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Zarlink Joins Consortium Developing “Smart Flex” Packaging for the Miniaturization ofCarry-Along Personal Electronic Systems


  • European Commission-funded SHIFT Project focusing on 
    highly integrated, mechanically flexible electronic systems

CALDICOT, UK, April 11, 2007 – Zarlink Semiconductor (NYSE/TSX:ZL) today announced that it has joined the SHIFT Project (Smart High-Integration Flex Technologies). Co-funded by the European Commission, the project is developing flexible, highly integrated packages for emerging electronicconsumer systems, including medical devices, portable communication tools, smart cards and aerospace utomotiveapplications.  

The SHIFT Project consortium consists of R&D institutes, industrial flex manufacturers, end-users and a technology support agency. Zarlink’s participation in the SHIFT Project is based in its Caldicot, UK site. The company’s work will be initially focused on developing flexible packaging technology for the personal medical device market. The first SHIFT enabled product demonstrator from Zarlink will be available in the summer off 2007 year.

 With the increase in electronics systems that are located near, on or even implanted in patients, product manufacturers are seeking lightweight, flexible and compact designs to increase product functionality, user comfort and convenience. The embedding of components in fFlexible materials such as polyimides will be are already being used todayas the basis of these products. To boost the combination of high functionality and compactness as well as user comfort, there is a need for substantial development in the use of embedded components in flex substrates. 

“Medical electronic systems that move along with the user increasingly require more functionality, and must be extremely small, lightweight and available at a reasonable price,” said David Heatherall, external project leader at Zarlink’s Caldicot facility. “This trend is just starting and it’s clear that we need to advance ‘smart’ packaging technology, which means developing a flexible multilayer structure supporting multiple functions.”

Zarlink’s Caldicot facility is a leader in advanced micropackaging solutions . for medical, high reliability and security markets. It offers s unique SIP (system-in-package)solutions that give approach delivers customers with the flexibility to incorporate a higher profile components count and greater functionality in a smaller space  (die stacking, filters, etc) than what is typically found in conventional electronic assembliesmoulded SIP components.

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