ST Breakthrough In Passive Integration Technology

Geneva: STMicroelectronics has developed a technology that it believes significantly increases junction capacitance density in thin-film passive integration. The new technology extends the capabilities of ST's Integrated Passive and Active Devices (IPAD) technology by allowing capacitors with densities of more than 30nF/mm2 to be integrated.

The technology is based on a class of materials called PZT Perovskites. Essentially, these are compounds that contain lead, zirconium, titanium, and oxygen, with many different variations possible according to the ratio of zirconium and titanium. These materials have a very high dielectric constant, which, at approximately 900 (depending on the particular material), is over 200 times greater than that of silicon dioxide.

The integration of passive devices is of fundamental importance. This is especially true in all nomadic applications where complex filtering and protection functions, which typically demand a large number of passive components such as resistors, capacitors, and inductors, must be incorporated into equipment where PCB space is at a premium.

One of the design benefits is the enabling of a new level of system-partitioning optimisation in terms of size, performance, cost, and time-to-market. A single IPAD component can replace more than 30 discrete devices with one die that is compatible with flip-chip packaging technology or SiP assembly with ICs.

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