There can be no doubt that generally, users of electronic equipment have a strong preference for smaller products that can do more and more. This is often ample justification for pursuing options to miniaturize. But miniaturization has much more to offer than size reduction alone – so much so, that it is often worth considering even when overall product size is not the most important issue.
The benefits of miniaturization
Miniaturization of electronic subassemblies can, for example, free up space to allow the incorporation of larger batteries without increasing the overall size of a device. This makes it easier for designers to deliver longer battery life between charges, something which appeals to end users in almost every sector.
Other benefits of miniaturization are more subtle. From an aesthetic viewpoint, smaller modules give designers greater freedom to produce stylish products with enhanced consumer appeal. From a technical viewpoint, smaller modules mean shorter signal paths with less stray inductance and capacitance, so signal integrity is improved, and higher operating speeds can be reliably achieved. In addition, EMC shielding is easier and less costly to provide, which simplifies product design and increases reliability.
Modular ‘system in a package’
In many applications, modular integration is the key to effective and profitable miniaturization. This is the integration of active and passive components in a single, compact and fully encapsulated package, resulting in a ‘system in a package’, or SiP. Carefully designed SiPs can often be used in multiple end products, which not only simplifies product design and reduces inventory, but also saves time and money as each type of SiP needs to be type tested, approved and qualified only once.
Well implemented SiPs also offer excellent thermal performance combined with high reliability thanks to their encapsulation, which provides comprehensive protection against the external environment.
Given the many benefits it offers, the application areas for miniaturization are almost limitless. Smartphones with even better performance and versatility than current models are, perhaps, the most obvious example, but it’s in other areas where miniaturization is likely to pave the way for the most groundbreaking developments. In the medical field, for example, wearable glucose monitors for diabetics are likely to become commonplace, while, along with enhanced versions of the wireless earbuds and smart watches already on the market, consumers will soon benefit from smart glasses that not only take photographs and record videos, but also support augmented reality.
Since space in vehicles is always at a premium, and technological requirements are advancing rapidly, the automotive sector will see ever greater demands for miniaturization, while novel applications such as object tracking tags and smart metering will create further demands for miniaturized solutions.
Asteelflash & USI together to offer SiP solutions
As an organization that is committed to ensuring our customers have access to and derive the maximum benefits from the latest techniques of miniaturization, USI has made major investments in the supporting technologies, particularly those associated with SiP solutions. Asteelflash is now able to offer those solutions through USI. We also have extensive experience in providing design and development support for customers embarking on miniaturization projects. Download our guide to find out more !