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Wireless System Technologies. Prof. Lih-Tyng Hwang Institute of Communications Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering Oct 15, 2010. Carving New Paradigms. The future is 3D: Radically changing the world of entertainment, and beyond. ASE Group 2010 ECTC. The Personal Nerve Center.

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wireless system technologies

Wireless System Technologies

Prof. Lih-Tyng Hwang

Institute of Communications Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering

Oct 15, 2010


Carving New Paradigms

The future is 3D:

Radically changing the world of entertainment, and beyond

ASE Group 2010 ECTC


The Personal Nerve Center

Creating scalable, integrated, multifunctional controls and mediums that fit Wireless lifestyles:

Connecting Ubiquitous Computing to Cloud (internet)

輕,薄,短,小,長電池壽命: Heavy Demands

On Device and Packaging Engineering

ASE Group 2010 ECTC


Semiconductor Life Cycles

Life Sciences?

  • Intelligent appliances
  • Bio-medical
  • Green energy

Improvement of Life Experience


  • Search engine
  • Info service
  • Machine-to-machine


  • Connectivity
  • Bandwidth
  • People-to-people

WW Cell Phone PR – 52%


  • CPU
  • Memory
  • Storage

WW PC PR – 17%










ASE Group 2010 ECTC

do we have a choice
Do We Have a Choice?
  • Our Life and Culture is being altered NOW ….
    • Communications
      • Cell Phones
      • Smart Phones (iPad)
    • Total Mobility and Multi-media
      • 4G: WiMax and LTE (both (OFDMA)
    • Many Apps lead to Social Engineering
      • the use of Google YouTube, Facebook (defining Friends, Products, and Companies; Candidates are using it
      • where TV meets with Search Engine and Google Map, beside Skype, Facebook, etc..
  • Have you ever wondered what make it all possible?
    • Communications Engineering
    • System Technologies
      • Embedded Architecture
      • Miniaturized Hardware Design and Integration

Google TV or

Apple iPad?

All in your Palm

communications engineering
Multiplexing Techniques



Do you know how to transmit 54 mbps using a 20 MHz bandwidth?

Spread Spectrum




Multiple Access Techniques

Frequency Division Multiple Access

Analog Phones Motorola started (StarTac, Razr)

Time Division Multiple Access

Nokia came up with a better battery life digital version

Code Division Multiple Access

Qualcomm, a fabless company makes money from CDMAIC and IP

CDMA iPhone in 2011

Space Division Multiple Access (for WiFi 802.11n)

Antenna Diversity


Communications Engineering

Wireless System Technologies

  • Introduction
    • Cellular, Consumer Electronics, and PC are driving forces
      • Apple: iPhone, iPod, and Macbook
    • Cellular demands more Functionalities and easier User interface
      • Email, Web, Map, Facebook, GPS, and Touch-screen, in addition to Industrial Design
    • Our focus: Cognitive Sensing devices that combines Personal Connectivity (MobileMe) and Wireless Sensor Network using 3D RF SiP hardware platform
  • Embedded System Drivers for Wireless Devices
    • Headset, Z-Sensor, Z-Reader, TagSensor
      • Personal Connectivity
        • Bluetooth, WiFi, and GPS
      • Wireless Sensing
        • RFID and Zigbee
    • Use Cases and Embedded smart – Algorithm development
    • Interference/Coexistence
      • MIMO Control and Programming
  • 3D SiP Hardware Design and System Integration
    • Brief History + Why SiP?
    • What’s new in 3D?
    • Signal and Power Integrity and Co-design
    • Shielding
    • On-Module Antenna
    • MIMO Antennas




In 2009, 1.4 B units of cellular phones are manufactured


Reasons for 3D Integration

  • Why 3D ?
    • Industry is looking beyond Moore’s
      • Transistor counts double every 18-24 months
      • More importantly, the gate lengths are approaching the physical limits of 16 nm manufacturing (5nm gate length), which could come as soon as 2013 to 2018 (Intel 2003).
      • Getting too expensive to continue to shrink
    • 3D IC or 3D Integration seen as a strategy to extend the performance (density) set by the Moore’s Law.
fundamental package designs
Fundamental Package Designs

organic interposer

PBGA (Plastic Ball Grid Array)

Lead frame package

Variations: TSSOP, MSOP, QFN

Variations: FC-CSP, WL-CSP



QFN (Quad Flat No Leads)

ic package processes qfn
Wire bonded die

Die attach adhesives

For high-powered applications, the die is usually eutectic bonded onto the package, using e.g. gold-tin or gold-silicon solder (for good heat conduction). For low-cost, low-powered applications, the die is often glued directly onto a substrate (such as a printed wiring board) using an epoxyadhesive.

Mold Compound for Encapsulation



IC Package Processes - QFN
ic package processes bga
IC Package Processes - BGA


Needle dispensing


ic packaging materials
IC Packaging Materials


why ic packages or carriers
Why IC Packages, or Carriers?
  • Provide Mechanical Rigidity and Heat Sinking
    • Damages from handling
      • Crack
      • ESD
    • Die pad, die attach (heat sink)
  • Minimize Electrical Performance Impacts (Degradation)
    • Signal and Power
  • Provide testing accessibility
there are bare die too
There are Bare die, too?
  • Yes, there are.
  • The bare die are not tested. We need to have KGD (Known Good Die); that to screen out the bad die by burn-in tests.
  • Burn-In tests are to stress the IC (that is, to accelerate the aging of the IC, to get rid of the infant mortality).
  • Burn-In can be done at the wafer level, or for the individual die.
  • After removing the infant mortality, what left are KGD.


Failed by


Failed by

Infant mortality


interconnects wirebonds
Interconnects: Wirebonds
  • Silicon die pads
    • Intro to Silicon Interconnects
    • Al (why? ease of deposition, low rho, good adherence to SiO2)
      • Diffusion barrier: Ti, W
    • Cu (why?)
    • Low-K materials (dk for SiO2=3.9, why?) : spin-on organic polymeric dielectrics: PI (dk=3.2), BCB
  • Wire bonds (or bond wires)
    • Ultrasonic vibration
    • Au (Beryllium), Alloyed Al, and Cu
      • 1mil (25.4 um) diameter were popular
      • Au and Al conventional, Cu recent
        • TiW for diffusion barrier for example, Cu/Al/TiW/Si, Au/Al/TiW/Si
      • High current applications use Cu
    • There are two common wire bonding processes: Au ball bonding and Al wedge bonding
    • Wedge, ball, ribbon bonds
      • Ribbon for RF operations




al and silicon
Al and Silicon
  • Because of its properties aluminum and its alloys are widely used for wiring in microchips:
  • simple to structure in dry etch processes
  • excellent adhesion on SiO2 and interlayers as BPSG or PSG
  • low electrical resistance (3 μΩ·cm)
  • excellent contacting with wire bonds (ie gold and aluminum wires)

An alloy of aluminum and silicon can be used (silicon 1–2 %). Because the aluminum now already contains silicon there will be no diffusion out of the substrate.

Pure Al

(Doped Region)

Al metal track

Metals like silver or copper have better properties, however, these metals are more expensive and cannot be etched in dry etching this easily.

wirebond technology
Wirebond Technology
  • Used in 3D stacked die
  • 40-50 um in pitch
  • Oxidation prevent from Long Storage Life
  • Intermetallic compounds (Au-Al, for example) are critical to the wirebond reliability
  • Wirebonder manufacturer:
gold aluminium intermetallic
Gold-Aluminium Intermetallic
  • A gold-aluminium intermetallic is an intermetallic compound of gold and aluminium that occurs at contacts between the two metals. These intermetallics have different properties than the individual metals which can cause problems in wire bonding in microelectronics. The main compounds formed are Au5Al2 (white plague) and AuAl2 (purple plague), which both form at high temperatures.
  • White plague is the name of the compound Au5Al2 as well as the problem it causes. It has low electric conductivity, so its formation at the joint leads to an increase of electrical resistance which can lead to total failure. Purple plague is a brittle, bright-purple compound of AuAl2. The process of the growth of the intermetallic layers leads to creation of voids in the metal lattice.

