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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Electronic Module Allowing Fine Tuning after Assembly", for Approval

August 27, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Dakhiya, Michael (Tel Aviv, IL); Shaked, Eran (Ra'anana, IL), filed on April 13, 2014, was made available online on August 14, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Eagantu Ltd.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Modern electronic devices contain ever larger numbers of components and increasing degrees of complexity. At the same time, designers are required to fit these components into ever smaller end-products.

"These conflicting demands have led to the development of highly-integrated approaches to chip design and packaging. For example, multi-chip modules (MCMs) typically contain multiple integrated circuits (ICs) or semiconductor dies, and possibly discrete components, as well, on a unifying substrate. The MCM can then be assembled as a single component onto a printed circuit board. Some advanced MCMs use a 'chip-stack' package, in which semiconductor dies are stacked in a vertical configuration, thus reducing the size of the MCM footprint (at the expense of increased height). Some designs of this sort are also referred to as a 'system in package.'

"Although IC chips are usually mounted on the surface of an MCM or printed circuit substrate, in some designs an IC may be mounted in a recess in the substrate. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 7,116,557 describes an imbedded component integrated circuit assembly, in which IC components are imbedded within a laminate substrate disposed on a thermally conductive core, which provides a thermal sink. The circuit components are electrically connected to the IC via flexible electrical interconnects, such as flexible wire bonds. An electrically-insulating coating is deposited upon the flexible electrical interconnects and upon the exposed surfaces of the integrated circuit assembly. A thermally-conductive encapsulating material encases the circuit components and the flexible electrical interconnects within a rigid or semi-rigid matrix.

"As another example, U.S. Patent Application Publication 2009/0279268 describes a module that includes a first module unit provided at a top surface with a cavity and a second module unit on which one or more electronic devices are mounted. The second module unit is at least partly received in the cavity of the first module unit. The cavity may be formed in a dual-step structure.

"U.S. Patent Application Publication 2012/0104623 provides another example, in which a semiconductor substrate has a plurality of different size recesses formed in the substrate to provide a stepped interposer. A conductive via can be formed through the stepped interposer. A first semiconductor die is partially disposed in a first recess, and a second semiconductor die is partially disposed in a second recess. The first semiconductor die is electrically connected to the second semiconductor die through a conductive layer.

"Some electrical devices are designed to be trimmed after assembly, for example by removing material from a thick-film resistor with a laser until the desired resistor value is achieved. (A notch cut in the resistor by the laser decreases the width of the film and thereby increases the resistor value.)

"In this regard, for instance, U.S. Pat. No. 5,717,245 describes a ball grid array arrangement comprising a dielectric multilayer substrate, in a lower metallization layer of which is disposed an array of solder balls. A passive circuit element is integrated into at least one of the metallization layers. The arrangement may take the form of an IC carrier or multichip-module carrier having transmission structures situated within a central die-attach area of the substrate and having also a peripheral area containing bonding structures for the mounting of at least one chip or chip module. A passive circuit element in the form of an inductor may be formed in the upper metallization layer between adjacent groups of bonding structures. In order to achieve tighter tolerances, a combination of triplate and surface microstrip constructions may be employed to allow trimming and tuning of these components after manufacture, by arranging for the majority of the length of a resonator or filter element to be defined in the triplate format described above, but completing the length with the addition of a short length of microstrip formed in the upper or lower metallization. Laser or abrasive trimming may be employed to adjust the length and resonant behavior of the line."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Embodiments of the present invention that are described hereinbelow provide a novel three-dimensional (3D) design approach for electronic integration.

"There is therefore provided, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, an electronic module, which includes a substrate including a dielectric material having multiple sides, including first and second sides, and first and second cavities indented respectively within the first and second sides. First and second conductive contacts within the first and second cavities are configured for contact with at least first and second electronic components that are mounted respectively in the first and second cavities. Conductive traces within the substrate are in electrical communication with the first and second conductive contacts.

"In some embodiments, the second side is parallel to and opposite the first side, whereby the first and second cavities open in mutually-opposing directions. The substrate may have a third side, non-parallel to the first and second sides, with a third cavity indented within the third side, wherein the module includes third conductive contacts within the third cavity for contact with at least a third electronic component that is mounted in the third cavity. Alternatively, the second side may be non-parallel to the first side.

"In a disclosed embodiment, the module includes a plurality of contact pads disposed on at least two different exterior surfaces of the substrate and connected to the conductive traces, wherein the contact pads are configured for contacting at least one of a printed circuit board and another module.

"In the disclosed embodiments, the substrate includes multiple layers of the dielectric material, which are graduated in size and include at least one layer having a central opening, and the layers are joined together so as to define the cavities in the substrate.

