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Introduction of LTCC

1) What is LTCC ?

Definition

Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramic (LTCC) is a multi-layer ceramic technology, which processes the ability to embed the passive elements, such as resistors, capacitors and inductors into a ceramic interconnect package while the active elements are mounted in the top layer. Up to 50 layers can be constructed.

Fabrication of LTCC

1. Fabrication process

In LTCC fabrication, holes are first punched to create vias through layers (Step 1). Then, each via hole is filled with conductive material and layers are printed with appropriate pattern (Step 2 & Step 3) separately. After that, all layers are stacked, laminated and co-fired (Step 4 – Step6) at temperature between 800 °C and 900°C into a highly compact ceramic structure.

Unlike other technology, such as CMOS process, fabrication of LTCC is a parallel process. Each layer is fabricated separately and independent of each other. Individual layer can then be examined and inspected. If failure is found, only the defective layer, instead of the whole structure, need to be fabricated again. High yield, reduction in cost and timesaving can be achieved.

2. Materials used

Conductive materials: Silver, gold, copper and tungsten Since different metallic materials possess different physical characteristics, such as resistivity and melting point, depending on the design specification and application, appropriate material can be chosen. Generally speaking, silver is usually used as the conductive materials in LTCC in view of the cost and conductive loss. Gold is coated on the measurement ports or bond pads in surface layer for ease of measurement and wire-bonding.

Ceramic materials: 951, 943, A6M

(5http://www.national.com/pf/LM/LMX9402.htm

b. Ericssion Bluetooth Radio (PBA 313 01/2)

PBA 313 01/2 is a microwave frequency radio transceiver for Bluetooth communication. It works in the ISM frequency band in between 2.4GHz and 2.5 GHz. In the radio module, the antenna filter, RX and TX baluns are all integrated into the LTCC substrate.

You can go to the following web site for more detail information,

http://www.zicorp.com/links/ericsson_bt4.htm

c. Philips Plug-and-Play Class 2 Bluetooth radio module (BGB100)

The BGB100 TrueBlue Bluetooth TM radio module is a short-range radio transceiver for wireless links operating in the ISM band. In the module, the RX and TX baluns are an integral part of the LTCC substrate and require only a minimal number of (low cost) SMD components. You can go to the following web site for more detail information,

http://www.semiconductors.philips.com/pip/BGB100