Apple Inc. (Cupertino, CA)

These are the methods and devices that are used for temperature sensors. These temperature sensor packages can be either rigid or flexible depending on the specific designs. Some embodiments of temperature sensor packaging can be designed for touch sensing and include an electrically conductive sensor pattern, such as the thermocouple (RTD), or thermocouple. Some embodiments include embedded transducers and temperature sensors packages that are able to be used to detect non-contact.


Embodiments described herein relate to microelectronic packaging and more specifically to temperature sensor packaging technologies.

Background Information

To better be able to monitor the health of their users the wearable devices include a range of sensors. With the development of packaging technologies such as system in package, embedded die, semiconductor very-large-scaleintegration (VLSI) technologies and so on it has become possible to develop miniaturized systems and devices. Temperature of the skin is one of the vital signs for the health of a patient.

Temperature sensor packages, methods of fabrication and products that include such packages are described. For example packages for temperature sensors may be secured within (e.g. inside a housing) of an electronic device portable or attached to the fabric of the wearable device. Temperature sensor packages can be classified as being suitable for touch or not-contact temperature sensing. In some embodiments, touch sensing configurations may be characterized as having a back side electricallyconductive sensor pattern, where the electrically conductive sensor pattern is over a back side of a chip (e.g. controller chip for the package). Some embodiments of touch sensing could have a front-sideelectrically conductive sensor design. The sensor pattern is on the front of the chip. A transducer embedded in the chip could be used in certain embodiments of a temperature sensor that is not contact packaging.

A typical temperature sensor includes routing layers and a chip that is mounted face-down on the layers of routing, an insulating coating that encapsulates and protecting the chip on the routing layers, as as a variety of vias that pass through it. The sensor pattern is electrically conductive on the insulation layer and is connected to the plurality through vias. The sensor pattern that is electrically conductive may be directly over a backside of the chip. The routing layer can be solder-bonded onto the chip in one way.

There are many techniques that are able to form the electrodes that conduct electricity through vias. Screen printing, as well as similar dispensing techniques are possible in some designs. An embodiment uses the same material to form at least a portion , and at least one of the many through vias. In one implementation the same material includes coalesced metallic particles forming the portion of the electricallyconductive temperature sensor pattern and the one of the plurality of through vias. In some embodiments laser direct structuring (LDS) is used. In one implementation the insulating layer is an LDS compatible material including a dispersednon-conductive metal organic compound, and the plurality of vias include a nucleation layer of metal particles of the metal in the dispersed non-conductive metal organic compound. The electrically conductive sensor pattern can optionallyinclude a nucleation layer pattern made up of metal particles from the metal in the dispersed non-conductive organic metal compound.

The electrically conductive patterns have different modes of operation, such as thermocouple or resistance temperature detector (RTD) pattern. One of the most electrically conductive patterns for sensors includes a thermocouple having the first pattern of a first-conductive material , and a second of a second different conductive material. A plurality of vias are connected to the numerous patterns in an embodiment. The second via is connected to the second. The first via includes the first conductive material, while the second via the second conductive materials, however it is not required. In an embodiment, the electricallyconductive sensor pattern is an RTD pattern, which may be formed of the same or different material than the plurality of through vias.

In one embodiment, a temperature sensor package includes a routing layer with a chip contact area, as well as a touch region that is adjacent to the area of contact. A touch area could contain an electrically conductive pattern which is connected to the chip contact, and a chip that is bonded to the routing layers in the chip region. Such a configuration may be described as a front side electrically conductive sensor pattern. A particular form of the chip is enclosed in an insulating layer which surrounds it on its top. The insulation layer is extended over the contact area. In an embodiment the chip is mounted on the first part of the layer, and a second side of the routing layer opposite the first side has an electrically conductive sensor. In an embodiment, the routing layer includes an elastic-flex connection. The chip is mounted on a rigid portion of the rigid-flex connection . the sensor pattern that is electrically conductive is part of a flexible portion of the rigid-flex connection.

In an example, a temperature sensor package includes a routing layer including the top and bottom side, as well as a cavity formed in the bottom side of the layer routing, a transducer mounted within the cavity, and a chip mounted on the top of the routing layer, and in electrical connection with the transducer. An optical window may be formed over a part of the transducer’s surface. An insulating layer such as a molding material could optionally encapsulate the routing layer and chip.

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