Scanning for Ideas: Putting Cameras-on-Chip in Smaller Packages

Sept. 11, 2008
Cameras can now be made small enough to fit on ICs, but those chip-based cameras must be protected, so packaging is important.

The packaging must keep out moisture and humidity. But it also has to be thin so it doesn’t interfere with the rest of the circuit board. So engineers at Tessera, San Jose (, developed Shellcase MVP, a wafer-level chip package for cameras.

Shellcase uses a glass-silicon sandwich structure covered in a layer of waterproof polymer. The polymer, glass, and silicon let light though, so the camera can do its job. The package is die-sized with X and Y dimensions identical to the original chip size. Shellcase comes in cavity and noncavity formats, as well as with leaded or lead-free bumps. The packaging can also accommodate filters.

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