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What is Electronic Packaging?

Electronic packaging and semiconductor manufacturing are two major activities to produce microsystems including microelectronics, optoelectronics, microwave/RF, biomedical devices, sensors, actuators, micro-scaled energy systems, etc.  Electronic packaging interconnects “chips” and other components into a microsystem.  The image below shows an iPhone 7. The processes to assemble such a total system are categorized as the 3rd level of packaging.

 

Image of internal electronics of an Iphone 7

 

The image below is the motherboard of the iPhone 7.  The processes to assemble such a circuit board are categorized as the 2nd level of packaging.

 

An Iphone 7 motherboard

 

The image below is the cross-sectional view of an A4 “chip”.  The processes to fabricate such a component are categorized as the 1st level of packaging. Sorry, we could not find a nice image for A10, but it packaging technology is similar to A4’s.  The A4 “chip” in fact consists of three chips with an A4 microprocessor flip-chip soldered onto the package substrate and two memory chips wire bonded onto the another thin substrate that is soldered onto the package substrate.  Strictly speaking, this component should be named as an A4 module.  The A10 module is similar to the A4 module. Of course, A10 microprocessor and its associated memory chips are more powerful and energy efficient than those for A4 module.  The A10 can be soldered onto the motherboard as illustrated above for the 2nd level of packaging.

 

Cross section view of iPhone 7 motherboard.

 

It is a very simple introduction to three levels of electronic packaging. In each level, there are design and manufacturing activities.  Design considers electrical, optical, mechanical, thermal and other performance measures. Manufacturing includes fabrication, assembly, and testing.  Such design and manufacturing activities are applied to not only every microelectronic system but optoelectronics, microwave/RF, biomedical devices, sensors, actuators, micro-scaled energy systems, etc. The ASME Journal of Electronic Packaging invites leaders to present reviews on critical design, manufacturing including materials and processes and reliability topics while publishing research papers with an emphasis on n thermal and mechanical considerations.