The objective of the BLUEPAC project is to develop microelectronic packaging solutions for the next generation of mobile communications. Existing techniques in BGA packaging of components for GSM and DECT applications will be developed for new Bluetooth wireless short-range communication, which operate at frequencies up to 2.5 GHz. The main tasks will include package development, material characterisation (electrical, thermo-mechanical), RF circuit modelling and system testing for high frequencies. A significant new development will be in the integration of passive components, such as antennae and antenna filters in the BGA package. This will enable improved circuit performance in terms of increased circuit speed, reduced size and reduced parasitics.
The BLUEPAC project has the following major objectives:
- For Bluetooth applications, the feasibility will be investigated of a complete RF radio function, at 2.5 GHz, realised on a single BGA substrate. This module has to include two chips, the base band and the RF front end chip, and also the antenna filter and the antenna itself. The filter can be realised as a planar strip line filter, while the antenna could be a strip line antenna loop, realised on the BGA substrate. The integration of antenna and antenna filter should be performed without creating interference with the functionality of the die;
- The development of a test methodology and the necessary hardware, capable of being used on a high-volume production tester, allowing the functional testing of the packaged VCO die with embedded inductor and of the packaged high-frequency antenna.
The following workpackages are planned in the frame of the BLUEPAC project:
Workpackage 1: Requirements definition. This activity includes the definition of the specifications for the integrated inductor for the antenna and antenna filter for the RF front-end Bluetooth demonstrator. The specifications for testing the integrated high-frequency antenna will be defined as well in this workpackage;
Workpackage 2: Antenna and antenna filter development:
- Analysis of potential antenna and filter substrate materials in order to select the best suited material;
- Analysis of potential antenna and filter topologies in order to select the best suited topology;
- Development of an integrated Bluetooth antenna and antenna filter in a cost and space efficient way.
Workpackage 3: RF package development;
- Analysis which area array packages types (BGA, PSGA) can be used for the development of a package with an integrated antenna and antenna filter;
- Analysis which package substrate materials are available for realization of the integrated antenna and filter;
- Analysis of the RF signal path from active chip to the antenna head;
- Evaluation of potential area array packages in terms of thermo-mechanical reliability;
- Integration and fabrication process for the realization of the package with integrated antenna and filter.
Workpackage 4: Handling and test development;
- Development of a test methodology in order to test the antenna circuitries on a high volume handling equipment, taking into account the noisy production test environment;
- Development and manufacturing of the RF test hardware for high volume testing of the antenna circuitries. This includes the development of an RF contactor for contact-free testing, of the load board with excitation antenna for the testing of the RF package with integrated antenna.
Workpackage 5: Demonstrator fabrication, reliability and functional assessment;
- Development and functional assessment of the Bluetooth RF package with integrated antenna and filter;
- Validation of the RF package technology with integrated antenna at product level.
Workpackage 6: Cost modelling and exploitation. The technology and cost benefits of the developed RF packaging technologies will be constantly monitored.
Workpackage 7: Management: The objectives of this workpackage are to ensure the proper functioning of the BLUEPAC project in order to achieve the objectives and milestones of the project.
After definition of the requirements and specifications for RF packages with integrated antenna and filter (T0+2), the development of antenna and filter will be started, resulting in the selection of appropriate materials (T0+5) and topologies (T0+21). First designs and prototypes will be generated and the package type will be selected (T0+21).
Mechanical samples with embedded antenna and filter will be made available for the Bluetooth demonstrator (T0+25), resulting in demonstrator fabrication at T0+27. In parallel the test methodology and hardware for testing the integrated antenna RF packages will be implemented (T0+30). The RF package technology with embedded antenna and filter will be validated at product level (T0+36). The technology and cost benefits of the developed RF packaging technologies will be assessed as well (T0+36). Exploitation plans of the BLUEPAC results will be made available (T0+36).
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts