Integrated 3D glass modules with high-Q inductors and thermal dissipation for RF front-end applications
Kim, Min Suk
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The objectives of this research are to model, design, fabricate and validate high quality factor (Q > 100 at 2.4 GHz for 3-10 nH/mm2) inductors and innovative thermal structures with copper through-package vias to maintain low junction temperatures of < 85 oC in power amplifiers, and demonstrate ultra-thin fully-integrated dual-band (2.4 GHz/ 5GHz) WLAN modules with passive-active integration on ultra-thin glass substrates with double-side RF circuits and copper through-package vias (TPVs). Today’s RF subsystems are 2D single or multichip packages made of either organic laminates or LTCC (low temperature co-fired ceramic) substrates. The need for form-factor reduction in RF subsystems in both z and x-y direction has led to the evolution of embedded die-package architectures in thin laminates with dies facing up or down. This also reduces insertion loss and improves signal integrity by minimizing electromagnetic interference (EMI), package parasitics and routing issues. For further improvement in performance and miniaturization, glass is proposed as an ideal substrate for RF module integration. However, major design and fabrication challenges need to be addressed to achieve ultra-thin high Q RF components and also enable IC cooling to eliminate hotspots on glass substrates, which forms the key focus of this thesis.