Complex of Measures Directed at Considerable Reduction of Lead Time and Launching Into Production Time for Advanced Electronic Component Base (ECB)
Thereby, to successfully fulfil the tasks set before electronic industry as regards import substitution in electronic component base, it is necessary to considerably reduce the time from design specification approval to launching into serial production and novel components types application in end items, as well as to substantially increase import substitution developments. Taking into consideration worldwide tendency for ramping up production and electronic components utilization, it seems reasonable to reduce lead time and launching into serial production time for specimens in electronic components base down to 3 – 5 months.
To achieve this goal it is necessary to reveal the most time- and resources consuming stages and other restricting factors in processes of development and production used for electronic components base and to create a concept of that process construction basing on novel design-technological and organizational-economical approaches, which will make it possible to minimize time consumption and attract the companies possessing respective competences, including small and medium-size enterprises, to electronic components base development and to realize potential of initiative projects and start-ups.
During the concept development it is necessary to consider among other things the following factors.
1. To considerably reduce the period for launching into serial production it is necessary to put into life a whole complex of measures in required and sufficient volume to provide reliability and to minimize risks related to new specimens in electronic components base.
2. It is necessary to provide the highest possible level of unification for electronic component base specimens and for design and process methods as well.
3. It is necessary to minimize the cost of specimens being developed in electronic components base in the course of fulfilling specified operational requirements.
4. Design and technological aspects of the concept should correspond to the current state of worldwide electronic industry and be directed at ensuring the technical level of domestic ECB comparable with foreign analogues or even surpassing them, with respect to further ECB development on worldwide scale.
To reveal restricting stages and factors in time reduction, considering that most dynamically developing and critical components for import substitution in electronic base are semiconductor products and electronic modules, including digital and UHF electronics, it is necessary to examine standard chain in developing and launching into serial production specimens in electronic components base. This chain consists of the following main stages:
1. Chip design.
2. Preparation of production and manufacturing of experimental chip specimens.
3. Chip testing and certification.
4. Functional module design.
5. Preparation of production and manufacturing of experimental functional module.
6. Testing and certification of functional module.
7. Arrangement of functional module for serial production.
In practice, the duration of stages from 1 to 3 is about 12 – 18 months. The process of design and further transition to launching serial production (stages from 4 to 7) takes from 12 to 24 months, wherein most time consuming operations are functional module tests and certification.
Aiming to considerably reduce the design period it was proposed to switch to modular approach in the stage of development that requires the creation of standard blocks library, available for all companies, participating in electronic components base import substitution, including small and medium size enterprises (SMSE). Utilization of such a library with continuous updating on the basis of latest results obtained in fundamental and applied sciences, will make it possible to provide high level unification and to widely use the results of performed researches and development in various projects, reducing their volumes within the frames of separate ECB specimens development, whereas modular approach will substantially reduce the time required to create up-to-date components and their further improvement.
A significant role in reducing time necessary for designing plays CAD tools application. The application of CAD in organizations is not unified, which leads to problems in interactions between different companies and with manufacturing process as well. Besides, the cost of modern CADs is rather high, which becomes a barrier to participating in import substitution of small and medium size enterprises.
Thus, it is necessary to ensure consistent and recommended CAD packages application. Inventory work with already purchased foreign software licences for the benefit of state and dependent companies aiming to provide access by means of Common Use Centre has been foreseen by creating SMSE Support Centre for electronic components base developers. Its informational support is provided by Federal State Budgetary Institution “Russian R&D in Economics, Politics and Law”, as well as by interaction with Russian CAD developers for utilizing their products within measures directed at ECB import substitution.
One of the most labour and time consuming stages is testing and licensing, as a number of methodologies imply prolonged retention under specified conditions. Performance of such tests may take from four to eight months. It seems necessary to use standard certified technological processes which ensure manufacturing products with required quality and reliability level, provided that proved standard blocks and unified, consistent software and models are being used. These measures will make it possible to reduce time necessary for launching into production and to use in end products novel types from electronic components base.
It is also necessary to take into account that testing experimental specimens and their components is a highly expensive process for small and medium enterprises as well as for start-ups. To lower such a barrier it has been proposed to develop at testing stage appropriate co-financing programs, whose implementation can be realized through the Centre supporting small and medium enterprises developing electronic components base.
The application of standard technological processes will also considerably reduce time and costs at manufacturing stages: preparation of production and manufacturing experimental specimens as well as launching products into serial production.
While selecting standard technological processes it is necessary to consider requirements of high functionality and reduction of mass-dimensional characteristics in modern and perspective specimens of electronic components base, which spells utilization of 3D-structures in electronic modules.
Today there exist the following concepts of 3D-structures construction:
1. Modules on chip;
2. Classical packageless assemblies and hybrid integrated circuits (HIC);
3. 3D-modules on multilayer ceramic.
As compared with other technologies, application of low temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) has the following advantages:
• more lean production as compared with traditional thick-film technology;
• ability to design and manufacture 3D multilayer ceramic modules;
• ability to arrange passive components inside substrate, thus reducing circuits size by more than 50 % as compared with printed boards;
• high thermal conduction as compared with printed boards;
• operating frequencies up to 40GHz;
• operating temperatures up to 350°C;
• firing temperature constitutes 850°C that enables using materials with low resistivity, such as gold and silver, instead of molybdenum and tungsten, used in high temperature co-fired ceramic (HTCC) technology;
• each layer is inspected before module assembly, which permits increasing percentage of yield;
• excellent layers sealing;
• technological cycle of multilayer ceramic modules production is pollution-free and compact;
• absence of “wet” chemical processes;
• many processes used in serial production are automated;
• production cycle reduction as compared with ordinary thick-film technologies.
The indicated advantages provide for lean manufacturing of advanced functional modules construction possessing high functionality and low mass-dimensional characteristics, and, due to standard blocks libraries creation and wide CAD application, enable developing and launching into production novel specimens, as well as including them as soon as possible into the projects of end products. Thus, LTCC-structures application appears to be most promising as a basis for standard certified technological processes of functional modules manufacturing.
For implementing the given technological processes, Research and Development Centre “Special Electron System” (NPC SES) is planning to commission production capacities in the first half of 2018, located in “Moscow” Technology Town. The production centre utilizes modular construction approach and provides the whole cycle including development and production of 3D multilayer ceramic modules on the basis of LTCC technology, as well as assembling and sealing microelectronic products on the basis of these modules. The production structure and availability of different basic technologies make it possible to simultaneously perform operations conducted at novel products development, including manufacturing experimental, pilot prototypes, as well as serial production of developed products.
The proposed complex of measures will enable us to qualitatively change the process of advanced domestic electronic components base creation for import substitution and for further development that will provide opportunity to considerably reduce time and resources consumption for projects realization from development to launching into production and to start utilizing novel specimens into end products.