by Randy Frank
President, Randy Frank & Associates
All the advances and research occurring in micromachining would lead one to believe that breakthroughs in these areas will be sufficient to revolutionize sensing. Unfortunately, the problems associated with the basic sensor packaging are compounded when the sensor is combined with higher levels of electronics. These problems initiate at the lowest level of die and wire bonding and extend to encapsulation, sealing, and lead forming issues. Fundamental assembly differences frequently exist between sensor and microelectronics packaging and are among the problems that are being solved to achieve smarter sensors. These differences include die bonding for stress isolation instead of for heat dissipation and wire bonding procedures.