1 Au wire, 2 Purple plague, 3 Cu,

4 Gap, 5, Al

interconnects flip chip bumps
Interconnects: Flip Chip Bumps
  • C4: controlled collapsed chip carrier
  • Used Lead (Pb), high melting point; used in IBM ceramic packaging technology
  • PbSn (Eutectic flip chip bumps) lower M.P.; used in Organic board technology
  • Lead-free


0.25mm pitch

Organic or Ceramic


Solder balls

0.5mm pitch

Melting Temp for Pb60Sn40: 183 °C

Melting Temp for Pb95Sn5: 310 °C

Peak PCB operating temperature: 220 °C

ubm for al and cu pads

1. Sputter etch the native oxide to remove oxide and expose fresh aluminum surface.

2. Deposit 100 nm Ti / Cr / Al as the adhesion layer.

3. Deposit 80 nm Cr:CU as the diffusion barrier layer.

4. Deposit 300 nm Cu / Ni:Au as the solder-wettable layer.


UBM for Al and Cu Pads


Immersion Gold

ubm processes
UBM Processes

Final prepared I/O metal pad


advanced interconnects
Advanced Interconnects
  • TSV
    • Chemical Etching thru the silicon; 60-80 um thick
    • 50um pitch
  • Microbumps lead free
    • Eutectic Sn-Au
    • SnAgCu
    • 20 -60 um pitch
passives embedded and integrated
Passives: Embedded and Integrated

To reduce the passive component count


Inside the MLO PCB

R, L, C models and functional device design

PTF (Polymer Thick Film) and copper terminals 35W – MW/□

Dk=21, CFP (Ceramic Filled Polymer)

Integrated Passive Devices

Matching network for GaAs

On top of PCB

R, L, C and functional devices

Structured as SMD

0306 (30mils x 60 mils)



Integrated Passive Devices

Surface Mount Device (R, L,C)

Embedded Passive Components, R, C, and L

motorola eps
Motorola EPS
  • PTF resistor technology allows for multiple inks to be printed on the same layer, thereby covering resistors with values as low as 18W to as much as 10MW.
  • The capacitance density of 16.8 pF/mm2 (@ 12 micron dielectric thickness) allows, for example, 30 pF capacitors to be embedded in an area less than 2 mm2. The reliability under stress (temp/humidity and LLTC) of the mezzanine capacitors is satisfactory with minimal drift during testing and nearly full recovery after post-bake.
  • Inductor technology focused mainly on creating 2-turn and 2.5-turn multilayer spiral inductors with the embeddable range up to 22 nH.
smd components
SMD Components
  • Surface mount technology was developed in the 1960s and became widely used in the late 1980s. Much of the pioneering work in this technology was by IBM. SMT is a method for constructing electronic circuits in which the components (SMD, or Surface Mounted Devices) are mounted directly onto the surface of printed circuit boards (PCBs). It has largely replaced the through-hole technology construction method.
Surface mounted devices (SMDs) are usually made physically small and lightweight for this reason. Surface mounting lends itself well to a high degree of automation, reducing labor cost and greatly increasing production rates.

Components were mechanically redesigned to have small metal tabs or end caps that could be directly soldered to the surface of the PCB. Components became much smaller and component placement on both sides of a board became far more common with surface mounting than through-hole mounting, allowing much higher circuit densities.



0805, 0603, 0402, 0201, 01005





advanced passive technologies
Advanced Passive Technologies
  • Embedded passives
    • R, L, C (Modeling)
      • Parameterized Models
    • Balun, Bandpass filters
    • PCB (organic), LTCC
  • IPD
    • R, L, C (Modeling)
      • Parameterized Models
    • Use different substrates, Si, Quartz, and glass
    • Balun, Bandpass filters
    • Thin-Film, IPDs become Active Device Carriers

IMEC Thin Film RF SiP

thick film and thin film technologies
Thin film technology

This technology is a layer of material ranging from fractions of nanometer to several micrometers.

The deposition includes

Chemical deposition, such as Plating, CVD, PECVD

Physical deposition, such as Sputtering, MBE

Thick film Technology

This technology is based on screen printing and uses “Fired-on” materials for making components.

For example, the soldering process, the conductors in LTCC.


