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Si-Based Capacitors @ 1uF/mm2 Density
Keywords: High-density, Capacitor, Passives
Advanced device and packaging technologies have powered an explosion in wearable electronics in recent time. Examples include smart bands / watches, patches / fabrics with bio-sensors, wearable optoelectronics, advanced in-canal hearing aids, wearable computers, etc. To achieve these complex miniaturized systems requires integration of active and passive devices with small footprint, low thickness, and mechanical flexibility. Active devices have long enjoyed the aggressive generation-over-generation wafer-level feature scaling according Moores Law. On the other hand, passive devices have only benefited from smaller incremental improvements over time. Common multilayer ceramic capacitor (MLCC) are shipped in hundreds of billions of units every year, but they have well-known shortcomings. Typical capacitance is usually a strong function of voltage and temperature, which can produce noticeable acoustic noise. The minimum thickness available is 125um, and it is difficult to configure them in multi-capacitor units. We introduce new Si-based high-density trench capacitors that solve these problems. Due to proprietary design and process, we can achieve best-of-class intrinsic capacitance density of up to 1uF/mm2. These capacitors have very small voltage and temperature coefficients (<0.5%/V and <0.05%/C). They can be arranged into arrays of multiple capacitors on a single chip with a superior cap-to-cap matching (within +0.5%) and to reduce the Bill of Materials. For wearable applications where low thickness is imperative, these Si-based capacitors can be thinned down to 80um without degrading their properties. Furthermore, the capacitors can be tuned to produce very low intrinsic equivalent series resistance (ESR). The combination of world-class density and low thickness is ideal for enabling wearable applications where miniaturization in both footprint and thickness are required without sacrificing performance. When embedded into package substrates close to an active chip, these capacitors provide very low-parasitics signal filtering. These Si-based capacitors can be used as bypass, coupling, and switching capacitors in a wide variety of circuit applications including voltage regulators, audio amplifiers, HF transceivers, etc.
Khanh Tran, Sr. Principal Engr
Maxim Integrated
San Jose, CA

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