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Integrated Passives (two talks):

PARC's On-Chip Microcoil Inductor --
Dr. Koenraad Van Schuylenbergh, Palo Alto Research Center
3M's Embedded Capacitor Material for Decoupling --
Bill Balliette, Electronic Solutions Division, 3M

Download a free copy of the July'04 SPECTRUM article, "Putting Passives in Their Place." (1.5 MB PDF)

Presentation Slides: PARC's On-Chip Microcoil Demonstrates World-record Performance (1.1MB PDF)
Superior Decoupling for High-Speed Digital Electronics with 3M Embedded Capacitor Material (830kB PDF)

November 12, 2003

  • Seated dinner served at 6:30 ($25 if reserved before Nov. 8; $30 after & at door; vegetarian available)
  • Presentation (no cost) at 7:30.

    Ramada Inn

  • 1217 Wildwood Ave (Fwy 101 frontage road, between Lawrence Expressway and Great America Parkway), Sunnyvale, (800) 888-3899 -- see map.


  • For dinner and/or meeting: by email to Allen Earman
  • Please reserve for "presentation-only", even if not attending the dinner.

    First Talk: Integrated Inductors
    PARC's On-Chip Microcoil Demonstrates World-record Performance
    Integrating high-Q inductors on silicon and GaAs enables RF circuits with fewer discrete components and lower costs. However, such integration has been an elusive goal for years due primarily to the eddy current losses and skin effect resistance associated with in-plane spiral inductors. Out-of-plane inductors reduce these losses by virtue of their geometry and magnetic field orientation. However, they were not deemed producible by standard semiconductor fabrication methods.

    This talk will present a novel self-assembly technique to batch-fabricate integrated 3-D inductors on active-circuit substrates. Quality factors of up to 85 at 1GHz were measured on 15-20 ohm-cm silicon. This value is among the highest reported to date for unaltered silicon circuit wafers.

    The on-chip performance was also verified in a balanced silicon BiCMOS oscillator. Compared side by side against a state-of-the-art planar spiral, the circuit produces a 12.3dB lower phase noise at 100kHz offset, and 14.6dB after normalizing for frequency and power. The Q of the earlier-design coil used on this circuit peaks at 40. Circuit encapsulation affected neither phase noise nor Q-factor. Our latest inductor design with quality factor of 85 should further improve the noise spec by up to 6dB.

    Speaker Biography
    Koenraad Van Schuylenbergh is a Member of the Research Staff at the Palo Alto Research Center where he is working on RF MEMS for wireless communication, high reliability semiconductor packages, low noise electronics for X-ray imagers, and analog control of large numbers of sensors and actuators. He received a M.Sc. degree in microelectronics, a M.Sc. degree in biomedical engineering, and a Ph.D. in microelectronics, from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. Dr. Van Schuylenbergh is the author of 65 papers and holds 5 US Patents.
    Second Talk: Integrated Capacitors
    Superior Decoupling for High Speed Digital Electronics with 3M Embedded Capacitor Material
    As IC manufacturers push frequencies and transistor counts higher, the task of supplying power from the circuit board to the IC becomes increasingly difficult. The power distribution subsystem must have very low impedance to properly decouple the latest generation of ICs.

    One approach to lowering impedance and improving decoupling is to use closely spaced power and ground planes in the printed circuit board. Thin FR-4 layers (50-100 um) are commonly used for this purpose, but this technology is not extendable to meet future decoupling requirements.

    3M embedded capacitor material is an innovative laminate that provides superior decoupling performance. It allows printed circuit board designers to achieve higher speeds while simplifying design tradeoffs. 3M's embedded decoupling approach offers several advantages:      

  • Eliminates large numbers of decoupling capacitors, increasing useable board area      
  • Enables higher speed designs      
  • Lowers radiated emissions (EMI)      
  • Saves engineering time associated with power distribution design and board layout

    This presentation will provide an overview of the 3M embedded capacitor material and will also cover performance, reliability, and processing related information.

    Speaker Biography
    Bill Balliette is a business development manager in the Electronic Solutions Division of 3M. He is responsible for commercialization of advanced materials including embedded capacitor materials and liquid crystal polymer flex circuits. He holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Dartmouth College, and an MBA and MS in manufacturing systems engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

    (Contact him at or by phone at 512.984.7324.)

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