Executive Viewpoint

Shrink the iPhone
By Jim Stratigos, Jacket Micro Devices
Apple’s recently introduced 3G iPhone is a marvel of engineering from just about any perspective; compact, feature rich, cool touch screen, and a plethora of wireless functions. It’s also an indication of how far the electronics industry has yet to achieve in terms of miniaturization of complex analog circuits.

A glance at the single PCB shows about 40 little grey squares of single and multi-die IC packages along with hundreds of discrete SMT components. In fact, many of the little grey squares are SiPs containing IC die and even more passive components. In total, passive components occupy over 40% of the iPhone’s PCB area. What gives? Why haven’t the inductors, capacitors, and filters been absorbed into silicon and put on the Moore’s Law train to sub-micron miniaturization?

The answer is actually quite simple

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