Abstract

Transfer-molding process is enjoying growing interest when aiming for novel high-power density system-in-packages (power SiPs), where not only transistors and diodes but also drivers, passives, coils, and transformers are supposed to be integrated in one package. Encapsulating modules in a transfer-molding process induces higher mechanical load onto module components compared with conventional silicone potting. Previous investigations have shown that integration of delicate components as ferrite cores into molded packages is not as trivial as integration of conventional surface-mount devices or power semiconductors; the brittle ferrites tend to fracture during the encapsulation process, resulting in higher ferrite core loss. The current study aims to identify main root causes for ferrite core cracking during manufacturing of molded power SiPs. The test vehicle is a symmetrical printed circuit board–based package with three pairs of E-shaped ferrite cores. The epoxy molding compound deployed here is characterized to enable filling simulations. Because technical datasheets of ferrites typically lack specifications of mechanical properties, ferrite materials are analyzed in more detail. Filling simulations and thermomechanical simulations are performed to gain insight into process-induced stress, which may induce cracks in the ferrites. In addition, different ferrite designs are evaluated regarding core losses and mechanical stability and, thus, their tendency to fracture.

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