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Miniaturization and
Microelectronics

Advances in electronics miniaturization and microelectronics are solving technology challenges across markets, from new frontiers in space exploration enabled by lighter electronics payloads to medical advances driven by tiny implantable technologies. Smaller, lighter electronics are the key to designing products with an optimal form factor. Microelectronics manufacturing processes allow for precision manipulation of things as small as photons to deliver communications at the speed of light or computers that can re-define artificial intelligence.

Benchmark Is An Industry Leader In Miniaturization And Microelectronics

Benchmark is helping our partners overcome technology barriers with our expertise in multiple methods of electronics miniaturization and high-precision microelectronics assembly. At Benchmark, our engineering toolkit includes miniaturization procedures optimized for various use cases, allowing us to select the best method to reach the customer’s miniaturization goals. Our advanced manufacturing techniques expand design options available by enabling narrower lines and spaces, re-partitioning of boards to combine components and thin, flexible substrates for thinner multi-layer boards. We scale production using our capabilities in microelectronics, SMT or even hybrid electronics. No matter which tools we use, the outcome is the same: a product that is optimized for how it will be used, not limited by the electronics it contains.

What Does Electronics Miniaturization Mean Today?

Electronics miniaturization uses a set of circuit design procedures that reduce the size of the electronics in a device by making them denser and in some cases partitioning them differently to reduce the overall number of components. Increasing density requires both very fine lines of conductive material, and effective, but very fine lines of insulator between them to avoid shorts. For this reason, an engineering team needs to be familiar with the limitations of the manufacturing process and materials they are working with, and traditional manufacturing methods can’t meet these goals in all cases. 

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Miniaturization Using Liquid Crystal Polymer

This white paper explains miniaturized circuit fabrication in Liquid Crystal Polymer.

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Microelectronics For The Most Demanding Size Limitations And Tolerances

Microelectronics includes a variety of electronics manufacturing processes capable of creating very small, dense components and systems assembled with high-precision. It starts with creating very dense circuits with narrow traces and spaces. With the right processes, systems can be partitioned differently, and capabilities previously delivered in three components can be integrated into one, saving space. At the next level up, microelectronics assembly involves placing very small components incredibly precisely, often within one micron tolerance or less. This capability is commonly used in photonics, defense and space applications. Benchmark offers microelectronics assembly and hybrid microelectronics with sub-micron placement at ITAR-registered U.S. sites as well as off-shore sites optimized for efficient medium-volume production.

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Case Study: Building Better Lidar with Ouster

Benchmark helped Ouster scale production of their lidar sensors using microelectronics and other advanced capabilities.

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Miniaturization And Microelectronics For Medical Devices: When Smaller Means Saving A Life

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Miniaturization for Medical Devices

Learn how Benchmark put complex optical imaging in the palm of your hand.

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Whether a medical device is worn on the body, implanted in the body or held in a care provider or patient’s hand, getting the size and shape of the device right is essential for effectiveness and patient comfort. Without the ability to miniaturize electronics, the size and shape of the electronics become the limiting factor in designs instead the of user's needs. In addition to the overall size of the electronics, the shape and ability to flex can have an impact on the final form factor of a device. Benchmark has multiple miniaturization and microelectronics methods at our disposal, allowing us to select the right tool for each engineering challenge. 

Miniaturization Lets User Experience Drive Product Design 

Miniaturization And Microelectronics For Aerospace And Defense: When Smaller Means Exploring New Frontiers

When maximizing accuracy, range and speed are essential, large electronics that limit defense system design options are not acceptable. For this reason, size, weight and power, as well as cost, (SWaP-C) have always been a major consideration for aerospace and defense systems, so High-Density Interconnect (HDI) methodologies are already in use.

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CASE STUDY: CHIP-SCALE ATOMIC CLOCK

Benchmark helped our partner manufacture a groundbreaking miniaturized design.

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Miniaturization An Microelectronics For Telecommunications: When Smaller Means Communication At The Speed Of Light

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Miniaturizing RF Components Using Advanced Circuit Fabrication Methodologies

Benchmark Lark Technology has transformed traditional RF filters into small, surface-mountable circuits

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In telecommunications, precision is just as important as overall reduced size. Placement of components with tolerances as tight as one micron is common in photonics applications, including complex new telecommunication components required for next-generation fiber backhaul supporting 5G. Benchmark has microelectronics capabilities in photonicsfiber optics and free space optics component and module manufacturing, including placement with tolerances below one micron. 5G also pushes the need for miniaturization in telecommunications equipment as 5G small cell antennas move into urban landscapes at a much higher density than 4G antennas. The ability to miniaturize small cell components allows these antennas to better blend into the landscape while offering more antennas per array.

Benchmark Lark Technology also creates RF filters, waveguides and amplifiers that are lightweight, low-power and a fraction of the size of conventional RF components, yet customizable for performance at any frequency up to 110 GHz.

Latest on Miniaturization from Setting the Benchmark Blog

Miniaturization And Microelectronics In Computing: When Smaller Means Smarter

Over the past six decades, computers that once took up entire rooms were miniaturized to fit in the palms of our hands. Even as traditional computing methods reach theoretical (and economic) limits of chip and processor density, new types of high-performance computers and even quantum computers continue to push limits. Benchmark works with some of the most innovative names in computing to find new ways to build computer systems, including mixed technology RF and photonic assemblies. 

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This laptop computer miniaturization achieved an 80% size reduction 

Miniaturization And Microelectronics In Complex Industrial: When Smaller Means Better Productivity

Industrial applications may conjure up images of massive machines and acres of factories but even production on a large scale relies on small scale precision. Robotics now ubiquitous in production environments rely on miniaturized electronics for on-board control boards, especially smaller robots that execute precision movements. Industrial IoT applications require sensors, and with them sensor controllers, throughout an industrial system. Adding this additional functionality without increasing the footprint of complex machines requires miniaturized electronics, particularly as power consumption becomes a key factor for sensor networks in wireless factories. Benchmark has years of engineering experience in reducing electronics footprint for industrial applications and offers industrial design services to ensure that user experience rather than the shape and size of electronics drive the design process.

Across markets and applications, Benchmark has a solution for nearly any design problem involving size, weight and power (SwaP), tight placement tolerances, smaller product form factors or any of the other challenges that can be overcome with miniaturization and microelectronics. Whether you have a legacy design as a starting point for miniaturization, have reached a problem in the design process you can’t overcome or have a complete design with demanding manufacturing requirements, Benchmark has the capabilities you need in a technology partner.

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