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Advanced MEMS & Sensor Packaging



The T-SMART Way: T-SMART is working towards a new packaging technology which is characterized by the term Heterogeneous Integration, which best typifies our “New Anatomy” of MEMS based packaging for the thermopile sensor. The TCUBE package, was designed to take full advantage of its robust 3D construction, and ability to be, manufactured in a relatively inert enclosure and likewise a low loss package concept, which can also make it an ideal package for IR Radiation sources. Imagine a MEMS packaging concept, where its main constituents are stable in their naturally occurring form, technically, we can call this relatively, a “inert package”. The TCUBE, as interestingly robust as it may sound, it is more than just a prodigy of its semiconductor packaging predecessors, it is a specific manufacturing product assembly which evolved into a dual main purpose. The 1st is that it was designed to allow pass-through of optical energy, the higher the photon's frequency, the higher its energy. In the industry of thermal management, you have to live by the definition of management, (The best definition in this context, is to design and approach the most optimal way to accomplish tasks and achieve goals). In the sensor world, you don’t want to lose any traction, in managing transmissive energy if you don’t have to. This is primarily how the TCUBE name evolved, it was in this approach, transmittance, and in our context, simply quantifies the amount of energy getting through the object, in our case the packaging medium, in the best possible way).


At T-SMART we believe we have designed a creative means for directing energy from outside of a hermetically sealed package medium to the inside. It’s a tall order, a package that promotes a maximum conversion efficiency scenario in a package enclosure, but the material and manufacturing selection, encourages a “minimum loss” enclosure for long term stable radiation performance, in or out of the package. For the avoidance of doubt, we are going to keep this on a realistic scale, we are not talking about gamma rays or cosmic EM radiation, we are just taking advantage of how to best scale the performance and calibration of thermal detectors to a new level of manufacturing performance. Much like the act or process of sending electrical signals to a radio, television, computer, etc, something (such as a message or broadcast) that is transmitted to a radio, television, etc. The TCUBE is that commercial act by which in our technical domain, we have designed a process by which we have taken a fairly legacy process involving TO Can’s, and given it a new look and feel, to improve of sending thermal signals that were once very weak infrared waves into now, something now more capable.


T-SMART realized that there is more than one way to develop a leading-edge design, while there may be functions of a design that requires a higher level of performance with both leading edge and some bleeding-edge technologies. A hermetic feedthrough, some would classify this as a bleeding edge technology, which must remain leak-free under high and ultra-high vacuum. Hermetic feedthroughs are designed specifically to allow some substances or energy to pass from inside or outside a hermetically sealed area to the other side. The feedthroughs must deliver both hermeticity, Environmental robustness and EMI immunity to ensure the best possible service life, which would be the expectation of any protective medium. In the packaging realm of reality. It is all about Implementing a total functioning product as a part of a single homogeneous piece of technology. We termed our manufacturing concept, with these concerns in mind, as our “Hybrid2 Momentum – H2M” approach. H2M will open up an exceptional improvement in InfraRed Detector manufacturing and produce a high degree of thermal feedthrough simplicity, at the right cost value proposition. We want to keep things real, and not be perceived as riding off with a sunset technology, but to bring in new optimal performance of thermal sensing systems. This is an industry, that must evolve and require new and better packaging with enabling sensing feedthrough capabilities, as they affect electrical characteristics, and uninhibited sensing capability.


A Genuine Assessment: The View

The TCUBE packaging and test technology, refers to the integration of separately manufactured components into a higher-level assembly capability. In our case, we have developed a 3D wafer to wafer integration of a MEMS device wafer, wafer level optics, a device layer substrate, coupled with wafer-to-wafer bonding. The direct bonding of multiple wafer substrates without any interfacial interposers, or dissimilar materials are utilized. Advanced packaging is a different story today, as sensing chips are more highly integrated, and with a fusion of various sensing techniques, they are more sensitive, higher response, faster and more complex. The TCUBE package represents a major step forward in MEMS packaging evolution. The TSMART approach, offers key technical insights into future technology trends, challenges. The expected high package performance should yield high device performance and should enable this platform to dominate markets where single element thermal detectors and small arrays can now stand out. The scalable platform should enable extensions of thermopile arrays into new applications currently served by more costly solutions like microbolometers. The temperature sensing market should welcome this new technology into devices and systems where thermopiles have not previously been used.


Challenging? Yes, Disruptive? Yes, It’s not our first rodeo, but no one ever got to the finish line, by thinking the line comes to them, right? take that step over the line.