17 April, 2012

Silex Microsystems Met-Via® Technology Enables Through Mold Via Applications

Silex Microsystems Met-Via® Technology Enables Through Mold Via Applications

Technology Developed for Through-Mold Via (TMV) Capabilities for Biofluidic Sensing As Part of ENIAC Joint Undertaking Project

Järfälla, Sweden, April 16, 2012 — Silex Microsystems, the world’s largest pure-play MEMS foundry, today announced that its Met-Via® full wafer thickness Through Silicon Via is being used to create cost-effective molded chip-level packaging with TMVs. The program, “Chip Architectures by Joint Associated Labs for European Diagnostics,” or CAJAL4EU, is developing nanoelectronics-based biosensor technology platforms enabling in-vitro diagnostic test manufacturers to rapidly build a variety of new multi-parameter test applications in a robust, user-friendly and cost-effective way.  Silex’s contributions in this effort include high performance metal through-silicon vias, which will enable through-mold vias for backside signal connections of the CMOS biosensor chip.

“Combining Silex’s Met-Via® interposer with low-cost mold packaging techniques is a big advantage,” says Dr Thorbjörn Ebefors, Chief Technologist at Silex Microsystems. “A silicon interposer with metal TSVs achieves five to 10 times the via density than can be achieved with conventional PCB techniques, resulting in tighter integration and smaller overall solution. Combining epoxy molding techniques from the IC packaging industry and TSV techniques from the MEMS industry, we create a unique and low cost way of routing signals from any CMOS IC to the backside of the package. This not only benefits the CAJAL4EU program, but has wide applicability for ICs in general.”

CAJAL4EU will develop a generalized platform for low cost biofluidic sensing. Biosensing allows for rapid detection of unique biological markers (proteins, antibodies, and other biomarkers for infectious diseases) from microliter fluid samples in an extremely controlled environment. The biosensors will consist of a nanoelectronics-based transducer with an interface chemistry, which makes the connection to the clinical sample to be analyzed. With on-chip detection electronics, small electrical changes can be detected within milliseconds, enabling massively parallel real-time monitoring of bio-molecule binding events. Besides the transducers, interface chemistry and spotting technologies, microfluidics, software and hardware developments (and their integration) will play a crucial role to realize fully integrated biosensor systems and lab-on-chip devices. Therefore, the main deliverables of this project are the different developed technologies: sensor technology including bio-chemical functionalization, microfluidics and related hardware and software drivers.

The complete solution, shown below, includes the CMOS biosensor, the Silex Met-Via interposers, front side redistribution layer (RDL) for connection of the chip to the interposers, and  backside RDL for fan-out wafer level chip-scale packaging (WLCSP). The resulting packaging can then be directly mounted onto the system level PCB




Cross section of final product, showing Biosensor from NXP (Netherlands), TSV interposers from Silex, and epoxy mold to be performed by Frauenhofer (Germany) and Au bumping by Pactec (Germany). Frontside RDL to be processed by Bosch (Germany), and backside RDL to be processed by Frauenhofer (Germany).

Photomicrograph on the bottom is of the actual TSV Interposer die from Silex


The interposer technology developed by Silex can be applied to any CMOS application needing signals routed to the backside of the package. The use of plastic mold as an element of this approach gives significant cost savings over all-silicon approaches.


The CAJAL4EU consortium consists of 25 complementary partners from 8 European countries, with contributions equally spread over the different countries. The consortium is industry driven, supported by prestigious universities and institutes. For more information see cajal4eu.com.

CAJAL4EU is coordinated by Dr. Romano Hoofman of NXP Semiconductors of The Netherlands.  NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) provides High Performance Mixed Signal and Standard Product solutions that leverage its leading RF, Analog, Power Management, Interface, Security and Digital Processing expertise. These innovations are used in a wide range of automotive, identification, wireless infrastructure, lighting, industrial, mobile, consumer and computing applications.  For more information see www.nxp.com.


ENIAC JU (European Technology Platform on Nanoelectronics Joint Undertaking), a public-private partnership between the European Commission, 21 European countries and various nanoelectronics actors. 50% of the CAJAL4EU budget is privately funded by the participating companies; of the remaining 50%, 1/3 is funded by ENIAC JU and the other 2/3 is comes from national public funding from the participating nations. For more information see www.eniac.eu

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