A potentially more significant trend in RF is the addition of multiple bands and multiple modes in all wireless handsets and terminals. The concept of having a world device capable of operating on three or four continents at different frequencies -- and also of having multiple analog, CDMA and GSM/TDMA access -- is being commercialized in 1999 and is the future of wireless voice and data communications. In order to add this heterogeneity of access along with the many other functions required, designers must find ways to eliminate the discrete passive content in the RF section of cellular phones. To quantify the problem, in 1998 phone designs, Nokia has stated that in the RF section of its phones, passives represent 90% of the components, 85% of the space and 70% of the cost.
One company working on the elimination of discrete passives in various electronic applications is Intarsia Corporation. This talk examines Intarsia's multiple approaches to size, weight and cost reduction including:
A representative integrated circuit is described which incorporates complex thin film passive components in filtering applications. This Integrated Passive Device also incorporates active circuitry that provides ESD protection for the device port pins. The implementation described utilizes chip-scale packaging to provide a small form factor which greatly enhances device performance through the minimization of interconnect parasitics. Chip-scale packaging for this device provides optimal printed circuit board space utilization by incorporating all the circuit elements within the footprint of the die itself. The simulated and achieved device performances are presented. A discussion of the benefits and reliability considerations of chip-scale packaging is also presented.
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Revised 9 July 1999