Zurich --- CICN launches a new technology platform called DenciTec that enables a uniquely high density of integrated functions for printed circuit boards, with high throughput and attractive costs. With DenciTec, the potential for further miniaturization is moving in a direction that offers great benefits.
Pacemakers, neurostimulators, catheters, insulin pumps, cochlear implants, intelligent prosthesis control, lab-on-a-chip, ultrasonic measuring heads, micropumps and miniaturized 3D PCBs as the basis for intelligent implants give many patients a new quality of life. To achieve this end and to exploit the ever-increasing performance of integrated circuits, printed circuit boards have to be packed more densely. This is not possible without new production processes or new combinations of processes, in order to keep costs under control while maximizing throughput.
In microelectronics the boundaries between thinfilm and printed circuit technology is become increasingly blurred. Thin film technology works with materials, processes and machines from both fields and thereby aims to make great progress with regard to miniaturization. Cicor is a technological leader in this field, not least due to the unique combination of printed circuit boards and thin film technology combined. To fulfil all customer requirements, Cicor already offers several combined technologies and is continuously working on its further development.
The standard methods used today (panel plating and pattern plating) deliver good results, with conductor widths and spacings down to 50 µm. Where structures are smaller, the limitations of today's production processes make it impossible to exploit the full potential of modern connection technologies, for example, via stacking, via in-pad structures or integrated antennas.
With classic semi-additive processes using thin-film technology, for instance, conductor widths and spacings of less than 15 µm can be achieved. However, this technology is usually limited to production formats that result in less attractive product prices. It is technically possible for this technology to be upscaled, but this is extremely complicated and expensive.
The new DenciTec platform from Cicor enables the production of circuits with extremely high density without the disadvantages of today's established manufacturing processes. Making optimal use of a unique combination of devices at the cutting edge of technology allows highly reliable manufacture of circuits without constraining design freedom.
DenciTec creates the opportunity for further miniaturization. The possibilities include conductor widths and spacings down to 25 µm with copper thicknesses of 20 +/- 5 µm on all conductive layers, laser-via diameters of 35 µm, annular rings with a diameter of 30 µm for the inner layers and 20 µm for the outer layers, copper-filled blind vias with the option of via stacking, and vias-in-pads. Furthermore, the use of advanced materials allows the production of ultra-thin circuits, including, for example, the manufacture of 4-layer flex circuits with a total thickness of less than 120 µm. Naturally this can be done whilst meeting the highest standards of product reliability.
With DenciTec, Cicor complements its spectrum of services with a solution that delivers highly miniaturized circuits of the highest reliability. Production output and production yield are in line with the usual values of PCB manufacturers.