Substrate-like PCB and Its Applications

Substrate-like PCB

What does Substrate-like PCB mean?

The next generation of high-density PCB, known as substrate-like PCB (SLP PCB), calls for trace/spacing that is equal to or less than 30/30 microns (currently, the limit for HDI is 40/40 microns), to further reduce device size and free up space for other components.

This type of PCB is known as a substrate-like PCB because it resembles an IC carrier board (an advanced “circuit board” carrying a chip, with circuitry inside to connect the die and the motherboard; the regular trace/spacing is required to be about 15/15 micron) for semiconductor packaging. However, it has not yet met the IC carrier board’s specifications because it still has a variety of active and passive components installed, so SLP boards still fall under the PCB category.

  • Products called Hyper BGA and Core EZ are created to be chip carriers.
  • Hyper BGA is created as an organic substitute for premium ceramic packaging.
  • As a replacement for “build-up” (HDI) organic chip carrier packaging, Core EZ is created.

1. HyperBGA®

HyperBGA® fluoropolymer-based coreless semiconductor package allows your die to run at extremely high speeds. Signal rates of more than 25 GHz are made possible by the combination of low-loss, low-dielectric constant material and stripline cross-sections. Additionally, over shorter distances, this signal speed can be significantly higher (>70 GHz).

By minimizing and eradicating BGA wear out, die cracking, delamination, and flip-chip bump fatigue of other plastic packages, the PTFE material compliance and the dimensional stability of a copper-invar-copper (“CIC”) centre plane provide a long field life for HyperBGA®.

It is the answer for the networking, high-end server, telecommunications, military, and medical industries. In fact, it is the answer for any application where speed, dependability, and improved signal I/O must mix with decreased size, weight, and power (“SWaP”).

This low-stress flip-chip laminate packaging is perfect for applications requiring a system-in-package (“SiP”) approach, including chip-on-flex, multi-layer, RF, and other applications.

*PTFE Substrate

  • High Bandwidth/High Digital Speed/RF
  • Si Particle filled PTFE material
  • Low loss/Low Dk
  • Fusion Bonding
  • CIC core
  • 50um Laser buried thru-vias
  • 28-micron Cu trace
  • 33-micron space
  • Flip chip, WB, SMT
  • Radiation Tolerant
  • Not Halogen Free

2. CoreEZ®

The HyperBGA® manufacturing platform is used by the CoreEZ® semiconductor package to provide a thin core build-up flip-chip package with extremely dense core vias using a cost-sensitive material set. An almost coreless structure is produced by the 199-micron via-to-via core pitch provided by the core via density.

Using smaller pads and the same 50-micron laser-drilled holes to create HyperBGA®, high core via density is obtained to free up wiring channels via the core. CoreEZ® can now offer up to twice as many signal layers as a typical build-up package using mechanically drilled core vias with substantial capturing pads.

A very affordable approach that enables entire stripline signal layers on both sides of the core is the end result. By enabling die shrink, die-pad pitch can be decreased to as little as 180 microns, with 150 microns being conceivable for some applications. Additionally, the core’s thinness allows for better power distribution and the transfer of chip thermal energy into the PCB.

Applications requiring low-cost build-up materials as well as good reliability, performance, and wireability are a great fit for CoreEZ®. Additionally, it works well for aircraft applications that need radiation tolerance.

*HDI-like Build Up

  • Cost performance
  • Si Particle filled epoxy
  • Thin aramid fiber core
  • 50-um Laser drilled core, build-up
  • 25-micron Cu trace
  • 25-micron space
  • Flip chip, Wirebond, SMT
  • Radiation Hard Capable
  • Not Halogen Free

Why is a Substrate-Like PCB necessary?

High-end technology is needed for fine-pitch BGA and extremely thin trace/spacing compared to HDI.

A few years ago, handheld devices were made with a 0.6 mm–0.8 mm pitch. Due to the quantity of component I/Os and product downsizing, this generation of smartphones features 0.4 mm pitch technology extensively. This trend is currently heading in the direction of 0.3 mm, which calls for a trace/spacing of 30/30 microns. A higher process class PCB is needed because the current HDI does not satisfy the requirements.

Technology Drivers for SLP:

1.      Increasing Packaging Density
  • Smaller lines and spaces – 25-28 um line width w/ 25-33 um space
  • Lower-sized vias – 50-75 um buried thru and 40-70 um blind
  • Additional wiring layers
  • HBGA – 13L
  • Core EZ – 12L
  • Package that allows for 180 um flip chip pitches (150 um is possible for some lower I/O designs).
2.      Performance
  • HBGA – low (2.7) Dk/circuit density – RF and high-speed digital
  • Core EZ – (3.7) Dk/circuit density – High-speed digital
  • For module reliability, lower stress packing
  • Low-dk packaging with less stress
3.      Ceramic to Organic Conversion
  • Reduce weight
  • Improved board reliability and assembly for larger package (> 21 mm) sizes
  • Board assembly and reliability have been improved for larger package (> 21 mm) sizes.
4.      Size, Weight and Power Reduction (SWaP)
5.      Good fit for packaging in 2.5D and 3D

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Manufacturing Partners Profile includes: 

Argus Systems (AESPL) –  PCBACable AssemblyBox Build
emsxchange – PCBACable AssemblyBox Build.