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Empowering RF Front End Cellular Innovations With DSMBGA

A growing number of new frequencies and multiplexing methods has increased the complexity of the RF front end.

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With the introduction of 5G, cellular frequency bands have increased considerably, requiring innovative solutions for the packaging of RF front-end modules for smartphones and other 5G-enabled devices. Double-sided, molded ball grid array (DSMBGA) is a prime example of such solutions.

“With our DSMBGA platform, we’ve established a preferred advanced packaging solution for this domain,” said Giel Rutten, Amkor President and Chief Executive Officer. “Applying leading-edge design rules for 3D component placement and double-sided molding—together with conformal and compartmental shielding and in-line RF testing—delivers best-in-class integration levels in a small form factor in a high yield manufacturing process.”

The advanced packaging market for 5G RF FEM is projected to reach US $2.3 billion by 2026, representing a 30% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) according to Yole Development Développement (Yole), SA, an industry consulting firm.1

“There has been a change in frequencies with the arrival of 5G, adding frequency bands above 3 GHz in FR1, and mmWave in FR2,” according to Antoine Bonnabel, Technology & Market Analyst, RF Devices and Technology at Yole. “This and the system-level trend have had a profound impact on both the number of components, and the technology platforms on which they are built.” 2

This growing number of new frequencies, combined with the variety of multiplexing methods, significantly increases the complexity of the RF front end. Integration using System in Package (SiP) allows customers to design, tune, and test RF sub-systems, allowing for a reduction in design iterations and an accelerated time-to-market.

Double-sided packaging technology has increased the level of integration for RF front-end modules used in smartphones and other mobile devices. Common RF front-end modules consist of an LNA (low noise amplifier), power amp, an RF switch, RF filters and duplexers.

Advanced SiP design rules and innovative DSMBGA technology enable the integration of additional components—such as antenna tuners and passive components—where device motherboard real estate is at a premium. This creates the most advanced and compact RF front-end module on the market today.

With additional power amplification and filtering circuitry, DSMBGA improves signal integrity and reduces losses, resulting in improved Rx/Tx amplification—which translates into reduced system power requirements.

Amkor also applies state-of-the-art conformal and compartmental shielding for EMI isolation and attenuation and implements in-line RF testing to deliver robust and cost-effective assembly technology.

In addition, toolsets are available to maximize performance and to address the sophisticated packaging formats required to productize 5G applications. Some of these tools include Antenna in Package (AiP), substrate-embedded die, wafer-level SiP, and a variety of RF shielding options.

As demand for packages that support 5G increases, Amkor supports this growth with the successful implementation of DSMBGA technology. Amkor has been in high-volume markets with DSMBGA for more than a year and is a leader in RF package design, integration and test. Amkor continues to innovate in DSMBGA and other advanced SiP technologies to capture opportunities in the RF market. To learn more about Amkor’s capabilities in SiP and DSMBGA, visit https://amkor.com/dsmbga

References:

  1. 5G Packaging Trends for Smartphones 2021 report, Yole Développement, 2021
  2. Cellular RF Front-End Technologies for Mobile Handset 2021 report, Yole Développement, 2021


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