Essentials of Electronic Packaging: A Multidisciplinary Approach
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Terms like packages, components, and sometimes parts are interchangeably used in packaging literature leading to some ambiguity. However, there are distinctions that can be made. Packages refer to assemblages where a single silicon or pluralities of silicon devices are packaged in suitable enclosures to facilitate assembly onto the printed wiring board (PWB). The word “component” is sometimes used to denote both active and passive devices, although it is widely used to refer to the later. The word “part” is used to refer to any constituent, like a disk drive, connector, switch, etc., of a subsystem or a system. In this book “packages” and “components” are used to refer to active and passive devices interchangeably.
A package is defined as that which provides a platform for mounting an active device onto a PWB protecting it from environment, moisture, and handling damage. Packaging can be considered as a structure that provides a link from an integrated circuit to a system. In addition, a package has several important attributes: It is intended to provide mechanical support, support a number of organizational requirements such as power distribution to various elements of the package, shielding the interior parts from any external radiation, etc. In addition, it should be amenable to electrical and functional testing and also to repair and rework after assembly on the PWB. Also, in the case of heat-generating devices, it should facilitate heat dissipation to maintain safe operating temperature of the functional device. In essence, it must constitute a bridge between the device and the carrier.
As indicated in an earlier chapter, silicon devices when packaged into single-chip or multi-chip modules constitute what is generally considered first-level packaging. Packages and components can be categorized in a number of ways. They can broadly be classified based on their construction materials, namely, ceramic and plastic packages. They are also categorized based on the external termination or lead configurations. Still another classification, based on functionality, is as active and passive components. Those that perform functions or change their characteristics such as amplification, rectification, switching, etc., upon application of an electrical signal are termed active devices while components like resistors, capacitors, inductors, etc., that do not alter their characteristics are termed passive devices.