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Micro-Modules: Component Parts and Materials Requirements

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2 Author(s)
Danko, S.F. ; U.S. Army Signal Res. and Dev. Lab. ; Kublin, V.

The growth of our microminiaturization capabilities to date is cited as having been random and uncoordinated. The Signal Corps' micro-module effort is described as a definite step toward a concept that has depth and scope. A new dimension--a ten-to-one size reduction over the best now realized, is selected as reasonably attainable in 3 to 5 years. Named as providing the background for the present program, are such designs as the Army's Korean "Handy-Talkie," the Navy's "Tinkertoy," the Bell Telephone Laboratories' transistor, and the Army's "solder-dipped printed wiring." Also credited as being a major contributor, is the recent trend toward "packaging by function" where standard modular dimensions and a throw-away maintenance philosophy buy us another two-to-one size reduction, to reach a plateau of around 50,000 parts per cubic foot. It is stressed that a positive approach is now needed toward a completely new plateau in size and packaging density, of at least 500,000 parts per cubic foot. Our present capabilities are assessed, and a ten-to-one size reduction is shown for Sprague's ceramic printed circuit, and two transistor amplifiers by Centralab. The Army's micro-module wafer element (0.3 inch X 0.3 inch X 0.01 inch thick) is announced. A model demonstrating feasibility is shown, where a complete 5-transistor superheterodyne radio receiver is built into an ordinary fountain pen. Present capabilities are displayed for fabricating component parts on the 0.09-squareinch micro element. Specific accomplishments are shown, such as: a precision metal-film resistor, a precision glass capacitor, a flatplate ceramic capacitor, a hermetically-sealed solid-tantalum electrolyte capacitor, and several other special component parts. Five categories of Army equipments (portable, vehicular, missile, projectile, and satellite), and three plateaus of temperature (+85°C, +125°C, and +200°C, above a cold level of --55°C) are selected as meeting present Army environmental requirements. The guiding philosophy, in setting up the program, is described as providing: first, a meaningful step forward based on immediately attainable tangible techniques; and second, a parallel solid-state research effort to impr- ove and mature the concept. To accomplish the "big step forward" in size reduction and "throw-away" maintenance, RCA is announced as leader-contractor to coordinate industry wide activities.

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Production Techniques, IRE Transactions on  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 1 )