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"The Development of 100+ GHz High-frequency MicroCoax Interconnects"
-- Sean Cahill, VP-Technology, BridgeWave Communications

Thursday, March 22, 2007
  • Buffet lunch served from 11:45 - 12:15 ($15 if reserved by March 19; $20 at door; vegetarian available); presentation at 12:15.

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


  • If you pay using our PayPal link, you are automatically registered for the lunch and meeting
  • Otherwise, for lunch and meeting, pre-register by email to John Jackson, Analog Devices
    Wire bonding is the leading IC interconnect technology of today, comprising over 90% of all interconnects. As device operating frequency increases, packaging engineers look to other interconnection methods, including flip-chip, that provide better signal transmission properties for higher-volume applications. Ribbon bond, mesh-bond, and ultimately, machined waveguide are utilized in some low-volume applications. Other next-generation approaches such as wireless and optical interconnect are areas garnering increasing research dollars, but are in practicality many years away. All of these approaches are considerably more expensive and less flexible than wire bonding, either because of tooling costs, or added labor-intensive steps. Flip-chip is limited as an approach because it does not address cross-talk issues without numerous extra bumps dedicated to shielding.

    This talk will describe a new interconnect approach, MicroCoax, based around wire bonding, with the capability to create high-bandwidth interconnects for increasingly higher frequency digital and analog electronics systems. Prototype devices show excellent performance over DC-100+ GHz frequency range. Transmission line losses less than 0.5 dB, 160 Ám pitch, and cross-talk isolation of approximately 40-50 dB from DC-50 GHz were demonstrated. The technology has implications for improved package design, and these design implications will be discussed. Applicable to printed circuit board, as well as device-level interconnects, this MicroCoax technology allows data signals to flow over large frequency ranges with excellent impedance match and little cross-talk. The fabrication approach uses existing infrastructure within the microelectronics fabrication arena, allowing for easy adoption. The presentation will show how MicroCoax can have significant impact for systems with high bandwidth and signal integrity demands.

    Speaker Biography
    Sean Cahill is currently VP, Technology at BridgeWave Communications where he is working on next-generation millimeter-wave systems. Sean graduated with dual BS degrees in ECE/Signals and Systems and Biochemistry/ Biophysics from UC Davis, and MSEE/Solid State Physics from UC Santa Barbara where he fabricated some of the first surface micromachined MOEMS (Micro-opto-electro-mechanical systems). Over his 18 years in industry, Sean has worked for numerous research and product development companies focused on microfabrication technologies.

    He started out at Exxon Research working on flat panel displays based on electrophoresis. At NovaSensor he was primarily responsible for novel devices such as microrelays, force rebalanced accelerometers, vibrating beam pressure sensors, and ion/electron beam lithography mask membranes. At Teknekron Sensor Development Sean managed the Micromachining group. This group supported the company's efforts in pioneering chemical and biosensor platforms as well as developed novel mechanical sensors and microstructures. Examples of such devices include a microheater used for catalytic gas sensing, NDIR gas sensors, high dynamic range capacitive pressure sensors, SFM (scanning force microscope) probe tips which were the sharpest available, and frequency selective earthquake detectors.

    After co-founding two product-based MEMS startups, Sean was recruited by Maxim Integrated Products to establish their MEMS fabrication facility and helped create their patented media-compatible pressure sensor technology. Sean has served in consulting, advisory, and board member capacities at several Silicon Valley MEMS companies. He holds 21 US Patents for micromachined devices addressing many industries including automotive, process control, semiconductor, medical, and communications fields.

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