Hello! Inagaki of ROHM here.
This third article is about semiconductor integrated circuit (LSI, IC) modules. In general, there are two types of products referred to as "modules". One is semiconductor integrated circuits (LSI, IC) and their peripheral components (mainly passive components) are mounted on a small printed circuit board (PCB), or the PCB is placed in a resin or metal enclosure, and provided with specific functions. The other one is silicon chips of semiconductor integrated circuits (LSI/IC) and their peripheral components (mainly passive elements, etc.) are encapsulated in resin (molded), and provided with specific functions.
The main development background for such modules was the need for even semiconductor manufacturers to promote further function design, and even another level of function design, in consideration of cases where it was difficult for equipment manufacturers to achieve sophisticated production functionality all by themselves.
Among ROHM products are 18 SiC (silicon carbide) power modules, 22 intelligent power modules (IGBT or insulated gate bipolar transistors and the like), 34 power modules (AC/DC, DC/DC), and nine wireless communication modules, for a total of 83 module products.
Modules have the following features and advantages.
- ① A module incorporates peripheral components (mainly passive devices), so that the number of components on the printed circuit board (PCB) of a product can be reduced, for improved reliability, making modules particular advantageous in automotive applications. Modules are also less affected by the PCB artwork (component layout and wiring between components) of a product.
- ② Multiple chips using different manufacturing processes, for example analog ICs and digital ICs, or controller ICs and drivers (discrete semiconductor elements), can be incorporated.
- ③ The modules are functionally complete and so can be handled as black boxes, so that shortened product development cycles can be expected.
- ④ Optimization of the values of peripheral components (mainly passive components) and of wiring layout is completed, so that top-level electrical characteristics (performance) can be obtained even from so-called "bolt-on" modules.
In particular, where electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is concerned, EMC evaluations and judgment of conformance to EMC standards is performed for modules as single functional products including peripheral components (mainly passive components), and so there is the major advantage that modules can be used safely and securely. Products incorporating π (pi) filters comprising one inductive element (L) and two capacitive elements (C) for dealing with electromagnetic interference (EMI), or incorporating capacitive elements (C) as components for dealing with electromagnetic susceptibility (EMS), are today the mainstream. By physically combining smallest-unit basic electronic components, modules can offer more benefits such as reliability, functionality, convenience, and performance. There is increasing demand for modules that offer such advantages, and development is underway to produce modules for use in applications with such requirements as enhanced functionality, compactness, and improved robustness.
Thank you for your kind attention.