HTCC vs LTCC – Applications and Challenges

HTCC vs LTCC – applications and challenges

Are you curious about the differences between HTCC vs LTCC? Look no further! In this article, we’ll explore the contrasting features and benefits of High-Temperature Co-Fired Ceramic (HTCC) and Low-Temperature Co-Fired Ceramic (LTCC) technologies. Whether you’re an engineer, a tech enthusiast, or simply interested in the world of ceramics, join us as we delve into the unique characteristics and applications of these two fascinating materials. Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

What is HTCC?

HTCC (high-temperature co-fired ceramic) is a manufacturing process used to produce ceramic components that can withstand elevated temperatures. HTCC involves stacking multiple ceramic layers, which are then co-fired in a high-temperature kiln to create a single, integrated structure.

HTCC (high-temperature co-fired ceramic)
HTCC (high-temperature co-fired ceramic)

This technique is commonly used in the production of electronic components such as multilayer ceramic capacitors, sensors, and substrates for microelectronics. HTCC ceramics offer excellent thermal stability, high electrical insulation, and compatibility with harsh environments, making them ideal for applications in aerospace, automotive, and other industries.

What is LTCC?

LTCC, or low-temperature co-fired ceramic, is a fascinating technology that combines the benefits of ceramics and electronics. It is a special type of ceramic material that can be processed at relatively low temperatures, typically below 1000 degrees Celsius, making it ideal for integrating electronic components.

LTCC(low-temperature co-fired ceramic)
LTCC(low-temperature co-fired ceramic)

In simple terms, LTCC involves printing or depositing conductive traces on thin ceramic layers, which are then stacked and interconnected to create complex electrical circuits. This process allows for the integration of various components like resistors, capacitors, and inductors, as well as the creation of miniaturized and highly reliable electronic devices.

Low Temperature Co fired Ceramic LTCC Market Research Report 2022

HTCC vs LTCC – what are the differences?

HTCC vs LTCC
HTCC vs LTCC

Because HTCC uses high melting point metals such as tungsten, molybdenum, and manganese, these metals greatly increase the radio frequency loss of components. However, the advantages are high structural strength, good chemical stability and high wiring density. Its thermal conductivity is as high as 20W/mK, which is much greater than the heat dissipation efficiency of the LTCC substrate. In contrast, the thermal conductivity of the LTCC substrate is only 3W/mK, which makes it difficult to dissipate heat in a high-density layout structure and can easily damage the chip.

Advantages of LTCC technology
(1) It has good electrical and mechanical properties, such as good high-frequency characteristics, good temperature stability of resonant frequency, wide range of dielectric constant coverage, and thermal expansion coefficient close to silicon;

(2) High system stability and reliability;

(3) 3D microstructures including cavities, channels, etc. can be produced;

(4) Have high-level integration features (sensors, drivers, microfluidic control, LTCC electronic and optoelectronic systems, etc.);

(5) It still has very good characteristics under high voltage.

(6)High pressure characteristics and high vacuum degree. In addition, the LTCC manufacturing industry is simple, fast and cheap, with low industrial capital investment, short cycle and high profitability, which has efficiency advantages.

HTCC vs LTCC: applications

Electronic packaging ceramic materials are in increasing demand due to their excellent thermal conductivity, dielectric, corrosion resistance, high strength and high reliability, and their application fields are also constantly expanding. The two co-firing technologies are different in application.

HTCC
It is mainly used in heating and packaging fields that require higher thermal stability, smaller requirements for high-temperature volatile gases, and higher sealing requirements.

1、Automotive industry: HTCC materials are often used in engine control units and sensors that must withstand high temperatures. For example, HTCC ceramic tube shells are used in high-power automotive circuits.
2、Aerospace: Traditional pressure-sensitive devices cannot withstand extreme conditions such as high temperatures in aerospace. Therefore, HTCC materials can be used for sensors, actuators and other components on spacecraft or aircraft. For example, passive high-temperature-resistant sensors adapted to turbine engine and ramjet engine environments, LTCC substrate sensors can work below 600°C, and LC high-temperature pressure sensors made of HTCC as the substrate material have better performance.
3、Military industry: Mainly used in the radio frequency switch matrix in radar communication systems, replacing the previous PCB multi-layer board substrate material, providing a variety of options for the miniaturization of the radio frequency transceiver front-end, tackling miniaturization, low cost, and high integration.
4、Energy industry: HTCC materials can be used in energy industries such as oil drilling, of course because they can withstand high-temperature environments.

LTCC
LTCC is also widely used due to its good electrical properties:
1. Communication electronics
Due to the wide range of dielectric constant coverage, LTCCs with different dielectric constants can be used to meet different needs. For example, LTCCs with low dielectric constants are used to package high-frequency transmission lines, LTCCs with medium dielectric constants are used to make filters, and LTCCs with high dielectric constants are used to make filters. The LTCC realizes device miniaturization, etc., and has high flexibility in device design.

In the current emerging and popular 5G communication technology field, LTCC technology and materials are increasingly used. For example, 5G access working devices made of LTCC materials can meet the three basic requirements of full-spectrum access, high-frequency band and even millimeter-wave transmission and ultra-high broadband transmission. LTCC products used in mobile phones include LC filters, duplexers, functional modules, and transceiver switch functional modules.

At present, different functional chips, components and circuits can also be combined into multi-chip components. This component form has developed rapidly in the direction of high frequency. For example, thick film circuit technology based on LTCC/LCP technology has extended from 50MHz to 60GHz millimeter wave frequency band.

2. Automotive electronics
Automotive control is developing rapidly in the direction of intelligence and electronics. LTCC is widely used in automotive electronic circuits because of its excellent high-temperature resistance, vibration resistance and sealing performance. ECU (engine control module) and ABS (anti-lock braking module) apply LTCC technology and materials to meet the requirements for high reliability and high performance of automobiles.

3. Aerospace electronics
LTCC materials have become the material of choice for MCM multi-chip micro-assembly processes. LTCC can not only reduce the size and mass of spacecraft payloads but can also adapt to the harsh, changeable, extremely cold and hot environment in space.

4. Medical equipment
Among medical machines that are closely related to people’s health, LTCC materials have the characteristics of small size, high reliability, and no side effects on the human body. They can fully meet the needs of medical devices such as pacemakers and hearing aids that need to be implanted in the human body. It has great advantages in terms of performance requirements and cost.

In addition, there is also considerable room for development in the fields of military integrated circuits, surface acoustic wave devices, crystal oscillator devices, and optoelectronic devices.

FAQ

HTCC (high-temperature co-fired ceramic) is a manufacturing process used to produce ceramic components that can withstand elevated temperatures. HTCC involves stacking multiple ceramic layers, which are then co-fired in a high-temperature kiln to create a single, integrated structure.

LTCC, or low-temperature co-fired ceramic, is a fascinating technology that combines the benefits of ceramics and electronics. It is a special type of ceramic material that can be processed at relatively low temperatures, typically below 1000 degrees Celsius, making it ideal for integrating electronic components.

Low temperature means that the sintering temperature is below 1,000 °C (1,830 °F), while high temperature is around 1,600 °C (2,910 °F).

Sign up for newsletter

Get latest news and update

Newsletter BG