Riyadh-based SABIC has reported that Cicor Group, a leading manufacturer of printed circuit boards and hybrid circuits, has selected its LNP Thermocomp compounds with laser direct structuring (LDS) capability to produce high-end, three-dimensional molded interconnect devices (3D-MIDs). Building on a longstanding relationship, the two companies successfully collaborated to meet the stringent requirements needed for devices used in 5G networking, automotive and consumer electronics applications.
The company said its portfolio of LNP compounds delivers excellent flow suited for the thin walls used in miniaturized designs, as well as optimized LDS performance to achieve uniform fine-pitch circuit patterns and high heat resistance for use in the surface mount technology (SMT) assembly process.
“SABIC is a pioneer in materials that enable laser direct structuring, which is critical for producing highly integrated electronics that save precious space in smaller and thinner electronic devices,” said Joshua Chiaw, Director, Business Management, LNP & NORYL, Specialties, SABIC. “As 3D-MID technology rapidly advanced and Cicor looked to innovate the design of its products to gain higher performance and precision, SABIC was able to meet the company’s needs. We’re committed to leveraging our materials innovation and expertise to help customers like Cicor stay at the forefront of electronics megatrends.”
“As we explored the use of liquid crystal polymers for our fine-pitch 3D-MID products, we quickly found that SABIC’s LNP Thermocomp compounds, which are based on LCPs, far surpassed competitive offerings in the uniformity and precision of circuit traces, and were clearly the solution that could best fit our needs,” said HS Song, Managing Director, China, Suzhou Cicor Technology Co., Ltd. “These materials also help us optimize yield rates to drive down total system costs. To further support our successful use of LNP THERMOCOMP compounds, SABIC provided many value-added services, including formulation adjustments. SABIC exemplifies supplier excellence through deep materials expertise, unmatched technical capabilities and rapid response.”
Material technology for MIDs
Molded interconnect devices (MIDs) integrate electronic and mechanical functions in a single, three-dimensional package to save space and weight compared to traditional printed circuit boards (PCBs). These high-precision, miniaturized devices help address rigorous demands for higher performance in smaller form factors that are arising from the implementation of 5G infrastructure and 5G-enabled applications. For instance, 5G networking in cities requires many small cell towers, placed close together, to deliver faster data transmission—while remaining unobtrusive.
According to SABIC, Cicor previously used high-performance semi-crystalline materials for its MIDs. However, as MID specifications became increasingly demanding, the company required the unique properties of SABIC’s LNP compounds. The company added that its compounds offer better dimensional stability, which helps to reduce warpage and improve design precision, and have elevated temperature resistance for undergoing SMT.
“SABIC delivered a solution to address Cicor’s requirements for high-performance specialty materials that can handle the rigorous demands placed on automotive, telecommunications and consumer electronic components,” said Jenny Wang, Director, Formulation & Application Development, APAC, Specialties, SABIC. “These applications require smaller, thinner form factors, incorporation of more functionality and the ability to withstand high-heat processes. Our LNP products are equal to this challenge. They reflect 70 years of continuous materials innovation, and this heritage is evident in the exceptional properties of our LNP Thermocomp compounds and the trust placed in SABIC by our customers.”