What’s Right for Your Miniature, Medical Application? Wire Bonding or CoB? - Nexlogic
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OEM customers in many cases want to reduce PCB real estate even more than an earlier product generation. The technologies that advanced PCB microelectronics assembly offers these days to do just that provide medical electronics OEMs and other OEMs an array of different options to optimize their product designs, whether they be portable, wearable, insertable or ingestible devices.

However, it’s critical to know which technology best fits your medical electronics application. Take wire bonding, Fig. 1 and chip on board (CoB), Fig. 2, as examples. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Fig. 1-Gold Ball Wire Bonding

Fig. 2 CoB-Credit

Check out our SMT007 column for greater details. But in the meantime, here are some tips and hints that will give you a basic understanding about wire bonding and CoB.

  • Wire loop radius of bonded wires affects reliability.  The smaller the loop, the more reliable it is.
  • For high-speed, high-frequency RF and microwave applications, you need 100% assurance that wire length is short, and the loop is as small as possible to avoid the relevant noise.
  • Keeping the wire loop very short also avoids inductance created in RF applications.
  • Flexibility is a major advantage CoB has over wire bonding.
  • CoB is excellent for higher thermal application product projects.
  • When designing CoB fanout, traces coming out can be optimized; interconnects are more optimal compared to wire bonds.

Medical electronics OEMs and other OEMs have to take a close look at PCB microelectronics assembly for their advanced small and portable devices. It’s always best to partner with your EMS provider to discuss the variety of technologies that are best suited to their applications. Two of those technologies are wire bonding and CoB, and they need close scrutiny to make sure one or the other is best suited for their applications.