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Our new CU fill (electroplated) machine enabling enhanced system performance

Our new CU fill (electroplated) machine enabling enhanced system performance

 

One of the main challenges facing the PCB industry is the need to reduce board footprint by creating vias with the minimum diameter and maximum depth (high aspect ratio) that will connect all layers of the printed circuit board. Mechanical drilling is not applicable for this purpose, as small diameter drill bits break easily and cannot penetrate multiple layers. The only way to achieve the desired aspect ratio is to vertically stack laser drills (micro-vias). To ensure that the drills are aligned with each other and are located at the correct depth (Z-Axis), the drills must be filled before the next pressing cycle.

Existing pre-filled epoxy-ceramic & Cu capped filling methods are not suitable for miniaturized PCBs in which the boards’ thickness is very small in size. Manufacturing a PCB with aligned laser drills requires CU fill (electroplated) of the micro-vias to assure, among others, no dimples are created which might result in reduced performance. This process allows optimal electrical conductivity between all stack-up layers.

PCB Technologies recently purchased a new CU fill (electroplated) machine (manufactured by #LSR), which was specially designed to meet this challenge. The machine is equipped with several agitation and spray systems to ensure uniform copper coating of the micro-vias.

This machine allows the filling of laser micro-vias with small diameters and aspect ratios as high as 1.1

Modified Semi Additive Process (mSAP) boosts High-Density Interconnect (HDI) PCB capabilities

Modified Semi Additive Process (mSAP) boosts High-Density Interconnect (HDI) PCB capabilities

 

For decades, the microelectronic industry has been engaged in shrinking electronic devices sizes for various applications (automotive, aerospace, medical industries, and others). At the same time, the demand for extended functionality and reliability, not to mention the competitive costs of the final product, has posed an additional challenge to the miniaturization technology. The solution dictated high density of conductor lines in the underlying PCB, thus allowing High-Density Interconnect (HDI) PCB capabilities.


PCB Technologies utilizes the Modified Semi Additive Process (mSAP) for that end. The process is based on a detailed flow:

1. Coating the substrate surface with a very thin Copper layer

2. Laminating the Copper with photoresist suited for high-resolution PCBs

3. Using Laser Direct Imaging to draw the PCB design on the inner layer pattern

4. Fine etching and stripping of the undesired Copper plating (quick etching).

This process leaves the Copper layer unimpaired on the one hand, and decreases its width on the other, thus allowing HDI on organic substrates which can then be used for capsulated dies (Systems in Package). The added value of the process is its high yields on large-format boards, enabling control of manufacturing costs on substrate-like panels.

Miniaturization - special laminate materials and buried capacitors technology in the works

Miniaturization - special laminate materials and buried capacitors technology in the works

 

PCB technologies strives for constant improvement of its miniaturization technological solutions. The main challenge to be addressed is decreasing the PCBA Volume and footprint. One way of achieving these is by utilizing buried capacitors' technology. These can be built into predefined layers thus reducing the number of passive Capacitors to be soldered onto the PCB (or even eliminating the use of such components). Reaching that goal can be based on the deep knowledge and usage of special laminate materials.

The material at hand should be characterized by a high dielectric constant- enabling high capacitance, as well as a high breakdown field. Its main advantage is its extremely small thickness- down to 8 μm. Its disadvantage relies on its fragility. If you wish to avoid reaching its breaking point or its ability to fold rather easily and thus impair the PCB insulation, you need specific expertise allowing you to manipulate it to the proper condition and prevent its bend. Relevant know-how involves mechanical, chemical, and design aspects – all should be utilized to guarantee PCB integrity and high yields.

PCB Technologies’ All-in-One approach brings a unique value to its customers on the PCBA and system levels. Especially when they call on us in the early stages of the PCB & PCBA design. That way we can suggest target product compatible materials and production processes. Deploying the most appropriate raw material at this stage assures the use of buried capacitors. Though they might add to the total PCB thickness, the overall saving on the PCBA Volume is crucial to the system miniaturization.

This material is suitable for high-frequency capacitors, and high breakdown voltage high capacitance density. they make soldering redundant and increase the PCB reliability since the capacitors are already embedded/pressed in its stack up and for that reason require no extra connections.