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NATEL EMS Engineers a Substitute for BeO Technology

CHATSWORTH, CAJune 6, 2014 Beryllium oxide (BeO) substrates have been praised for their thermal properties as much as they have been scorned for their toxicity. NATEL EMS has been working with High Temperature Co-fired Ceramic (HTCC) products to solve this industry problem.
With more than a decade of experience handling HTCC, and even longer handling BeO, NATEL EMS was in the right position to produce a viable substrate alternative to BeO, ideal for applications such as high power amplifier multichip modules.
“Our customers have been asking for a safer technology and we have executed. The result is a robust, repeatable process for manufacturing aluminum nitride (AIN) substrates that compete favorably with BeO products,” explains NATEL President/CEO Sudesh Arora.
Standard HTCC has been historically considered as a lower-cost version of Low-Temperature Co-fired Ceramic (LTCC) substrates. However, NATEL EMS’ approach involves taking AlN substrates and substituting AlN tape for aluminum oxide tape to match RF and heat dissipation performance requirements for most applications for BeO.
“Our AlN differs greatly from BeO in that passive components like filters can be buried in the AlN structure, and there is comparable heat transfer,” added NATEL EMS COO Jim Angeloni. “Our free sintered process can produce up to a 5” (127 mm) square with hermetic via positional tolerances of +/- 0.15%. Flatness can be held within .002″ inch per inch (5um), with additional flatness achieved by mechanical means.” Other characteristics of the alternatives include use of non-precious metals and high-thermal conductivity and solderable, wire-bondable surfaces through additional plating.
NATEL EMS offers multiple variations of AIN materials and processing methods to match customer needs. If your design calls for high frequency applications, NATEL EMS has design tools that may help. Additionally, their DFM process can save time and money in production.

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