The aim of the research work presented here, is to contribute to the adaptation of electronic packaging towards the needs of high frequency applications. As the field of electronic packaging stretches over several very different professional areas, it takes an interdisciplinary approach to optimize the technology of electronic packaging. Besides this, an extensive knowledge of industrial engineering should be an essential part of this undertaking to improve electronic packaging. Customary advances in technology are driven by new findings and a continuous development of processes in clearly defined fields. However, in the field of the higher levels of the interconnection hierarchy, that is external to the chip level interconnections and chip packaging, it is supposed that a wide combination of disciplines and technical creativity, instead of advanced technology in a special area should produce most added value.
The thesis is divided into five areas, interlinked by the overall aim of there advantages to the common goal. These areas are the Printed Wiring Board (PWB) technology, PWB connections using flexible printed circuit boards, multiconductor cable connections, shielded enclosures and the related EMC issues, and finally the cooling of electronics. A central issue was to improve the shielded enclosures to be effective also at very high frequencies; it will be shown that shielded enclosures without apertures can cope with frequencies up to and above 15 GHz. Due to this enclosure without apertures, it was necessary to develop a novel cooling structure. This cooling structure consists of a heat sink where the PCB’s are inserted in close contact to the cooling fins on one side, whereas the other side of the heat sink is cooled by forced ventilation. The heat transfer between these parts is completely inside the same body. Tests carried out on a prototype have shown that the performance of the cooling structure is satisfactory for electronic cooling.
Another problem area that is addressed are the interconnect problems in high frequency applications. Interconnections between parts of a local electronic system, or as within the telecom and datacom field between subscribers, are commonly accomplished by cable connections. In this research work multiconductor cables are examined and a patented novel cable-connector for high frequency use is presented. Further, an experimental complex soldering method between flexible printed circuits boards and rigid printed circuits boards, as part of connections between PCBs, is shown. Finally, different sectors of the PCB technology for high frequency applications are scrutinized and measurements on microstrip structures are presented.