LED: Second Level Connection Challenges

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Mechanical Engineers challenges in electronics packaging

LED LightsIn electronics packaging, first and second level connections present different challenges to engineering teams. Mechanical and packaging engineers working on first level connections  deal with the delicate process of connecting a chip to a substrate: as in case with the silicon chips, sub-dividing a task of delivering power and signal traces into two connection levels eases engineering challenges for the final product use and streamlines manufacturing.   Once the transfer of the chip to the substrate is completed, this first level-connected package is passed unto mechanical engineers for the second level connection. While there are various challenges at this stage, one of the main concerns for LED engineering teams is thermal management.

Licensed Mechanical Engineers and second level connections

In second level connections, a licensed mechanical engineer will take the assembled package and adopt it to specialized form-factors depending on the end user’s needs. Delivering power to the LEDs is easy. Removing the thermally-dissipated power is the tougher part.  Thermal power is wasted power and that keeps LED lighting from running efficiently.

Metal-core printed circuit boards (MCPCB’s) are often used for high power LED product.  These boards are made with very high metal content, and thus provide the necessary thermal conduction path for the heat generated at LED junction with the main focus on optimizing the thermal path.  Therefore, LED packaging engineers are always on a lookout for improvement in thermal management.  For example, SinkPad(tm) offers a PCB with highly optimized thermal performance.  Glew Engineering will be writing about this interesting design solution in future blogs.

Typical cooling solutions, such as forced convection with a fan, cannot be used in these  devices.  LED engineers have to design good conduction paths for improving natural convection efficiency.   Not only is the product reliability at stake, but also energy efficiency as s convert a higher fraction of electrical power into light at lower temperatures.


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