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May 08, 2009

TI Intros Industry's Thinnest Package for Portable Consumer Electronics

By Anuradha Shukla, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Texas Instruments (News - Alert) has launched integrated circuits (ICs) in the ultra-thin PicoStar package to enable portable consumer electronics designers to save board space.

About as thin as a human hair, the new package gives system designers the option to embed silicon components inside the printed circuit board (PCB) to maximize board space.
The devices in this form factor are 50 percent thinner than similar chips in traditional packages and TI officials claim they enable even smaller, thinner end equipment.
The first device available in the ultra-thin PicoStar package is the TPD2E007, a two-channel, robust electrostatic discharge (ESD) solution. This new back-to-back diode array allows AC-coupled data transmission without compromising signal integrity.
TI explains that ESD protection is typically mounted close to the connector on the PCB but they have given another option to the designers. The TPD2E007 can be surface mounted or embedded into the board/connector. By embedding this ultra-thin device in the board, designers can save 80 percent board space compared to typical ESD solutions.
As the TPD2E007 solution reduces board space, end equipment designers have the option to add more components on the board. Thanks to the thin form factor, the device can be inserted into a board layer stack-up with minimal effort. The designers can also reduce the board-level costs by embedding the device in the PCB.
The company is offering the TPD2E007 in a 4-pin YFM package and has priced it at $0.20 in quantities of 1,000. TI has also planned to develop additional TI devices in PicoStar packaging, such as the TPS62620 low-power DC/DC converter. The TPS62620 is sampling now and will be available in volume production in 3Q09.
Texas Instruments is a global semiconductor company boasting operations in more than 30 countries. This week, the company also introduced an automotive-qualified DC/DC step-down converter. The product offers a combination of high voltage up to 60 V, a switching frequency up to 2-MHz, and ultra-low quiescent current of 65-microamps in a small, monolithic package.

Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anuradha’s article, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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