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1. (WO2004017399) MICROELECTRONIC PACKAGES WITH SELF-ALIGNING FEATURES
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CLAIMS :
1. An intermediate structure for making a microelectronic package comprising:
(a) a substrate having first and second parts;
(b) a first microelectronic device attached to said substrate;
(c) a first alignment element attached to said first part of said substrate; and
(d) a second alignment element attached to said second part of said substrate,
said substrate being adapted for folding so as to bring said first and second alignment elements into engagement with one anther, said alignment elements being adapted to engage one another so as to retain said second part of said substrate in a pre-selected disposition relative to said first part of said substrate.
2. A structure as claimed in claim 1 wherein said substrate is a sheet-like element having an interior side and an exterior side, said alignment elements being disposed at least partially on said interior side of said substrate.
3. A structure as claimed in claim 1 wherein said first alignment element includes a mass of encapsulant at least partially covering said first microelectronic device.
4. A structure as claimed in claim 1 wherein said substrate has terminals exposed at said exterior surface in said first and second parts, at least some of said terminals being connected to said first microelectronic device.
5. A microelectronic package comprising:
(a) a substrate having first and second parts;
(b) a first microelectronic device attached to said substrate;
(c) a first alignment element attached to said first part of said substrate; and
(d) a second alignment element attached to said second part of said substrate, said substrate being folded so that said alignment elements are engaged with one another and retain said second part of said substrate in a pre-selected disposition relative to said first part of said substrate.
6. A package as claimed in claim 5 wherein said substrate is a sheet-like element having an interior side and an exterior side, said substrate being folded so that the interior side of said first part faces the interior side of said second part.
7. A package as claimed in claim 6 wherein, said first microelectronic device is disposed between said first and second parts of said substrate.
8. A package as claimed in claim 6 wherein said substrate has connecting terminals exposed at the exterior side of said second part.
9. A package as claimed in claim 6 or claim 7 wherein said substrate has bonding terminals exposed at the exterior side of said first part.
10. A package as claimed in claim 5 wherein said first and second parts of the substrate extend in planes substantially parallel to one another, and wherein the engaged first and second elements limit movement of said second part relative to said first part in at least some directions parallel to said planes.
11. A method of making a microelectronic package comprising the steps of:
(a) forming a first and second elements on first and second parts of a substrate bearing a first microelectronic device; and then
(b) folding said substrate so that said first and second elements engage one another so as to hold said second part of said substrate in a pre-selected disposition relative to said first part of said substrate.
12. A method as claimed in claim 11 wherein said folding step is performed so that said first and second parts of the substrate overlap one another with said first microelectronic device disposed between them.

13. A method as claimed in claim 11 wherein said folding step is performed so that said first and second parts of the substrate extend in planes substantially parallel to one another after said folding step, and wherein the engaged first and second elements limit movement of said second part relative to said first part in at least some directions parallel to said planes .
14. A method as claimed in claim 11 wherein said first element includes a mass of an encapsulant at least partially covering said first microelectronic device.
15. A method as claimed in claim 11 wherein said step of forming said first and second elements includes forming the first and second elements using a single tool engaged with the substrate .
16. A method as claimed in claim 15 wherein said step of forming said elements includes molding said second element and said mass in place on said substrate using a common mold.
17. A method as claimed in claim 16 wherein said second element is formed from the same material as said mass of encapsulant in said common mold.
18. A method as claimed in claim 16 wherein molding step includes molding said second element simultaneously with said mass .
19. A method as claimed in claim 15 wherein said second element includes a frame at least partially defining a pocket, said pocket receiving said mass.
20. A method as claimed in claim 11 further comprising the step of forming an adhesive bond during or after said folding step so that said adhesive bond locks said second part of said substrate in position relative to said first part of said substrate .
21. A method as claimed in claim 20 wherein said first element includes a mass of encapsulant at least partially covering said first microelectronic device, said mass having a top surface facing away from said first part of said substrate, and wherein said step of forming said adhesive bond includes forming said bond between the top surface of the mass and the second part of the substrate.
22. A method as claimed in claim 21 further comprising the step of providing an adhesive on the top surface of the mass, on the second part of the substrate, or both prior to said folding step, said step of forming said bond being performed using the provided adhesive.
23. A method as claimed in claim 20 further comprising the step of removing at least one of said elements after forming said bond.
24. A method as claimed in claim 11 wherein said substrate has a plurality of microelectronic devices thereon, the method further comprising the step of severing said substrate, after said folding step, so as to form a plurality of units, each including one or more of said plurality of microelectronic devices and portions of said first and second parts of said substrate.
25. A microelectronic package comprising an elongated substrate having a proximal part, a distal part and a central part disposed between said proximal and distal parts, and a microelectronic device mounted to one of said parts, said substrate being folded so that said proximal and distal parts overlie said central part with said microelectronic device disposed between said central part and said proximal and distal parts, said substrate having a proximal set of traces extending along the substrate from said central part to said proximal part and a distal set of traces extending along the substrate from said central part to said distal part.
26. A package as claimed in claim 25 wherein said substrate has a set of central terminals disposed on said central part, a set of proximal terminals disposed on said proximal part and a set of distal terminals disposed on said distal part, said proximal set of traces connecting said at least some of said proximal terminals with at least some of said central terminals, said distal set of traces connecting said distal terminals with at least some of said central terminals .
27. A package as claimed in claim 25 wherein said microelectronic device is disposed on said central part, and wherein said substrate has a set of proximal terminals disposed on said proximal part and a set of distal terminals disposed on said distal part, said proximal set of traces connecting said at least some of said proximal terminals with said microelectronic device, said distal set of traces connecting said distal terminals with said microelectronic device.
28. A package as claimed in claim 27 wherein said substrate has central terminals disposed on said central part, at least some of said central terminals being connected to at least some of said proximal terminals or to at least some of said distal terminals by at least some of said traces .
29. A package as claimed in claim 25 wherein said substrate has an interior surface and an exterior surface, the interior surfaces of said proximal and distal parts facing toward the interior surface of said central part.