Passive Components

Passive Embedding for higher Performance and Reliability

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Extremely compact Bluetooth 4.0 low energy module

A typical example of a SESUB design is the extremely compact TDK Bluetooth 4.0 low energy module, developed for the Bluetooth 4.0 low energy (LE) specification, which is being marketed as Bluetooth Smart (Figure 6 left). With a footprint of only 4.6 mm × 5.6 mm and a low insertion height of 1 mm, the new SESUB-PAN-T2541 Bluetooth 4.0 LE module sets the industry benchmark for Bluetooth Smart modules. The module is also very well suited for use in wearable devices thanks to its compact size.

SESUB is also highly suitable for handling the power management in smartphones. In the TDK power management unit (PMU) module (Figure 6b), the IC for managing the power supply was embedded directly into the substrate for the first time. This innovative step allows manufacturers of end equipment to reduce their development costs and times still further. In combination with newly developed capacitors and power inductors in SMD versions, the module dimensions are only 11.0 mm x 11.0 mm x 1.6 mm. They also contain a highly efficient power supply for the buck converter in a 5-channel configuration with an output current of up to 2.6 A as well as low-noise, high PSRR (power supply rejection ratio) low dropout regulators for up to 23 channels and an extremely efficient charge circuit for lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.

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Utilizing the integration potentials of PC boards

Multilayer PC boards have long ceased to be merely carriers of components. In order to utilize their integration potentials more efficiently, TDK is working jointly with industry partners on the further development of technologies for embedding active and passive electronic components. Among other things, the standardization of the integration technologies, which play a critical role in the implementation of highly miniaturized modules, is to be driven forward.

Especially the MLCCs that are needed in nearly every circuit for buffering and noise suppression offer significant potential for integration and thus miniaturization. TDK has developed the MLCC-CU series, which can be embedded in PCBs. Unlike conventional MLCCs, their electrodes are not tin-plated, but rather made of copper and inserted directly into the laminate layers of the PC boards. These MLCCs are distinguished by their very low insertion heights, which, depending on the type, are between 0.11 mm and 0.25 mm (Table).


* Dave Connett, Director IC Reference Design, Corporate Sales, TDK.