

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