"In some embodiments, the module includes a trimmable conductive element formed on a surface of the substrate in proximity to at least one of the cavities, wherein the trimmable conductive element is connected to the conductive traces so as to define an electrical circuit that includes the first and second electronic components and the trimmable conductive element.

"There is also provided, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, a method for producing an electronic module. The method includes providing a substrate including a dielectric material having a cavity formed therein and conductive contacts within the cavity, a trimmable conductive element formed on a surface of the substrate in proximity to the cavity, and conductive traces within the substrate so as to define an electrical circuit that includes the conductive contacts and the trimmable conductive element. An electronic component is mounted within the cavity in contact with the conductive contacts. The trimmable conductive element is trimmed so as to adjust an electrical property of the circuit including the electronic component that is mounted within the cavity.

"In some embodiments, the cavity is indented within a first side of the substrate, and the surface on which the trimmable conductive element is formed is located on a second side of the substrate, different from the first side.

"In a disclosed embodiment, trimming the trimmable conductive element includes measuring a frequency response of the circuit, and removing material from the trimmable conductive element until the measured frequency response meets a predefined specification. Measuring the frequency response may include, after the electronic module has been assembled, mounting the electronic module on a test fixture, which is connected to a measurement circuit for measuring the frequency response of the circuit while removing the material from the trimmable conductive element.

"Additionally or alternatively, trimming the trimmable conductive element includes measuring an impedance of the circuit, and removing material from the trimmable conductive element until the measured impedance meets a predefined specification.

"In one embodiment, providing the substrate includes connecting together first and second dielectric substrates, wherein the trimmable conductive element is formed on the surface of the first dielectric substrate, while the electrical circuit includes at least one electronic component that is mounted on the second dielectric substrate.

"In another embodiment, providing the substrate includes embedding an array of circuit components in the substrate, and trimming the trimmable conductive element includes disconnecting one or more of the circuit components from the array.

"Optionally, providing the electronic module includes embedding one or more discrete circuit components within the dielectric substrate, and trimming the trimmable conductive element includes adjusting a value of at least one of the embedded components.

"There is additionally provided, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, a method for producing an electronic module. The method includes providing a substrate including a dielectric material having multiple sides, including first and second sides, and first and second cavities indented respectively within the first and second sides, the substrate having first and second conductive contacts within the first and second cavities and conductive traces within the substrate in electrical communication with the first and second conductive contacts. At least first and second electronic components are mounted in the first and second cavities, respectively, in contact with the first and second contacts.

"There is further provided, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, a system for producing electronic devices. The system includes a module, which includes a substrate including a dielectric material having a cavity formed therein and conductive contacts within the cavity. A trimmable conductive element is formed on a surface of the substrate in proximity to the cavity. Conductive traces within the substrate define an electrical circuit that includes the conductive contacts and the trimmable conductive element. An electronic component within the cavity is in contact with the conductive contacts. A test fixture is configured to hold the module. A trimming device is configured to trim the trimmable conductive element on the module held by the mount so as to adjust an electrical property of the circuit including the electronic component that is mounted within the cavity.

"The system may include a measurement circuit, which is configured to measure a frequency response and/or an impedance of the electrical circuit while the module is held by the test fixture.

"The present invention will be more fully understood from the following detailed description of the embodiments thereof, taken together with the drawings in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1A is a schematic sectional illustration of a multi-level electronic module, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 1B is a schematic sectional illustration of a multi-level electronic module, in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

"FIGS. 2A and 2B are schematic side and top views, respectively, of a multi-level electronic module, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 3 is a schematic sectional illustration of an electronic module, showing laser trimming of an embedded circuit component, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 4 is a schematic sectional view of an electronic module with a trimmable component, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 5 is a schematic sectional view of an electronic module with a trimmable component, in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 6 is a schematic side view of a system for controlled trimming of an electronic module, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIGS. 7A and 7B are schematic top views of trimmable corrective elements in an electronic module, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 8 is a schematic circuit diagram of a trimmable array of embedded components, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 9 is a schematic circuit diagram of a trimmable quadrature splitter, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

"FIG. 10 is a schematic circuit diagram of a trimmable bandpass filter, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Dakhiya, Michael; Shaked, Eran. Electronic Module Allowing Fine Tuning after Assembly. Filed April 13, 2014 and posted August 14, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4743&p=95&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140807.PD.&OS=PD/20140807&RS=PD/20140807

Keywords for this news article include: Eagantu Ltd., Circuit Board, Semiconductor, Electronic Components, Electrical Communication.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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