Defence - Fighter Plane

Microelectronics Overview

Formed in 1986 as a specialist thick-film hybrid design and microelectronics fabrication facility, the Portsmouth operation offers a wide range of proven production techniques and processes in the microelectronics and allied fields, supported by an innovative design team.

  • Hybrid design
  • Thick film hybrids
  • Power electronics
  • Sensor electronics
  • Microwave electronics
  • Chip on board
  • Mixed technology hybrids
  • Opto-electronics
  • Sub-assembly
  • Electronic design
  • Software design
  • Product miniaturisation

With clients spread over aerospace, defence, oil and gas, medical, communications and scientific instrumentation industry sectors, for both design and fabrication contracts, the accumulated expertise and range of capabilities place the Portsmouth facility amongst the leaders in the field of microelectronics engineering.

Product miniaturisation and improved performance using Hybrids

Where the size of a product or system is largely determined by the size of its electronics, the potential for miniaturising that product by using Hybrid technology instead of PCB technology is significant. Circuits that are largely digital in nature present the greatest potential for miniaturisation; possibly to 10% of the size of the equivalent PCB without any reduction in function. Largely analogue circuits are less easily reduced in size with reductions of between 30% to 50% of the equivalent PCB. However, analogue circuits perform more efficiently as Hybrids providing additional benefits.

Hybrids are statistically more reliable than PCB assemblies as they typically contain no solder joints. Components are interconnected by welded joints (wire bonding) or silver loaded conductive epoxy adhesive, an extremely reliable and long established joint technology.

Hybrids can sustain higher operating temperatures than PCBs, with componentry available now that can function in 200°C indefinitely. The alumina or aluminium nitride substrates have a very high coefficient of thermal conductivity and junction-damaging "hot spots"eneath individual semiconductors are avoided by the swift transfer of heat away from that device.

Hybrids are hermetically sealed, either by way of sealed metal enclosure or conformal coating, making them the most suitable technology for electronics that operates in hostile environments.

Hybrid technical information

Standard 96% Alumina
Power applications Alumina nitride
Maximum substrate size 150 x 100mm
Wire bondable Gold 4 - 7 mohms / square
Solderable Palladium - silver 20 - 30 mohms / square
Solderable over gold Platinum - gold 50 - 60 mohms / square
Standard track/gap 0.025mm width, 0.025mm gap 
Conductor layers 6 each side 
Through-printed holes Gold <20 mohms thru-hole
Double-sided printing Palladium, silver <50 mohms thru-hole
Range <1 ohm to >50 mohms 
 <10 ohms +/ - 0.5 ohms
 10 to 100 ohms +/ - 0.5%
 100 ohms to 300 kohms +/ - 0.3%
 >300 kohms +/ - 0.5%
Stability 100 ohms to 1 mohm +/ - 0.5%
Absolute TCR standard +/ - 100ppm/°C 
Absolute TCR special +/ - 50ppm/° C 
Matching Mid-range values +/ - 0.1%
Power dissipation 77.5 kwatts/metre2 nominal 
Adjust on test facility Active trim of circuit function (R or C) 
Close tolerance resistors Thin film chip resistors 
Wire bonding
Gold Thermosonic, 0.0177mm to 0.05mm Ø.
Aluminium Ultrasonic, 0.0177mm to 0.05mm Ø.
Aluminium power Ultrasonic, 0.127mm to 0.635mm Ø.
Add-on components
Chip and wire transistors, FETS, Diodes. Digital and analogues IC's.
 Microprocessors and memory
 Thin film resistors
 Inductors, transformers, crystals.
 Capacitors, ceramic, tantalum or MOS.
Solder Surface Mount All the above mounted as small outline plastic packs, LCC or PLCC, D-Packs (Power Devices)
 Chip resistors.
Mil spec chip and wire Seam-sealed metal packs
MIL spec chip and wire Epoxy-sealed ceramic packs
Industrial spec chip and wire Silicone bond protected, epoxy coated
Industrial and commercial Epoxy coated
Surface mounted Epoxy coated
Format Dual-in-line
 Double-sided, mixed build customised format to suit the application.
Group A screening tests
Fine/gross leak < 5 x 10-8 att cc/s
Acceleration (steady state) 5000g
Rapid change of temperature -65°C to +150°C, 5 cycles
Burn-in 160 hours at +125°C, powered
Functional tests at 25°C To customers specification
Temperature tests (sample) T max and min as required
Special features
Pin grid array hybrids Customised packaging
Double-sided hybrids Print through or clip round
Resistors on dielectric Allows tracking under resistors
Fine line and space 0.1mm line and space (conventional printing)
 0.05mm line, 0.025mm space (new method, patent applied for)
Glass windows in metal or ceramic Mounting on photo-devices or eprom.
Militarised ceramic hybrids Using solder metal frame lids
High temperature hybrids Up to 200°C.
Power hybrids High dissipating devices
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Product Miniaturisation in the UK

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