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PQI introduces USB-compliant SD card

New Concept For Bendable Packaged Ultra-Thin Chips Presented

Exabyte Introduces World's First Expandable Tape Drives

PQI introduces USB-compliant SD card

Taiwan-based memory-module maker Power Quotient International (PQI) has announced the availability of Intelligent Stick, a USB-compliant SD card, stressing that the addition of USB connectivity will enhance convenient data transfer, according to the company.

The size of the SD card will be the same as those without USB connectivity, and users would be able to transfer card data without using a card reader, PQI emphasized. The company will first introduce a 512MB version ($35.4), next week, with a 1GB version to follow in early May.

Source: DigiTimes

New Concept For Bendable Packaged Ultra-Thin Chips Presented

IMEC and its associated laboratory INTEC of the University of Ghent jointly developed a new process flow for ultra-thin chip packages resulting in bendable packaged chips of only 50m thickness.

The process has been demonstrated with silicon chips thinned down to 20-30m. Thanks to the very low thickness of the chip, polyimide layers and metal, a total thickness down to 50m is achieved making the whole package bendable. The ultra-thin chip package can provide an interposer enabling testing of the chip before embedding. It offers a contact fan out with more relaxed pitches.

Thanks to its flexibility, the technology enables embedding of packaged chips in flexible boards empowering smart, highly-integrated, flexible electronic systems for a wide variety of applications such as smart textile and flexible displays. The process flow has been developed within the EU funded FP6 Integrated Project, SHIFT (Smart high-integration of flex technologies).

In detail the process flow is described as follows. The base substrate is a 20m-thick polyimide layer spin-coated on a rigid glass carrier. For the fixation and the placement of the chips on the polyimide layer a bicyclobutane of less than 5m is used as adhesive. Bicyclobutane is resistant to the high curing temperature of the top polyimide since its solvents evaporate during a pre-curing.

By placing the chips properly, either in vacuum or with a dispensed bicyclobutane, void-free bonds can be obtained. Current research focuses on the optimization of the chip placement on dispensed (pre-cured) bicyclobutane and on avoiding voids by controlling the dispensed quantity. In this way, no vacuum environment will be required.

After the cure of the bicyclobutane at 350C, the chip is fixed on the polyimide layer. A covering polyimide layer is spin-coated on the fixed die with a thickness of 20m. For contacting to the chip, contact openings to the bumps of the chips are laser drilled. By using a shaped laser beam, via diameters with a top diameter down to 20m can be realized.

A top metal layer of 1m TiW/Cu is sputtered and photolithographically patterned, metallizing the contacts to the chip and providing a fan out to the contacts of the chips. Finally, the whole package is released from the rigid carrier.


Exabyte Introduces World's First Expandable Tape Drives

Exabyte announced the world's first and only tape backup drives to offer expandable Capacity On-Demand. The VXA-172 Packet Drive and VXA-172 PacketLoader 1x10 build on Exabyte's VXA Packet Technology.

For $699 (estimated U.S. street price), customers can purchase a plug-and-play 172-gigabyte system that can be upgraded later to near double the capacity via a simple electronic update. Tape cartridges for the VXA-172 products are the only tape products available in two sizes: the X6 at 80 gigabytes and the X10 at 172 gigabytes selling for prices of $15 and $29 respectively (estimated U.S. street price).

The standalone VXA-172 Packet Drive provides a small business with a simple tape device that accepts one tape cartridge at a time, with 172 gigabytes of capacity today and 320 gigabytes Capacity On-Demand tomorrow. For organizations wanting unattended backup, the VXA-172 Packet Loader has ten cartridge slots and a robotic mechanism for automatic, unattended operation. The VXA-172 Packet Loader offers up to 1.7 terabytes of capacity today and up to 3.2 terabytes Capacity On-Demand tomorrow and a standard barcode reader to manage cartridges.

VXA-172 is compatible with all major backup software vendors, and Exabyte will offer the drives with three interface options: Ultra2Wide SCSI is available immediately. Serial-ATA and FireWire connections will be available later this year.

Exabyte VXA-172 products are shipping to computer resellers this week. The VXA-172 Packet Drive is available for $699 and the VXA-172 Packet Loader is available for $1699. The capacity-on-demand electronic upgrades will be available for around $349 for a drive upgrade and $599 for the PacketLoader upgrade (all estimated U.S. street prices).

Source: Exabyte

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