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The South Korean high-tech company LG Innotek recently announced the development of the world’s smallest Bluetooth module for communications and Internet of Things applications.
The heart of this module consists of a super thin PCB substrate (250µm), developed and manufactured by the Austria-based market leader for high-end interconnection solutions, AT&S, in its location in Chongqing, China. By applying the sophisticated anylayer technology with stacked micro vias from top to bottom, it was possible to achieve the LG requirements in terms of package density for this Bluetooth module.
“One of the main challenges in the project is the handling of such super thin and small substrates during the entire manufacturing process,” Wolfgang Brandl, AT&S Director Sales explains. “It requires the most advanced PCB manufacturing equipment which are installed in our brand new facility in Chongqing, China, Brandl says.
Additionally, such modules require new material developments with a super low coefficient of thermal expansion similar to silicon to ensure best in class reliability and manufacturability of the module. “All these shows the excellent technology development of AT&S in terms of miniaturization and modularization and gives us confidence that we are well prepared for future requirements”, Brandl says.
The entire Bluetooth module conforms the size of a grain of rice and includes more than 20 single components like resistors, inductors and a communication chip. The module could be used for wireless earphones, smart lighting solutions, hearing aids or continuous glucose monitoring, for example.
“I am proud that one of our innovative interconnection solutions helped to realize this benchmark product from LG Innotek, AT&S CEO Andreas Gerstenmayer says. “This is another proof for the innovation capacity of AT&S and the dedication our team is working on next generation interconnection solutions.”