3D Integration Process based on low-temperature co-fired ceramic for realizing integrated power supplies
Temperature Co-fired Ceramics (LTCC) technology is widely used in RF and microwave applications. However, the existing process of screen printing the conductor paste on green tapes makes it unfavorable for power electronics applications. The process is being modified to incorporate thick conductors in the green tapes, to improve the current carrying capability of the embedded conductors. Power inductors have been fabricated using the modified process and tested up to 16 A, while maintaining the profile of the embedded inductor to less than 1 mm. The modified process has allowed the use of LTCC technology for power electronics applications. In addition, the low profile of the embedded passives fabricated using this technology allows integration with active devices to form an integrated modular system. The thermal performance is also expected to be improved with the planarity of the module.
Since this materials is only recently commercially available, the LTCC process of making integrated power supply with integrated magnetics and capacitors in the packaging substrate is highly doable and presents no obstacle for commercialization. When the economy of scale is reached, the cost of the green tape material will come down dramatically, making this a cost-effective solution.