We offer a near unique service aimed at bringing miniaturization to both new designs and existing products
- Experienced designers Thermal conductivity
- Re-setting expectations Low profile/small outline
- Smaller and lighter High temperatures
- Higher reliability ROHS and hybrids
- Advanced substrates Traditional concerns
- Mechanical advantage
Smaller and lighter
The use of unpackaged (i.e. bare die) semiconductors and laser trimmed printed ink resistors are the main drivers in reducing the size and weight of a Thick film hybrid. The next most significant saving being the substitution of conductive epoxy adhesive for the very much heavier solder joints associated with PCB assemblies.
Switching from packaged semiconductors on a PCB to bare die on ceramic removes an entire layer of interconnects as the wire bonding traditionally between a die and its package becomes wire bonding between a die and the substrate, cutting out the process of soldering the package legs to the PCB. Solder joints are potential points of failure and their replacement with incredibly reliable gold wire bonding and conductive epoxy adhesive greatly extends MTBF ratings. All components in a hybrid are protected in an inert atmosphere within a protective metal enclosure, this, coupled with the more efficient cooling of devices on a ceramic substrate further extend the reliability.
Experienced design team
With over 30 years experience of designing and manufacturing microelectronics hybrids, small geometry PCB assemblies and small mechanical structures, we have a proven track record of miniaturizing products to give customers competitive advantage in their traditional markets as well as opening up new markets.
With experience accumulated in high reliability sectors including Nuclear, Oil & Gas, Aerospace, Defense, Medical and Maritime and also including Automotive and Civil utilities the business has a resourceful engineering team focused on delivering robust designs with a specialty in problem solving.
It’s common to find that most design teams start a development program assuming, by default, the use of PCB based electronics. This then sets expectations in terms of realistic functionality in the available space, size and weight of the finished product as well as its thermal tolerance, power dissipation and the internal infrastructure required to support the PCBs, PSU and other contents.
The Ultra Electronics Energy approach to new development programs is to start without pre-conceived ideas about the interconnect technology or materials to be used. First establishing budget limits on weight, space, power dissipation, cost, IP rating, operating temperature, functionality, stretched functionality, MTBF and sales volumes, they then choose from a range of interconnection technologies and materials.
The culmination of 3 years of development, Ultra Energy has brought to market a new approach to implementing complex digital circuits; in miniature. Far exceeding the capacity of traditional thick film hybrids and being substantially smaller and lighter than the equivalent PCB technology, “chip-HDI” combines the size reduction associated with the use of bare die and the increased layer count possible with PCB technology. Using high performance materials instead of fiberglass the “chip-HDI” hybrids are typically supplied in a hermetically sealed and EMC tight Kovar metal case.
Choosing from chip-HDI hybrid, traditional ceramic thick film hybrid, mixed component technology hybrid, mixed substrate hybrid, chip-on-board or chip-in-board to traditional PCB technology; or combination of the above is at the core of the Ultra Electronics Energy versatile approach to designing smaller products.
Where electronics has been miniaturized the reduction in size and weight can allow savings in other aspects of a product such as internal support structures and mounting brackets. The use of lighter gauge metal brackets further reduces overall weight and where structural plastics can be used the assembly process can often be greatly simplified to reduce weight and overall costs.
Unlike PCB material, ceramic has an extremely high thermal conductivity and heat is quickly moved away from hot spots, preventing semiconductor junctions from over heating and failing.
FPGAs are commonplace now and yet few design engineers are aware that unpackaged (i.e. bare die) FPGAs are often a small fraction of the price of the same device when packaged for use on a PCBA, as well as being <10th the size.
Low profile/small outline
Hybrids are expensive
In early years hybrids were the preserve of high level and high budget space and defense programs, however over the decades the costs of bare die and a maturing hybrid fabrication process have fallen significantly making the hybrid solution of today cost effective in most industry sectors; it was black art but is no longer!
Hybrid NRE costs are very high
Costs vary but in almost every case, the engineer and other NRE costs fall within the range of £5,000 to £15,000. This covers the design of the hybrid, identification and selection of the semiconductors, engineering support of first build, design and construction of a functional test box used to test each finished hybrid.
Hybrid design times are lengthy
The first stage is to identify the devices to be used and get them on order. Completion of the design is well within typical lead times for delivery of those devices.
Hybrid are designed by strangers
Our design team works closely with the customer engineering team to ensure maximum benefit from the use of hybrid technology.