By Michael D. Casper, UltraSource, Inc.
Today, the cost and complexity of all platforms and systems in military and defense technologies are being challenged by the need for high functionality in smaller but less expensive architecture, especially in light of current national budget challenges. In the area of RF and microwave electronics it is becoming evident that a move from two dimensional (2D) planar circuitry architecture to three dimensional (3D) thin film multilayer technology can result in dramatic reduction of chip size, increase of operation speed, and lower total module costs. Circuit miniaturization is achieved by stacking multiple layers of thin film circuitry and polyimide dielectric coatings to form 3D interconnected multilevel circuits that can be very useful in high frequency, microwave and millimeter wave applications. Moving to 3D construction saves significant 2D area, shortens signal paths that provides dramatic increases in speed and performance, and reduces power consumption.