LTCC (low temperature co-fired ceramics) technology
Keywords: LTCC, Low Temperature Co-firing, Ceramics, Chip Antenna, Chip Fuse, Substrates, Q factor, RF modules, mm Wave Antenna, Phased Array Antenna
Low temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) has been a favored process and technology in the passive component and IC packaging industries for many years as it offers low loss dielectric materials, reliable multilayers capability and ease of integrating embedded passive components. The material savings in the LTCC process is an order of magnitude higher than that of conventional PCB material. LTCC technology also offers the advantage of competitive material and processing costs compared to other substrate systems like HTCC and printed circuit boards. Multi-layered LTCC devices can also realize the integration of antennas with front-end active devices, such as RF IC or filter in a cost effective way. These miniature LTCC radio frequency modules are widely used in smartphones, personal computers, portable devices, AR/VR applications, for example. LTCC material and process emerges as a preferred choice for high frequency devices due to the following reasons:
- Low permittivity
- Capabilities of integrating passive component such as capacitor, inductor, resistor, or filter
- Good thermal conductivity compared to organic materials
- Suitable for multilayer design and processes
- Higher reliability against mechanical and thermal stresses
- Lower material cost with silver conductor layers
- Lower production costs for medium and large quantities
The excellent electrical properties of LTCC materials are key to meet the performance requirements of our product families. Unictron offers not only an extensive lineup of high-frequency devices for wireless communication industries, such as miniature ceramic chip antennas but also a series of overcurrent protection components, which are all using Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramic (LTCC) Technology. The currently available products are as shown below:
LTCC Chip Antenna Series
LTCC Chip Fuse Series
Unictron’s LTCC chip antennas have been extensively used in a wide range of applications such as WiFi/Bluetooth antennas for mobile phones as well as Bluetooth antennas for TWS (True Wireless Stereo) earphones. These antennas are quite user-friendly and are easy to be designed-in on the printed circuit board of your applications.
Next-generation communication technologies that facilitate higher bandwidth, data rate, capacity, security, and lower latency, are bound to pave the way to new experiences and create exciting opportunities that are beyond our current imagination. Mm-wave frequency bands offer more spectra for the 5G/6G mobile communication systems. Such bands require beam-forming antenna systems on both base stations and the user equipment to compensate for the higher path losses. These evolving technologies bring many new challenges and opportunities for antenna and RF engineers to consider and make LTCC technology a good candidate to design and manufacture high frequency devices for mm-wave applications.
Unictron is currently capable of manufacturing LTCC antennas for global customers, and exploring more opportunities to produce LTCC antennas and modules for 5G telecommunication industries. LTCC process has been regarded as a promising technology for its flexibility in realizing multilayer structure and its highly compact vertical interconnection. LTCC materials also have low permittivity and provide low loss in millimeter wave bands. We will be focusing on the advantage of LTCC technology for millimeter wave frequency bands and plan to develop integrated antenna modules and various antenna arrays for millimeter wave applications in the near future.