Vertically integrated modules for low power embedded sensor systems
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A typical embedded sensor system consists of an environmental sensor, data storage, and a control circuit (such as a microcontroller). Two main traits desired of these embedded sensor systems are small form factor and low power consumption. However, due to the diverse nature of the design and applications, monolithic solutions incorporating the three main components are often not available on a large cost effective scale. This work describes a method of integrating heterogeneous circuit components into a single module. When combined with efficient operating algorithms the system size is reduced and lifetime is extended. Production or custom designed component chips are thinned and stacked vertically while interconnects are fabricated within the module providing a 3-D integration (3DI) of the system. A Global Positioning System (GPS) location recording sensor system is designed with the intention of applying the 3DI process to reduce its size and power consumption.