Small-pin-count packages Integrated Circuits
MCUs for the Internet of Things: Small Size, Big Impact
Small-size packages are a key enabler for fitting MCUs into the confined board space allowed by the majority of IoT end points. Wearable devices, in particular, will have very limited space, but will still need significant processing power and storage to implement the front-end functions required by sensors, sensing aggregators, and controllers. Chip Scale Packages (CSPs) provide an ultra-small footprint without requiring exotic manufacturing capabilities. The Freescale Kinetis KL0320-pin CSP MCU Family, for example, uses a 20-pin CSP format with a 1.6 x 2.0 mm 2-package size. As shown in the illustration in Figure 1, the 20-pin device has 20 solder bumps at a fine pitch to fit into a minimum amount of board space.
Low-pin-count packages are ideal for many IoT applications, and when using these small packages you need not give up powerful processing capabilities. Efficient pin mapping via an IO Switch Matrix, Event Link Controller, or on-chip Configurable Logic Cells can improve pin efficiency to make sure you are using a minimum of board space in the most size-constrained IoT applications.
Planar transformers maintain a very flat, low profile that minimizes component height. To accomplish this, designers eliminate the traditional copper wound coil approach and replace it with a laminar approach that uses multiple PCBs stacked together. These planar transformers can be through-hole or surface-mount and they satisfy requirements for low-profile applications.
Significant development and improvements have taken place during the past fifteen years in the general area of battery technology. Among the most motivating forces which have acted as catalysts for these changes, none have been more significant than the rapid development of new circuit components and the virtually irresistable trend towards ever greater magnitudes of miniaturization.
Flexible display and OLED
Wearable displays are going to change the mobile market, not to mention gaming, and usher augmented reality into the mainstream.