Co-fired ceramic devices are ceramic microelectronic, monolithic devices in which the entire ceramic support structure in any dielectric, resistive, and conductive materials are simultaneously fired in a kiln. So the typical devices involved include resistors, inductors, capacitors, hybrid circuits, and transformers. This ceramic substrate technology is used in a multilayer packaging platform for the electronics, military electronics, microprocessor, and RF applications industry.
The Co-fired Ceramic Process
Low temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) products are manufactured through the processing of several layers independently and then assembling them into the final product/device is the last step. This is different from semi-conductor device application which layers are serially processed. Each new layer is fabricated on top of older layers.
When Co-fired Ceramic Began
The first development of coal-fired ceramics was in the late 1950s and early 1960s to ensure stronger, more durable capacitors. This technology was enhanced later in the 1960s to include multilayer printed circuit board structures. Both low and high temperature applications are divisions of the co-firing process.
Co-fired ceramic substrate technology of the low temperature variety is particularly beneficial for high-frequency and RF applications. In wireless and RF applications, LTCC technologies are utilized to produce multilayer hybrid integrated circuits. These may include capacitors, inductors, resistors, and active components comprised within the same package.
Low temperature co-fired ceramic substrate is a multilayer capable substrate technology that delivers powerful microwave performance features. It enables co-firing in its low sintering temperature for highly conductive metals such as gold and silver parallel stacking of up to 20 layers are more is allowed through this multilayer technology.
Compared to other packaging technologies, co-firing technology of the low temperature variety provides advantages compared to high temperature co-firing. For instance, the ceramic is fired below 1000°C generally due to the particular material composition involved. As well, LTCC enables the embedment of passive elements such as inductors, capacitors, resistors.
This superb electrical and mechanical properties LTCC substrates in combination with its ability to embed passive components and to use fine letter patterning, give it superior device miniaturization and RF performance for high-frequency applications. In addition, other features such as frames and now head pins by brazing, and heatsinks and able highly complex, hermetic packages.
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