Digital Package Manufacturing

With additive manufacturing (AM) technologies (both 2D and 3D) significantly maturing in recent years, AM is reaching a tipping point in usability for an increasing number of applications. AM tool boxes create an opportunity for new packaging concepts to be developed and manufactured with increased design freedom and reduced manufacturing complexity. In this respect, CITC is deploying recent advancements in AM technologies for building chip packages or parts thereof and focuses on applications that cannot or can hardly be realized using traditional manufacturing technologies.

CITC aims to demonstrate new types of chip packages built with AM. Additionally, within the CITC ecosystem in collaboration with material and equipment companies, CITC aims to further develop the possibility of AM for digital manufacturing of next-generation packages. CITC is offering feasibility studies to industrialize this technology together with IDMs, material and equipment suppliers, both technically and economically. TNO Holst specifically is a partner of CITC and serves as an important technology provider for this technology. Potential application areas include:

  • MEMS microphones
  • RDL layers
  • Substrates for RF antennas (‘engineered dielectric values’)
  • Pressure-less encapsulation for sensors

– MEMS microphones are quickly replacing traditional microphones. With AM the sound resonance (back) cavities can be accurately designed and produced to have maximum amplification for a certain frequency range.

– Redistribution layers (RDLs) can be easily designed and manufactured with AM. It is easy to make different versions to test multiple designs. Cost effective manufacturing for mass production is also feasible.

High definition RDL manufactured with AM (20 um L/S). Picture with courtesy of TNO Holst.

– Air-cavities in RF antenna structures are investigated to tune the dielectrical properties of the antenna substrate to optimize RF radiation and efficiency. AM provides the means to integrate these air cavities in relevant materials.

Examples of air cavities in polymer, created with AM. Pictures with courtesy of TNO Holst.

– CITC and Holst Centre are working on a demonstrator showing stress-free encapsulation of sensor elements. AM enables new encapsulation solutions and processes that allow for very low residual stress on sensor elements or similar component that are stress sensitive.

The 3D printed electronics in these examples is provided by Holst Centre and is a layer-by-layer digital process where:

Additional questions? Contact Marco Koelink, Business Development Manager