Electronics Assembly Knowledge, Vision & Wisdom
ASEP a Next Generation Electronics Manufacturing Technology
ASEP a Next Generation Electronics Manufacturing Technology
This paper introduces a Application Specific Electronics Package (ASEP). The technology enables the integration of PCBs, connectors, high-current conductors, into a single device.
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Authored By:
Victor Zaderej and Richard Fitzpatrick
Molex LLC
IL, USA

Babak Arfaei, Ph.D.
Ford Motor Company
MI, USA

Summary
While significant effort and progress has gone into optimizing the transistor density of silicon devices through the use of Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) that are used in automobiles to watches, limited progress has been made in how electronic sub-assemblies are manufactured. The functioning silicon within devices is still packaged into a Surface Mount Technology (SMT) package, which is placed onto a Printed Circuit Board (PCB), much like the approach used 40 years ago. The demand for smaller, lighter, higher performance, lower cost, and more reliable electronics requires better ways to design and manufacture electronic assemblies.

This paper introduces a novel electronics packaging method known as Application Specific Electronics Package (ASEP). The technology enables the integration of PCBs, connectors, high-current conductors, as well as active and passive components into a single device. ASEP assemblies can have multi-layer circuitry and three-dimensional features. They can be inherently hermetically sealed, manufactured with thermally conductive resins that are effective in dissipating heat, and designed in such a way to benefit from the high conductivity of metal to carry high currents and heat, making the process an ideal solution for assemblies that must withstand high temperatures, high currents, and harsh environments.

In this work, the advantages of ASEP technology, the manufacturing methods, and an example of an application will be discussed. Electrical, thermal and mechanical tests were performed to evaluate the reliability of the package according to automotive requirements. The results have shown that ASEP packages can be successfully used for automotive under the hood electronics. The designed ASEP package is 58% smaller, 22% lighter with 25% improvement in current capacity at 110°C.

Conclusions
ASEP is a design and manufacturing process that allows us to take advantage of the benefits of highly conductive metal alloys to remove heat, to carry high current, and to provide reliable electrical interconnects. The technology also enables designers to take full advantage of the properties of high performance injection moldable plastics to create products that can be highly automated with significantly fewer process steps and greater functionality, use dramatically fewer natural resources, and be cost effective. One of the markets that will benefit from the first ASEP applications is the transportation industry due to the rapid growth in the electrification of vehicles along with the exponential increase in the amount of entertainment, safety, sensing, and communication features. Other markets that will benefit from the use of ASEP include consumer electronics, sensor packaging, medical devices, wearables, military, and aerospace systems.

In this work, the advantages of ASEP technology, the manufacturing methods, and an example of an application were discussed. Electrical, thermal and mechanical tests were performed to evaluate the reliability of the package according to automotive requirements. The results have shown that ASEP packages can be successfully used for automotive under the hood electronics. The designed ASEP package is 58% smaller, 22% lighter with 25% improvement in current capacity at 110°C.

Initially Published in the SMTA Proceedings

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