Sanyo is gearing up to produce electronic circuits using a process it calls ISB (integrated system on board), the company announced yesterday. The process will enable the production of smaller, lighter mobile phones and other mobile devices.

By combining one or more silicon chips with other devices such as resistors, capacitors and crystals to build a complete system in a single, thin package, manufacturers can reduce assembly and component costs.

SiP (super-thin system-in-package) technology competes with system LSI (large scale integrated circuit) products built using the SoC (system-on-chip) method, in which many different circuits and components are built on a single silicon wafer.

Because of LSI's complex design, it is costly and time-consuming to develop a system LSI chip. It also generates considerable heat in use as it is packed with so many functions.

SiP is seen as a breakthrough to solve these issues, said Yukio Okada, a general manager of Sanyo Electric's semiconductor development division.

Sanyo Electric's ISB process embeds and connects resistors, capacitors, crystals and other chip-type devices along with multiple LSIs in a package, with bare chips directly bonded to the copper wiring pattern and a copper substrate, without a core circuit board, Okada said. This core-less and copper-wired ISB structure costs less and discharges heat efficiently. It can also run at high frequency.

ISB circuits can be small — just 0.7mm thick — and the design is easily changeable, Okada said. As existing semiconductor chips can be combined, its system is easier to design, according to a Sanyo statement.

The company plans to manufacture the ISB products for cellular phones first, and then expand its use for other devices, Okada said.