"The increasing number of portable electronic products intended for use in extreme environments makes reliable sealing of image sensors an even more important aspect of any packaging structure. What is needed is an image sensor package that is simple and inexpensive to manufacture, and that also provides reliable hermetic sealing capabilities to prevent moisture damage and other harmful environmental effects."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In accordance with the present invention, improved packages for electronic devices and methods for their assembly are disclosed. Embodiments of the present invention are directed to image sensor chips. However, packaging of any other light or radiation-sensitive electronic components is also contemplated as being within the scope of the present invention. In a basic form, an image sensor package according to the present invention comprises a housing structure formed on an interposer substrate by molding or other deposition process. The chips are mounted in a chip cavity formed by the housing structure and electrically connected to interposer contact pads that are exposed through the housing structure within the chip cavity. The chip cavity is then sealed by a transparent cover which acts as a window or lens. Once assembled, the image sensor package may be incorporated into electronic devices by connection to external attachment pads on the interposer. The packages are inexpensive and simple to construct while exhibiting durability and improved sealing properties.
"In one embodiment according to the present invention, an image sensor package is assembled by forming a housing structure that covers substantially the entire chip surface of the interposer, leaving only a small area of the chip surface immediately surrounding the interposer contact pads exposed through apertures within the housing structure for connection to the image sensor chip. As used herein, the term 'chip surface' refers to the side of the interposer on which image sensor chips are mounted within the chip cavity.
"In another embodiment according to the present invention, the interposer may also include peripheral structures in the form of tie bars or other protrusions that extend from the edge surfaces of the interposer. The tie bars provide spacing to enable mold material to cover the edge surfaces of the interposer when forming the housing structure. The tie bars may also be used to connect a strip or array of interposers, thereby enabling multiple housing structures to be formed simultaneously on a single substrate and subsequently separated into individual image sensor packages.
"In another embodiment according to the present invention, the housing structure also covers substantially the entire attachment surface of the interposer, leaving only the area of the attachment surface immediately surrounding the external attachment pads exposed. As used herein, the term 'attachment surface' refers to the side of the interposer which is opposite the chip surface of the interposer.
"In another embodiment according to the present invention, bond pads of the image sensor chip are attached directly to the interposer contact pads exposed through the apertures in the housing structure with wire bonds. The apertures may optionally be filled with a liquid sealant to further seal the interposer from the chip cavity.
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