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May 22nd, 2014
GE POL embedded packaging platform: a closer look
Embedded electronic packaging technologies have seen significant growth due to their ability to reduce the size and cost of components and enable higher levels of integration for feature-rich consumer products such as smartphones and tablets.
GE an early adopter of embedded packaging
A POL multichip example of an SMT power module
The POL platform can also meet the price points required for consumer products. This process starts with the lamination of a polyimide (PI) film to a metal frame. The film is coated with a thermoset adhesive. Die are mounted face down and vias are formed from the reverse side by laser ablating the PI film and adhesive. Subsequent via filling, copper patterning and package molding is by standard technologies. The process is currently run on a 9 inch frame and the technology is reportedly adaptable to panel size processing.
GE POL process flow for low cost consumer packaging
GE expands their embedded technology base
Typical Imbera PCB based embedded die process flow
Below there are some of the package types available by using the “POL” platform.
Package configurations possible by GE’s POL technology
Cost is key
GE has worked with SavanSys to compare cost of their ePOL embedded packaging to other embedded packaging technologies. They report that ePOL has a cost advantage as the wafer post processing costs (wafer prep) are low for ePOL and additional savings are achieved in yield and production lead-time. Most other embedding technologies require a RDL layer, which has a significant impact on cost of the package, especially with large die packages. The wafer prep cost per die for RDL wafers increases further with sub-300mm wafers.
ePOL cost advantage
GE’s embedded patent portfolio
Dr. Larry Davis, vice president and microelectronics packaging program director at GE Licensing, has stated that “Through our internally developed POL technologies and the Imbera acquisition, GE has created one of the most extensive intellectual property and technology portfolios for embedded electronic packaging in the world.”
Yole Développement - Embedded Die Patent Analysis 2012 Report
GE Ventures – Licensing - May 2014
Expanding the embedded package infrastructure
In response to this, GE’s Davis states that “…GE is developing a cost effective HVM capable supply chain for embedded active components with its partners. GE is committed to transferring the GE active component embedding technology and know-how to the marketplace, partnering with industry packaging leaders to form a value chain for HVM, which GE and the rest of the industry will be able to access.” Davis further concludes that “GE has a strong technology roadmap and an extensive portfolio of key patents, with a solid corporate commitment to sustain the high level of investment in this industry-leading technology”
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