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Advanced packaging for photonics, optics and electronics for low cost manufacturing in Europe

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - APPLAUSE (Advanced packaging for photonics, optics and electronics for low cost manufacturing in Europe)

Reporting period: 2020-05-01 to 2021-04-30

Assembly and packaging technologies for combined electronics, optics and photonics enable the success of a product in terms of performance, reliability, and cost. With the recent developments in optical sensors which integrate photonics and electronic components, the packaging of systems is getting more complex than ever, increasing the need for advanced assembly and specialized manufacturing processes. APPLAUSE will build on the European leadership and expertise in advanced packaging and assembly to develop new tools, methods, and processes for high volume mass manufacturing, and to create the necessary environment for keeping the manufacturing and packaging value chain in Europe.

The project will focus on the following key technologies:
• Ultra-thin wafer and die handling and packaging solutions
• High precision photonic packaging
• New bonding technologies for sensitive optics components
• Medical and biocompatible photonic packaging
• Moulding & 3D integration for optical component manufacturing
• New metrology / inspection methods

The new developed technologies will be demonstrated through five industrial use cases:
1. Substantially smaller 3D integrated ambient light sensor for mobile and wearable applications (ams AG)
2. High performance, low cost, uncooled thermal IR image sensor for automotive and surveillance applications (IDEAS)
3. High speed datacom transceivers with reduced manufacturing costs (DustPhotonics)
4. Flexible patch for cardiac monitoring (Precordior)
5. Miniaturized invasive cardiac sensors (Cardiaccs)
In the first year of the project, the requirements and specifications for the Use Case demonstrators as well as the required developments for equipment and processes were completed.

During the second year, the work progressed to the design, modelling & simulations of the demonstrator design from circuit via component and package to the system level. The design definitions are now almost finalized, and notable progress has been made in design improvements, simulation activities and new innovative ideas for packaging. The simulations effectively supported the demonstrator developments by assuring the functionality, manufacturability, and reliability. The packaging concept developments and design improvements are partly still running.

The work on Equipment, Processes and Software Components has started, focusing on realizing process flows and building the technology components and processes needed in the demonstrators. The results of the 1st loops are being integrated in next development steps and collaboration opportunities are utilized.

The Packaging and Integration work for the demonstrators has also started. The first trial runs on light sensors were performed, the processing of the wafer level packaging of bolometers has started, and the first versions of the new packaging process for datacom transceivers have been performed. The integration for the cardiac monitoring flexible patch system has been done with dummy sensors, and the cardiac implant flexible PCBs have been fabricated.

The Testing, Reliability, Failure Analysis & Metrology develops test strategies for each use case and analyse specimens accordingly. This covers the development of electro-optical characterisation technologies on wafer, device and module level as well as reliability tests and failure analysis. All tasks are running and there is good progress on the development of test setups and reliability tests. Several partners have already started with the first characterizations and reliability tests.

Fabrication and Validation of Use Case Demonstrators are progressing well, building on the work done in the technology development and integration.

During the reporting period the promotion of the project has continued with attendance and speaker roles at industry conferences. For such events there has been a significant impact from COVID19 which has led to the cancellation of physical events and partial replacement by virtual events. Several partners have highlighted their work in relation to the APPLAUSE project and we now have publications available to disseminate. The project continues regular news posts in our online resources (website, LinkedIn). A new YouTube channel was created to host presentation and video content for the project. It was launched to support the APPLAUSE digital booth at virtual EFECS 2020 event in November 2020.

There was very good partner participation and content creation for the deliverable Exploitation Plan midterm. Preliminary business plans for Use Cases have been submitted.
Through the APPLAUSE project, European industry will build on the European expertise in advanced packaging and assembly to develop new simulation and test methods, processes and related process equipment, as well as process control equipment for high volume manufacturing of advanced packages combining semiconductors, optics and photonics.
Good progress has been made in project year two. Guided by the previously delivered specifications and requirements deliverable several work packages are driving the technical developments towards the five use cases. Each of the five use cases progresses well towards their objectives to demonstrate new solutions. Consortium partners are confident that current expected results are in line with original expectations and exploitation plans have been verified. The preliminary business plans for the five use cases have been created and will be updated at the end of the project.
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