It’s hardly an exaggeration to say that 2022 might be remembered as the Year of Advanced Packaging. The Department of Defense got the ball rolling last summer with the CHIPS Act, which pointed out how far the United States has fallen behind the rest of the world in microelectronics. A few months later, the week-long IPC Advanced Packaging Symposium took place in Washington, D.C., and I-Connect007 covered this event from start to finish.
Among the things we learned from the symposium: There’s a great deal of innovation taking place in advanced packaging, and it all starts with PCB designers and design engineers making the correct decisions early in the design cycle.
When we started planning this issue of Design007 Magazine, we wondered: What exactly do we mean by the term advanced packaging? IPC’s Kris Moyer teaches a PCB design course on this topic, and he was kind enough to provide us with a two-pronged definition of advanced packaging:
“The first definition is with respect to IC packages. For this, advanced packaging refers to the interposer boards that are made with advanced specialty materials, typically non-FR-4, along with advanced special manufacturing techniques and methodologies.
“The second is with respect to system/product design. For this, advanced packaging is a description of any advanced techniques and methodologies used in the design of PCBs for non-standard products. These include sequential lamination and microvias used in HDI/fine-pitch products, chip-on-board/chip-on-flex, direct wire-bond of bare silicon die to the board, non-standard board geometry, extreme reduction in board area, non-standard board mounting, etc.” —Kris Moyer
Yes, even the definition of advanced packaging is, well, advanced. Every step of the design cycle is a potential trade-off that must be managed when working with non-standard PCBs. As we’ll see with this month’s features, the needs of the PCB designers and the designers of chips and packages are beginning to converge, and PCB designers now find themselves learning about chiplets and 3D-IC technologies. Will PCB designers of the future be experts at silicon interposer design?
We asked a variety of experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities that PCB designers and design engineers are seeing today with advanced packages, as well as trade-offs.
This issue leads with an article by Kris Moyer, who focuses on the routing techniques necessitated by advanced packaging. Next, Lee Ritchey discusses a challenge that’s facing aerospace PCB designers who use stacked microvias, and he offers a variety of methods for circumventing this problem, including using staggered microvias. Columnist Tim Haag shares his take on designing complex packaging, and he tracks how complicated some designs have become over the past few decades.
Ashutosh Mauskar breaks down the nearly “perfect storm” of drivers affecting the semiconductor industry and packaging trends, including supply chain issues, artificial intelligence, EVs and autonomous vehicles. And columnist John Watson explains why packaging is likely to continue shrinking and pushing Moore’s Law to its limits: “We are simply running out of room.”
We have columns from our regular contributors Barry Olney, Matt Stevenson, Joe Fjelstad, Anaya Vardya, and Saskia Hogan, as well as an article from Zachariah Peterson and an interview with Ventec’s Alun Morgan and Mark Goodwin.
I hope you all had a great New Year’s celebration, and that 2023 is better than 2022. We’ll be covering IPC APEX EXPO and DesignCon soon. I look forward to seeing you on the road.
To read this column, which appeared in the January 2023 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.