Hybrid Microcircuits, Multi-Chip Modules, High-Rel Electronics
At RF2M we are proud of our 70 year pedigree in the manufacture and test of high reliability electronic components, modules and sub-systems often used in safety critical high performance applications in harsh environments. Our customers are major tier one corporations in sectors such as military avionics and communications, space satellites and civil aerospace. They rely on RF2M’s high talented engineering and production teams with the expertise to transform an idea into a fully tested and qualified high reliability product whilst ensuring the smallest possible foot-print at a competitive price.
Products & Solutions
Hybrid Microcircuits & Multi-Chip-Modules (MCMs)
High-Reliability Electronics for Harsh Environments
High-reliability thick film hybrids are RF2M Microelectronics's core competence. From complex hermetically-sealed multi-chip-modules used in aerospace and defence applications to high-volume automotive control modules RF2M thick-film hybrids are designed for maximum reliability in the harshest environments. In these applications operating temperatures of 150 - 165 degrees centigrade are common-place. RF2M has successfully tested its thick-film technology at 200 degrees centigrade and the company is introducing new thick-film systems which are capable of performing at 225 degrees centigrade. See our High Temperature Electronics section for further information.
- designed for maximum reliability in the harshest environments
- excellent for aerospace and defence applications
- high temperature, high-reliability electronics
- hermetically-sealed multi-chip-modules
- typical operating temperatures of 150 - 165 degrees centigrade
- introducing new thick-film systems which are capable of performing at 225 degrees centigrade
Thick Film Interconnect
High-Reliability Thick Film Technology
We screen print multi-layer thick-film hybrid interconnect on ceramic substrates up to a size of 203 x 152 mm. Material systems include gold for wire bonding and blends of silver and gold with platinum and palladium for solder based assemblies. Conventional screen printing is supplemented by a photo-defined process to achieve high-density, high-precision conductors (25um width). Diffusion Patterning is also employed to provide small diameter, high density vias in dielectric layers.
Thick film interconnect incorporates laser adjusted resistors printed directly onto the ceramic substrate saving space and allowing the designer a completely free choice in resistor value and extremely close tolerance matching. Thick film resistors can be designed and printed to any value by combining resistor aspect ratio (length:width) with the appropriate paste value. Resistor pastes are available in decade series typically from 10ohm/square to 1Mohm/square. Adjacent nominal values may be blended to achieve the desired 'jar value' for the layout design. The use of bare die and selected passive components bonded directly to ceramic substrates promotes reliability and improves thermal management in harsh environments.
Components are added to the completed thick film hybrid substrate using standard surface mount soldering (RoHS compliant or SnPb) or solder-less conductive epoxy attach methods. These two assembly methods can be combined in a mixed technology design which helps to maximise the level of integration in a highly cost effective solution.
For the ultimate performance and reliability, hybrid packages are hermetically sealed in dry nitrogen and low out-gassing adhesives or eutectic bonds are used throughout to maintain high performance over long operating life times. Both gold and aluminium wire bonding completes the circuit interconnect and package connections. Reliability is assured via established design rules, careful element (component) evaluation, 100% environmental screening and extensive process control and product qualification procedures.› Click to view datasheet
- Multi-layer thick-film hybrid interconnect
- Material systems include gold for wire bonding and blends of silver and gold with platinum and palladium for solder based assemblies.
- Conventional screen printing is supplemented by a photo-defined process to achieve high-density, high-precision conductors (25um width).
- Diffusion Patterning is also employed to provide small diameter, high density vias in dielectric layers.
- For the ultimate performance and reliability, hybrid packages are hermetically sealed in dry nitrogen and low out-gassing adhesives
- Eutectic bonds are used throughout to maintain high performance over long operating life times.
- Both gold and aluminium wire bonding completes the circuit interconnect and package connections.
- Reliability is assured via established design rules, careful element (component) evaluation, 100% environmental screening and extensive process control and product qualification procedures.
Fine line printing with KQ
We have established production capability with the two leading photo processing solutions: Fodel technology, registered by DuPont, and KQ technology, registered by Heraeus. These processes have been perfected on LTCC and alumina tiles of size 100 mm x 100 mm. They provide a low-cost, high-definition interconnect with resolution and RF electrical performance approaching that of thin film. Applications range from cellphone RF amplifiers to microwave modules.
We have a dedicated Class 100 clean room for medium-volume production of high-density interconnect.
- We have a dedicated Class 100 clean room for medium-volume production of high-density interconnect.
- Low-cost, high-definition interconnect with resolution and RF electrical performance approaching that of thin film.
- Applications range from cellphone RF amplifiers to microwave modules.
- Fodel technology, registered by DuPont
- KQ technology, registered by Heraeus
Low Temperature Co-Fired Ceramic (LTCC)
Multi-layer high performance substrates
LTCC is an alternative glass-ceramic multilayer substrate medium that incorporates conventional thick-film-material metal systems, providing a rugged, cost competitive substrate that can incorporate embedded passive components, along with more advanced devices such as flipchips and wire bonded bare die. Cavities can be configured in an LTCC substrate to provide controlled-impedance wire bond connections and high-reliability packaging solutions.
LTCC technology is extremely useful in a diverse range of applications, including high-volume automotive systems. It is becoming the technology of choice for high-frequency RF and microwave applications in the wireless and radar industries.
Passive components can be buried between the LTCC tape layers, minimizing the length of interconnects, improving integration and robustness, and further reducing circuit geometry. This capability is supported by continual substantial investment in fully automated production facilities to maintain the consistent levels of quality demanded by our customer's high reliability requirements.
Substrates manufactured using the cofired technique can be processed using the same methods as standard alumina substrates. Once they have been fired, laser trimmed and singulated they can be populated using standard surface mount and advanced chip-and-wire techniques.› Click to view datasheet
- High performance electronic packaging and substrate technology
- Ideally suited to RF and microwave products
- Low loss glass-ceramic dielectric
- High temperature, harsh environment suitability
- Matched impedance routing
- Strip line and microstrip transmission lines
- Co-axial via structures
- Embedded and surface printed resistors
- Temperature coefficient of expansion matched to semiconductors
- Range of LTCC dielectric tape and conductor/resistor materials from leading suppliers/manufacturers – DuPont, Ferro and Hereaus.
- Specialist Substrates Tapes: range of dielectric materials providing low cost high performance and low loss characteristics
- Silver, Gold, Platinum, Palladium Silver and Platinum Silver conductors
- Infinite range of values with sheet resistivities from 10 Ohms - 100K Ohms on the surface or embedded in the structure
- Vias can be stacked, staggered, buried, or blind. Hermeticity is achieve with a dielectric barrier