F EATUR E ART I C L E
ow AiP Technology Helps Enable 5G and More
By Vik Chaudhry, Sr. Director, Product Marketing and Business Development and Curtis Zwenger, VP, Advanced Package & Technology Integration, Amkor Technology, Inc.
For 5G smartphones and other millimeter wave (mmWave) applications, antenna integration, either through antenna in package (AiP) or antenna on package (AoP) technologies, simplifies the challenges associated with designing products that operate at these high frequencies. A variety of AiP/AoP design methodologies provide the required form, fit and function for these applications and can include more than one antenna or an antenna array. Today’s AiP/AoP technologies can be implemented through standard as well as custom System in Package (SiP) modules to achieve a complete radio frequency (RF) front-end (RFFE) subsystem. Projected Growth for 5G, mmWave and RFFE Modules In mmWave applications, signal loss becomes critical and the design challenges increase in complexity. In addition to emerging 5G smartphones, other applications that operate at very high frequencies and demand a small size include wearables, small cells, security cameras, radar units in autonomous vehicles and numerous Internet of Things (IoT) wireless nodes. By 2023 over 1 billion mmWave units will be produced annually according to Gartner market research. With AiP technology, the antenna is no longer a separate component within the wireless device but is integrated in a SiP with RF switches, filters and amplifiers. According to consulting firm Yole Développement, the total RFFE module SiP market is projected to reach US $5.3 billion by 2023, representing an 11.3% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). AiP/AoP at Amkor Instead of separate RF system on chip (SoC), baseband (BB) SoC, surface mount technology (SMT) matching circuits and a discrete antenna, today’s fully integrated RF front-end module is completely achieved with AiP technology in SiP. In addition to reduced size required for handheld and other small mmWave devices, AiP/AoP provides improved signal integrity with reduced signal attenuation and addresses the range and propagation challenges that occur at higher frequencies. As a leading outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) supplier, Amkor has pioneered the packaging technologies required for RFEE subsystems.
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