European substrate technology has enabled the world’s smallest Bluetooth module for communications and Internet of Things applications from LG Innotek in South Korea.
The heart of the module consists of a PCB substrate just 250µm thick that was developed and manufactured by Austrian interconnect developer AT&S. This was designed at AT&S in Chongqing, China. By applying the sophisticated anylayer technology with stacked micro vias from top to bottom, it was possible to achieve the LG requirements in terms of package density for this Bluetooth module.
“One of the main challenges in the project is the handling of such super thin and small substrates during the entire manufacturing process”, Wolfgang Brandl, AT&S Director Sales explains. “It requires the most advanced PCB manufacturing equipment which are installed in our brand new facility in Chongqing, China, Brandl says. Additionally, such modules require new material developments with a super low coefficient of thermal expansion similar to silicon to ensure best in class reliability and manufacturability of the module. “All these shows the excellent technology development of AT&S in terms of miniaturization and modularization and gives us confidence that we are well prepared for future requirements,” said Brandl.
The module includes more than 20 single components including resistors, inductors and a communication chip and can be used for wireless earphones, smart lighting solutions, hearing aids or continuous glucose monitoring, for example.
“I am proud that one of our innovative interconnection solutions helped to realize this benchmark product from LG Innotek," said Andreas Gerstenmayer, CEO of AT&S.“This is another proof for the innovation capacity of AT&S and the dedication our team is working on next generation interconnection solutions.”
AT&S specialises in high-end printed circuit boards and IC substrates for Mobile Devices & Substrates, Automotive, Industrial and Medical. It has production sites in Austria at Leoben, Fehring and plants in India atNanjangud, Shanghai and Chongqing n China and at Ansan near Seoul in South Korea.