Ultra Thin Chip For Wearable Electronics

flexible-electronic-systemsLast month, IMEC – a world leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology – unveiled a new 3D integration process enabling flexible electronic systems with a thickness of less than 60 micrometer at Smart Systems Integration Conference in Brussels (Belgium). This ultra thin chip package technology allows integrating complete systems in a conventional low cost flex substrate. This will enable low cost, unobtrusive wearable electronics like wearable health and comfort monitoring and more.

For the purpose of integration, the chip is first thinned down to 25 micron and embedded in a flexible ultra-thin chip package and then the package is embedded in a standard double-layer flex printed circuit board using standard production techniques. After embedding, other components can be mounted above and below the embedded chip, leading to a high-density integration.

IMEC demonstrates the integration technology with a prototype flexible wireless monitor that measures the heart rate and muscle activity. The system consists of an embedded ultra-thin chip for the microcontroller and analog-to-digital convertor, an ultra-low power biopotential amplifier chip and a radio transceiver. By thinning down the chips for embedding, they become mechanically flexible resulting in an increased flexibility of the complete system, making it unobtrusive and comfortable to wear.

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