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Miniaturization Through Embedded Packaged Components

Comments(1)Filed under: PCB Layout and routing, PCB Signal and power integrity, PCB design, Allegro PCB Editor, High-Density Interconnect, HDI, PDN, Allegro, IC Packaging and SiP Design, IC Packaging, PCB, TeamAllegro, PCB PI, power integrity, PCB power integrity, SPB16.5, Allegro 16.5, embedded components, miniaturization

As consumers we are very familiar with product miniaturization trends. We demand more functionality in smaller sizes that have longer battery life all the time. The electronics market has been delivering to those customer expectations not just in consumer electronics marketplace, but in all market segments.

Over the years, miniaturization has taken various design and implementation approaches.  One of the ways designers reduced their product size was to use build-up technology using high-density interconnect (HDI) and micro-vias. With shrinking pin pitches on BGA, more designers were forced to use HDI and micro-vias.


A new trend of embedding packaged components on inner layers of PCB and IC packages has emerged in the past 18-24 months. In the past, embedded packaged component technology remained elusive for the broader market due to lack of proper design tools and/or high cost of embedding components on inner layers. Many more companies worldwide now have development projects, prototypes or first series of products with embedded components that are produced by multiple manufacturing companies.


There are two distinct manufacturing approaches used to embed packaged components on inner layers of a PCB and IC packages – direct attach and indirect attach. The direct attach method has been in production for a while and many companies have been using it for prototypes to test out the challenges and benefits of embedded packaged components. The indirect attach method is a newer approach that provides some additional benefits over direct attach, but has its own design challenges.




The new Allegro 16.5 release supports both direct and indirect attach methods for embedding packaged components. While many PCB designers initially want to embed passive components, Allegro allows users to embed active components as well. It allows designers to control which components should be embedded (cost, size and performance trade-offs) and which shouldn’t be. This enables the PCB implementation design phase to flag any violations as they occur.


With both direct and indirect attach methods, there are a set of manufacturing rules that influence the design process. Allegro 16.5 allows users to specify these rules and enables a constraint-driven PCB design flow for embedded components and associated cavities.  These rules include clearances between components that are embedded, the specification of components that can be embedded, and the layers that are chosen for embedding through the layer stack-up editor as well as rules for managing cavities.

Be on the lookout for Jerry Grzenia’s “What’s Good About Embedded in Allegro PCB 16.5” blog to be published shortly. For more information about embedded components, refer to the product notes in the 16.5 release which will be available for download by May 23, 2011.  You can reach me, via email – shah@cadence.com – if you have any questions or comments on this or any other topic related to Allegro Design Authoring or Implementation.


Hemant Shah





By PCB Manufacture on November 1, 2011
Very good blog.Great information it very useful an informative.

Thank you for sharing.

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