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Miniaturizing devices: How advanced electronics assembly makes it happen?

by | Jul 22, 2022

Introduction

In the digitally fast-paced scenario, the concept of miniaturization is addressing technological difficulties throughout markets, from pioneering space exploration provided by lighter electronics payloads to medical breakthroughs enabled by small implantable devices. Smaller, more lightweight electronics are essential for creating devices with optimal components.

In simple terms, electronics miniaturization employs a range of circuit design approaches that minimize the size of electronics in a device by making them denser and, in certain cases, dividing them differently to lower the overall number of components.

Further, the complexities in curating miniature devices require a special engineering team to handle the design and manufacturing through an advanced electronic assembly process.

Before we dive into the details and discuss the relevance of Miniaturization, we need to understand how the concept of mini devices came in the first place?

Let us find out!

The Miniaturization of Electronics

It is interesting to read the rich history and understand how semiconductors were unsung superheroes who made our life easy going. They saved us from the army of vacuum tubes that would have made our lives sluggish.

As we all know, the bulky older electronic equipment used vacuum tubes found everywhere. Although they introduced the concept of modern computing, they had challenges such as arcing, power hogs and overheating.

Transistors were introduced when the vacuum tubes couldn’t prove themselves efficient enough to run for a longer time. It essentially was a better miniature version of a vacuum tube and paved the way for digital electronics.

As technology advanced, transistors and innovations such as integrated circuits were constructed of solid crystalline materials known as semiconductors, which have electrical characteristics that may alter over an extraordinarily large range by adding microscopic amounts of other elements.

Subsequently, Esther Conwell’s research has led to today’s widespread use of semiconductors.

Can you fathom what life would be like today without semiconductors?

We wouldn’t have electronics that fit in the palm of our hands!!

Not only have semiconductors influenced consumer computers, medical diagnostic equipment, rockets, and electric cars, but also a plethora of miniaturization of many electronic devices have made life a better place.

List of benefits of miniaturizing devices is increasing with more advancements in technology

Benefits of Miniaturization

“Small is beautiful.”

The accuracy of the statement is discussed in social and economic circles, but there is no confusion regarding technology; small is attractive because it is faster, cheap, and more lucrative.

To understand in a deeper context, the advantages include:

  • Compact size
  • Cost
  • Quick Response Time
  • Reduced Energy Consumption & Great Efficiency
  • Portability

1.Compact size:

Compact, handheld, wearable, or portable electronic devices have been competing for decades in areas such as consumer electronics, aerospace and health care industries.

It is worth noting that the Miniaturization of electrical subassemblies can make room for bigger batteries without increasing the whole size of the gadget, which appeals to end customers in practically all lines of industry.

Basically, from a technical perspective, smaller modules mean shorter signal paths with less stray inductance and capacitance, so signal integrity is improved, and high operating speed is accomplished.

2. Cost:

Cost is indeed a big factor in any industry. Because eliminating components such as resistors, capacitors, and inductors reduces prices and necessary space, points such as designing, assembly, and visual and functional inspection of the solder point incur expenses that can surpass the components’ cost.

Currently, we notice how a tiny 1 T-bit (128 GB) SD card made from semiconductors is extremely affordable.

Hence, without a doubt, the creation of micro-/nano-electronics has been the most significant technological revolution since the invention of electronics.

3. Quick Response Time:

Speed is one of the advantages of miniaturization, providing it with a unique place in the western age.

Consequently, shorter pathways and high density will result from miniaturization. The tiny components permit greater frequencies and clock rates, making it quicker than the previous generation and smoother to run. The higher the frequency, the wider the range.

4. Reduced Energy Consumption & Great Efficiency:

Miniaturized systems have lower power consumption because of their compact design. Power consumption is related to the load, capacitance, and the square of the operating voltage.

5. Portability:

Gone are those days when we used a brick size phone to answer just calls. Today these smart handheld devices carry all the capabilities such as a camera, fitness tracker, email, and flashlight in one place.

Thanks to the advanced electronics manufacturing assembly tools, We’ve consistently reduced the size and weight of our gadgets while increasing their power.

Achieve Miniaturization through Advanced Electronics Assembly

The digital age has suddenly taken up speed and has become a booming industry expected to reach saturation within the next several decades. As a result, OEMs (Original Equipment Makers), EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services), and PCB (Printed Circuit Board) manufacturers have become extremely conscious of their technical innovations, and they are constantly incorporating the latest miniaturization methods to be the best.

One miniaturization method is creating integrated circuit packages in Ball Grid Arrays (BGAs).

BGA designs allow many connections between the integrated circuit and the printed circuit board, enhancing the capacity to route signals. As a result, the system’s processing power into which it is being constructed is also assembled.

Since BGAs allow for more thermal channels and shorter signal travel lengths, they increase chip reliability and prevent overheating. BGAs play an important role in technology downsizing by enabling more and better miniaturization of electronic devices.

Aside from BGAs, wafer-level chip-scale packaging is another prevalent Advanced electronics materials assembly approach.

Wafer-level chip-scale packages (WLCSPs) are micro-scale integrated circuits (ICs) mass-produced on a wafer and then dissected into individual IC-containing die or chips measuring a few millimeters in length and breadth. Solid gold joints, either gold bumps or gold wire bonds, are used to make the connections here. These gold connections are reliable even as small as 30 microns in diameter and a few microns apart.

This flexibility increases the versatility of IC chips and the complexity of the advanced electronic assembly process required to incorporate them. Integrating them into their designated devices has likewise become more complex.

Eventually, Chip-on-Board(CoB), one of the sophisticated electronic assembly technologies, is employed when gadgets demand greater capability in ever-smaller packages.

Conclusion

It is evident how electronic miniaturization plays an integral part in our day-to-day lives. More advancements in nanotechnology are expected in the coming decades. The interesting part is that all these can be achieved by advanced electronics integration only!

Advanced electronics assembly brings research to life by figuring out how to manufacture at scale while lowering costs and harnessing vast engineering skills. Whether you’re a start-up or a Fortune 500 technology company, if you’re developing the next revolutionary electronic item, our advanced electronics assembly team can help you go from prototype to production with ease, no matter how small or sophisticated the electronics are.

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