The latest commercial applications for microelectronics use GaAs material for RF power amplifier (PA) devices. This leads to the necessity of identifying low cost packaging solutions with high standards for reliability, electrical, and thermal performance. A detailed thermal analysis for the wirebonded GaAs devices is performed using numerical simulations. The main interest of the study focuses on the impact of die attach thermal conductivity (1.0–50.0 W/mK), substrate’s top metal layer thickness (25–50 μm), and via wall thickness (25–50 μm) on GaAs IC device overall thermal performance. The study uses a two-layer organic substrate. The peak temperatures reached by the PA stages range from 99.6°C to 120.3°C, below the prohibitive/critical value of 150°C (based on 85°C ambient temperature). The increase of die attach thermal conductivity from 1.0 to 7.0 W/mK led to a decrease in peak temperatures of up to 18°C, with larger decay between 1 and 2.4 W/mK. The largest temperature differences were obtained by varying the thermal via thickness, as opposed to only increasing the top metal layer thickness. The peak temperatures and corresponding junction-to-ambient thermal resistances are thoroughly documented. With the same die attach thickness, for a thermal conductivity much larger than 7 W/mK, the impact on the PA’s peak temperature is insignificant. The die attach solder material (with a large thermal conductivity) leads to only a small (2.5°C) decrease in the PA junction temperature.
Impact of Die Attach Material and Substrate Design on RF GaAs Power Amplifier Devices Thermal Performance
Contributed by the Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF ELECTRONIC PACKAGING. Manuscript received May 2002; final revision, February 2003. Associate Editor: K. Kishimoto.
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Chiriac, V. A., and Lee, T. T. (December 15, 2003). "Impact of Die Attach Material and Substrate Design on RF GaAs Power Amplifier Devices Thermal Performance ." ASME. J. Electron. Packag. December 2003; 125(4): 589–596. doi: https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1604804
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