Low Temperature Co-Fired Ceramic

The module above is fabricated in Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramic (LTCC). It is similar to a module that I was the primary designer of. It operated at millimeter-wave frequencies and had several MMICs, many different passive circuits and a nifty optical circuit. I cannot describe the operating frequency, other than to say it was over 30GHz.

LTCC Layout: I performed all the layout of the LTCC ceramic. For this design, I used AutoCAD. I really pushed the limits of what should be done in AutoCAD because the design was fairly complicated. There were actually two LTCC module designs. One was mostly all passive millimeter-wave signaling. The other was very complex with millimeter-wave circuits, optics and other items.

3D Electromagnetic Simulations: I performed all the HFSS simulations for the LTCC package. The simulations were very extensive. I designed the transitions from the mother board, the internal circuits and I performed an analysis of a major portion of the full module with components integrated including wire bonds and all the packaging effects.

Passive Circuit Designs: I designed the millimeter-wave passive components within the module including the signal distribution, signal detectors, filter and couplers. For the passive circuits I used a combination of circuit simulations, 2.5D electromagnetic simulations and HFSS simulations. The signal detector used a low barrier Schottky diode and couple with an optimized integrating time constant. The filter was a coupled line band pass filter. The challenge in this design was the optimization of the layout of the filter to fit in the available space. I also had to design the filter so that it would meet performance requirements over the required frequency range.

Manufacturing Process: I supported the customer with some contributions on manufacturing, and materials selection.

The Final Result: This product was a great success and achieved record setting performance for the function it was designed for. It is now a flagship product for the customer. The product recently went through a design update to customize it for an additional application. I supported that effort.

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