Internet of Things Wi-Fi, the era of SIP is coming soon
The pursuit of light and short styling and diversified functions of consumer electronics products is endless. This has led to the two major trends in semiconductor development, such as process miniaturization and system integration. For decades, the process has been emphasized. The microfilm-based wafer manufacturing industry has been following the rapid development of Moore's Law. However, with the approach of physical limits, the magic of Moore's Law is gradually dying. Therefore, the heterogeneous grains with different functions are systematically integrated. In order to optimize the size and performance of electronic products, it will become more and more important. Guided by this development direction, the Internet of Things Wi-Fi industry has formed three new mainstreams: system single-chip SoC, traditional PCBA module and systemized package SIP, but in the emerging Internet of Things era, SoC, PCBA module Who can be the master of the three technical genres of SIP and SIP?
More and more PCBA modules
The traditional PCBA module is very popular in the domestic market because of its mature technology and low threshold. However, in recent years, due to the rise of the Internet of Things consumer terminal market, the problem of excessive PCBA module size has become more and more prominent. The prospect of PCBA modules will become increasingly rampant with the trend of low power consumption and small size.
Will the Wi-Fi SOC be the savior?
SoC (System on Chip) is a system on chip, as the name suggests, is to integrate all the electronic components into a single chip to form a system that can run independently. This sounds exciting because, if it can The integration of all the electronic components of an electronic product into a small chip is an iconic advance for the entire industry.
Presumably, the advantages of SoC are enough to make many practitioners excited. In fact, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung and other chip giants have a wide variety of SoC products, not to mention that many domestic solution integrators have long regarded SoC as the future savior. Be prepared to make great achievements in the Internet of Things era.
But is SoC really so amazing? Can it cure all diseases like "Yunnan Baiyao"? In fact, the current status of SoC application can verify the Western proverb "The more hopes, the more disappointed would be". Today, the cost performance of SoC products is far from the expectations.
From the user's point of view, SOC use faces the following problems:
1. Wi-Fi RF performance parameter calibration
Because the wireless indicator is very sensitive to changes in peripheral environmental parameters, such as PCB material, the thickness will cause impedance changes, which will cause each customer to test and debug various indicators such as SOC power and bit error rate. This is also one of the core values of the current module company. Usually the Internet of Things is distributed in various industries. These calibrations require specialized test equipment to operate and are not suitable for most industries.
2. The integration is not high
Generally speaking, it is often difficult to integrate Flash, crystal, and filter components into the SOC. Users also need to integrate these parameters that are very sensitive and professional on the PCB, which improves the threshold for use.
3. Software services
Both PCBA modules and SIP integrate a large amount of software and various cloud services.
SIP appears in the rivers and lakes
System in a Package (SIP) is a combination of a variety of different electronic components, including processors, memory, etc., in a single package to achieve a complete set of functions.
In short, SIP is a PCBA module that looks exactly the same as the SOC. It has the functions and ease of use of traditional Wi-Fi modules. The price is cheaper than traditional modules, and its volume is smaller than SOC. In the industrial chain is the downstream segment of the SOC.
The SIP packaging technology adopts a plurality of bare chips or modules for arrangement and assembly. If the arrangement is distinguished, the structure can be roughly divided into a planar 2D package and a 3D package. In addition, SIP can also use a multi-functional substrate to integrate components – the different components are built into the multi-function substrate to achieve the purpose of functional integration. Different chip arrangements, combined with different internal bonding technologies, enable a variety of combinations of SIP packages and can be customized or flexibly produced according to customer or product requirements.
Advantages of SIP
As a new type of packaging technology, the emergence of SIP may not be so exciting in technology, but it has an absolute advantage in the integration of heterogeneous parts, cost control, development cycle and comprehensive performance.
1. Ultra-small size, integrated application software
In general, Wi-Fi SoC only integrates basic architecture systems such as ARM M3 and wireless transceivers, while SiP integrates SOC's die+Flash+crystal+sensory container+software, which is very low for users, and SIP is adopted. Special material processes and fully automated production lines effectively control costs.
Taking Shanghai Hanfeng Electronic Technology Co., Ltd., which I am familiar with, as an example, the company recently developed a new product “HF-SIP120”, which is based on the SIP developed by the current SDK, truly zero periphery, even 3.3 V power filter capacitors are integrated, using 128K/256K RAM, 2M Flash, seamlessly compatible with Hanfeng's existing software and SDK, and Hanfeng Electronics is the advantage of its shareholders by Baidu. The next step is More intelligent functions such as intelligent speech recognition and audio are integrated in the SIP to meet the requirements of various fields.
2. Lower cost
SIP packaging technology is also very effective in terms of cost savings. Compared with traditional modules, SIP manufacturing and testing are automated, while the production and testing of traditional modules involves a large number of pipeline workers to detect and manufacture, resulting in increased production costs and Production efficiency is not high. SIP increases production efficiency and production yield, resulting in further reductions in manufacturing and test costs. Modules and SIPs with the same functionality can be reduced by 10% to 15%, and production efficiency is several times that of traditional modules.
3. Shorter development cycle
Because SIP integrates a large number of software function modules, it can basically realize the function of the overall normal operation of an electronic product, which is of great significance for many consumer products. We know that the popular consumer electronics products on the market are typical “Time to Market” products, which puts high demands on the R&D cycle. Therefore, the emergence of SIP technology is enough to replace the traditional single module and become a multi-functional consumer product. s Choice.
Mr. Xie Sen, founder and chairman of Shanghai Hanfeng Electronic Technology Co., Ltd., revealed to the author that the company's SIP products are not only excellent in ease of use, but also support Alibaba Cloud, Jingdong Yun, Yun Zhiyi. Mainstream cloud platforms such as Wisdom Cloud are compatible with current software and SDKs, further reducing the threshold for the use of hardware and software, which can help users greatly shorten the development cycle.
SIP – the smart choice for IoT products
As you can see, SIP maximizes system performance, eliminates re-packaging, shortens development cycles, reduces costs, and increases integration compared to system integration on printed circuit boards. Compared with SoC and traditional PCBA modules, SIP also has the characteristics of high flexibility, high integration, short design cycle, low development cost and easy access.
The many advantages of SIP packaging technology make it not only widely used in industrial applications, but also have a very broad market in the field of IoT consumption including smart phones, smart watches, smart bracelets, smart glasses and so on.
At present, when intelligent hardware manufacturers design smart wearable devices, the main challenge is how to put all the required functions into a very small space. Taking smart glasses as an example, in the hardware design part, it is necessary to consider the characteristics and integration methods of main components such as wireless communication, application processor, storage memory, photographic lens, micro-projection display, sensor, microphone, etc., and also to evaluate component integration. Compatibility after system board and overall operational efficiency. The use of SIP system miniaturization design can simplify system design and meet device miniaturization in a multi-component integration manner. It can increase the portability of the product and the advantages of wireless and immediacy without changing the appearance.
In fact, Apple has always been a big fan of Wi-Fi SIP technology. From the 1st to the 6th generation of Apple mobile phones, Wi-Fi all use Murata SIP, and the Apple Watch and the latest iphone7 have fully adopted SIP packaging technology. The promotion of the giant will make the popularization of SIP technology smoother, and SIP is also becoming a new boost to the development of the industry in the post-Moore's Law era.