Ink preparation

Screen printing



Thick Film and Thin Film Technologies
ipd as an active device carrier
IPD As an Active Device Carrier

Turn an IPD into an IAD.

packaging configurations using tsvs and microbumps
Packaging Configurations using TSVs and Microbumps

A. 三維積體電路的信號完整性及電源完整性

Using TSVs, Through Silicon Vias and Microbumps

Using Microbumps only

  • Smaller footprint area
  • Shorter wire lengths
  • Better performance
  • Less interconnect power
silicon interposer
Silicon Interposer

A. 三維積體電路的信號完整性及電源完整性


nested packaging 3d sip
Nested Packaging: 3D SiP

A. 三維積體電路的信號完整性及電源完整性



(Source: IMEC)


3D Integration: 3D IC and 3D SiP

SiPs of Higher Speed, Higher Density, and More Functionalities are achieved thru 3D IntegrationTechnologies

Digital SiPs


More SiP Packaging Configurations are created.


ipd and mimo antennas
IPD and MIMO Antennas

B. IPD 研究

Use Gold Stud Bumps


IPD may consist of the necessary passives, including the antenna

Bare WB RFIC (802.11n)

with Al pads

When IPD consist of an antenna, it is possible to have an active antenna.


  • Key Advantages:
  • Efficient use of silicon, leading to minimal cost;
  • Better performance because of better material selections
  • Research on the matched impedance interconnection structures
  • that facilitate smooth signal propagation
marvell reference design
Marvell Reference Design

B. IPD 研究

Marvell 88W8786 or 88W8786U

Marvell 88W8063


Front-End Module


NSYSU Technology: Using IPD (Task B) to form a FEM with antennas (Task C)


example of fem for 802 11n
Example of FEM for 802.11n

B. IPD 研究

  • SKY65230-11: WLAN 802.11n 2 x 2 MIMO Front-End Module with 3 Antenna Ports
    • Separate digital controls for each PA
    • Package size: 10 x 14 x 0.9 mm


Note: This NSC 產學 project only promises to do 802.11n for 1x1 MIMO.


C. 模組天線設計和組件屏蔽

 MIMO antenna and module into one package





Inter-chip Communications




shielding tools
Shielding Tools

C. 模組天線設計和組件屏蔽

  • Shielding Tools
    • Microprobes from Langer EMV-Technik
  • Shielding Tests for EMI
    • Shielding among Components
    • Shielding from the Antenna
  • Shielding Lid Design
    • Grounding of the shield structures
module and chip level emi emc
Module Level

Resolution is about 0.01mm (movement).

Validation between Simulated and Measured results

For various Transmission Line structures

Single ended


Extended to Clock and Control Lines

Near field and far field measurement Correlation

Microprobe near field results

Far field measurement using GTEM

Chip Level

Resolution is much smaller

About 1 um and less (movement).

So are the prober’s 3 dimensional movement

Protection design for the Small E and H probes

Small E or H due to small sizes, therefore, an insitu LNA is probably needed (from noise figure consideration)

Module and Chip Level EMI-EMC

C. 模組天線設計和組件屏蔽


Ingo Wolff



emc e quipments

Spectrum analyzer 40 GHz (40 K€)

Amplifier 3 GHz 100W (60 K€)

Vector Network Analyzer 10 GHz (100 K€)

Signal Synthesizer 6 GHz (20 K€)

GTEM cell 18 GHz (15 K€)

EMC Equipments

Main equipments for EMC – typical prices

C. 模組天線設計和組件屏蔽

  • Expensive ….
  • Complete EMC laboratory : 500 K€
emission measurement methods

6.8 nF

120 Ω

Spectrum analyzer





Spectrum analyzer

51 Ω

49 Ω


1 Ω

Emission measurement methods

Example of conducted emission measurement set-up

C. 模組天線設計和組件屏蔽

  • RF current measurement of current return loops
  • Conducted emission measurement on Vss pins by 1 Ω resistor
  • Conducted emission measurement on Vdd and I/O pins by 150 Ω impedance
emission measurement methods44



aperture 1

Far end

(to absorb





Near end (to receiver)

aperture 2

Emission spectrum

Emission measurement methods

Example of radiated emission measurement set-up in GTEM

C. 模組天線設計和組件屏蔽

Chip under test

Spectrum Analyzer


GTEM cell

emission measurement methods45

Hot spots

Emission map at one frequency

Emission measurement methods

Example of near field scan set-up

C. 模組天線設計和組件屏蔽

Spectrum Analyzer

Data acquisition

Scan table



Control positioning

Near field probe

mimo 802 11n module
MIMO 802.11n Module

D. Demo, Part of 總計畫

802.11n with MIMO capability is coming!

