The goal of the development effort was to prove a new way of creating electrical interconnects that enable much higher density, tuned circuits and connectors driven by the demands of future mobile and computing applications, including wearable and connected devices. The primary results obtained are a method to fabricate package substrates, small form factor rigid and flexible circuits using a material used in the connector industry Liquid Crystal Polymer, and linking circuits and connectors with tuned high density performance not possible with legacy manufacturing. Applications will be detailed in conjunction with the Semiconductor companies that demonstrate substrates and circuits that have high aspect ratio traces with 20-50 micron traces surrounded with fusion bonded LCP that enables impedance matching of 1-2% on high density. The study extends further to connector technology that enables interconnect of the subject substrate or circuit directly into mobile and wearable applications with over 1000 high speed interconnects capable of 28-56 Gb/s performance within a 1/2 inch square area. In addition the study will leverage the formable nature of circuit bearing Liquid Crystal Polymer to create interconnected assemblies with integral antennae, decoupling, RF shielding and die to die interconnect ideal for wearable applications.
A high level of uncertainty still looms over the global economy, sales of smartphones are beginning to saturate, and the Internet of Things looms on the horizon. In order to make sense out of the current turmoil, a top-down analysis of the IC market was given and included trends in worldwide GDP growth, electronic system sales, and semiconductor industry capital spending and capacity. A critical look at China's ambitions to become a bigger player in the IC industry was also presented.