The Tyndall National Institute in Cork, Ireland was founded in 1982 which was named NMRC (National Microelectronics Research Centre) back then. In 2004 at the initiative of the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment and University College Cork (UCC), Tyndall was asked to bring together complementary activities in photonics, electronics and networking research across several UCC academic departments as well as the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT). The objective was to create an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) research institute in Ireland, to support industry and academia. It now employs over 450 staff and students and is the largest ICT research institute in Ireland. The strengths of the institute at the present time lie in the areas of Microsystems, Photonics, Micro/Nanoelectronics, Materials, Theory, and Modelling & Design. The Institute has ISO-9001 accreditation.
The Tyndall-UCC participants in this proposal are working in the Heterogeneous Systems Integration group within the Microsystems Centre of the institute which is involved in creation of complex integrated systems from different technological backgrounds. Miniaturisation demands require 3D, wafer level, integration of semiconductor and sensing devices incorporating functionality such as power/energy harvesting, cooling, A/D conversion, signal conditioning, and wireless communication. The designated people involved in the proposal have a close affinity with the biomedical microsystems application domain.
Tyndall-UCC has over 10 years’ experience and know-how in the area of biomedical microsystems and life science integration. The core strength that could be relied upon was in microelectronics packaging & interconnect reliability assessment and failure analysis. Meanwhile the design & silicon fabrication facilities had resulted in the development of a wide range of sensing devices later followed by MEMS device fabrication. Besides developing its own metal plating capabilities, also polymeric encapsulation and attachment expertise was developed in combination with the introduction of novel substrate technologies and smaller footprint electronic component assembly. Tyndall-UCC has been experimenting with near-hermetic silicone encapsulation of test-chips studying the effects of wire-interconnects and electrical current. Finally, dependent on the required electronic real-estate and the physical space available, Tyndall-UCC has expertise with stacking or embedding components in condensed formats.