Design these antennas on an IPD, along with the FEM circuits

antenna s for diversity and mimo
Antennasfor Diversity and MIMO

D. Demo, Part of 總計畫

  • Multi-path Effects can be minimized using OFDM technique
  • MIMO monitoring circuits?
  • API-PHY control
    • T/R
    • 1T/2R (Upload is usually slower than Download)









ground plane

λ/2|2.45GHz= 61mm

Design a module aiming at a size of 32 mm on a side is a challenging task.

Using metamaterial for isolation between the two antennas,

Is it possible to reduce the 61mm to 32mm?

802 11n sourcing report
Marvell is interested in working with us. There are two possible routes:

They are evaluating the options.

Directly with Marvell in realizing a 802.11n Module

Working with Bare die, CSP, and module layout

Create module socket

Working with an intermediate Taiwanese module company

Better in module layout and testing resources

Also probably advices on PA selection in MIMO IPD (FEM)

Advices on 802.11n reference design and help us on MIMO monitor functions and Antenna control commands (drivers)

At the same time, we found RealTek has already a USB 1T2R 802.11n module.

We will look into buying one module, and start to learn the MIMO programming.

802.11n Sourcing Report

D. Demo, Part of 總計畫

hw and sw for 802 11n
HW and SW for 802.11n

D. Demo, Part of 總計畫

  • Marvell Bare ICs or CSP ICs
    • The wire-bond version bare die
    • We will figure out how to Au stud bumping them
    • We can pay some 材料費 (for example, a socket tester)
  • How to flash the stacks (libraries) onto the RFIC?
    • The bare RFIC has the 802.11n stack?
  • Marvell Applications Engineer
    • Reference design (front end module)
    • Advise our student on programming the MIMO
  • Taiwanese Companies who might interested in receiving the MIMO integration technology (Marketing)

Socket for Module testing and Firmware Flashing

unigen ugwdr82nuh50 based on realtek 802 11n
Unigen UGWDR82NUH50based on Realtek 802.11n

D. Demo, Part of 總計畫

• IEEE 802.11n draft 2.0 MIMO OFDM

• One Transmit and Two Receive paths (1T2R)

• 20MHz and 40MHz bandwidth transmission

• Short Guard Interval (400ns)

• DSSS with DBPSK and DQPSK, CCK modulation with long and short preamble

• OFDM with BPSK, QPSK, 16QAM, and 64QAM modulation. Convolution Coding Rate: 1/2, 2/3,

3/4, and 5/6

• Maximum data rate 54Mbps in 802.11g, and 300Mbps in 802.11n

• OFDM receive diversity with MRC using up to 2 receive paths. Switch diversity used for


• Hardware antenna diversity

• Selectable digital transmit and receive FIR filters

• Programmable scaling in transmitter and receiver to trade quantization noise against increased

probability of clipping

• Fast receiver Automatic Gain Control (AGC)



802 11n mimo module demonstration
802.11n MIMO Module Demonstration

D. Demo, Part of 總計畫

Task D: Create APIs to control MIMO operations and demo the capability of antennas with metamaterials






802.11n WLAN modules





802 11n wlan module architecture
802.11n WLAN Module Architecture

D. Demo, Part of 總計畫

Marvell 88W8786 or 88W8786U

Marvell 88W8063








Antenna(s) with


from Task C











  • Cellular, Consumer Electronics, and PC are driving forces
    • They demands more Functionalities and easier User interface. But, Moore’s law is reaching its hard limits. 3D IC and 3D Packaging are seen strategies to extend the growth.
  • SiP offers Time to Market advantages. 3D RF SiP used as the hardware platform to develop Cognitive Sensing devices that combines Personal Connectivity (MobileMe) and Wireless Sensor Network.
  • Embedded System Drivers for Wireless Devices
    • Headset, Z-Sensor, Z-Reader, TagSensor
      • Personal Connectivity
        • Bluetooth, WiFi, and GPS
      • Wireless Sensing
        • RFID and Zigbee
    • Use Cases and Embedded smart – Algorithm development
    • Interference/Coexistence
      • MIMO Control and Programming
  • 3D SiP Hardware Design and System Integration
    • Brief History + Why SiP?
    • What’s new in 3D?
    • Signal and Power Integrity and Co-design
    • Shielding
    • On-Module Antenna
    • MIMO Antennas