Substrate Technology Enabling the Next Generation Implantable DevicesAuthors: Marc Hauer, Ph.D.
Date Published: 9/16/2015 Conference: Medical Electronics Symposium
Today, the substrate is the electronic backbone of an electronic medical implantable device. It provides the electrical connection between the different components and acts, in many cases, also as a mechanical carrier. Flexible substrates have demonstrated the support for miniaturization of implantable electronic devices by simplifying interconnects, improving the reliability of the overall system and providing direct access to the different connection planes (i.e. battery, feedthrough …) inside a device. The available interconnect density of the substrate has been increased to a level where the size of the electronic module is primarily driven by the size of components, electrical requirements (i.e. cross talk, HF requirements, resistivity, ..) and manufacturing process limitations. To support the integration needed for the next generation’s substrates more functionality can be transferred into the packages which reduces the floor space on the substrate and thereby reduces the overall size. Another concept could be the integration of a higher functionality into the substrate. Embedding of components has demonstrated to be a valid option. This option has the drawback that a higher complexity and higher added values are introduced in an early stage of the manufacturing process. Both factors tend to increase the overall manufacturing cost of a device. An alternative concept for flexible substrates to support the miniaturization of devices is being used by other size driven markets. Here ultra-dense packages are built using flip chip die which are folded on top of each other. Last but not least the combination of thin film processes with conventional PCB technology may allow new opportunities inside an implantable medical device.
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