Next-Gen Microelectronics Design: Manufacturing Challenges and Opportunities

Next-Gen Microelectronics Design: Manufacturing Challenges and Opportunities

Originally published on the Celestica Blog

The innovations driving the development of technically sophisticated, smaller electronics are transforming the electronics assembly landscape. Hardware manufacturers are under pressure to achieve new advancements in miniaturization, improve device performance, lower costs and speed time-to-market. These factors have a significant impact on their design and production processes, including introducing die level functionality such as micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS).[1] This elevates the role a trusted partner like Celestica plays in shepherding their new ideas from design through prototyping and volume production.

Companies across every industry today are competing in what Celestica calls “The Acceleration Economy” characterized by three powerful forces: high customer expectations; emerging technologies; and globalized innovation and competition. OEMs partner with Celestica to succeed in this environment because of our 20+ years of experience in manufacturing some of the most complicated electronics in the world.

Celestica’s Microelectronics Lab in Newmarket plays a key role in helping OEMs develop innovative product designs and manufacturing processes that meet their customers’ high expectations, reduce time-to-market and lower costs. This enables manufacturers to focus on their core priorities, such as creating technology differentiation and go-to-market strategies, that enable them to grow their businesses.

“Achieving these goals demands going beyond making advancements in miniaturization,” says says Mike Berry, Celestica’s Microelectronics Lab Manager. “Product designs are becoming increasingly complex to incorporate moving, connectivity and mechanical systems or exposed silicon chips. They necessitate manufacturing processes that are more intricate than making millions of packaged components with wire bonding and soldering.”

We leverage these cutting-edge techniques and processes in our clean room environment to help our customers design and produce innovations across a wide range of markets, including electronic retail shelf displays that automatically update prices, eliminating the need to do so manually, and sensors that will allow your car to drive itself.

Cepton Technologies, Inc. is a developer of industry-leading 3D sensing solutions for automotive, industrial and mapping applications. The company made waves earlier this year at CES 2019 by demonstrating its Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) solutions that enable autonomous vehicles to instantly recognize and track objects on all sides and take necessary actions to avoid accidents. 

Cepton partnered with Celestica to reduce the size of its LiDAR sensor so that it fits within the vehicle’s body without sacrificing range and performance. We optimized the product design and moved it into fast high-volume production. How fast is fast? It takes a Cepton technician more than two hours to build one LiDAR sensor by hand. Celestica’s fully automated process reduced that time to just a few minutes.

“Celestica is the most agile contract manufacturer partner when it comes to the manufacturing of optical and electronic assemblies,” says Cepton CEO Dr. Jun Pei.

The Cepton-Celestica partnership is a case study for overcoming the pressures of next-gen microelectronics design and manufacturing. Cepton excels at fast-paced technology design and development of prototypes, and Celestica brings complementary operational and management excellence. Together, we are producing technology that is transformative for the entire automotive industry.

Succeeding in the Acceleration Economy demands constant innovation. The Celestica microelectronics lab offers our customers the capabilities and engineering expertise to design and manufacture projects that are “non standard” applications across the communications, aerospace and defense, automotive, smart energy, retail, and healthtech markets.

[1] “Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) are microscale devices and systems that integrate electronic components with mechanical ones.” Microelectromechanical systems. (2018, October 03). New World Encyclopedia