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Title:
HIGH Q FACTOR INDUCTOR STRUCTURE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/145422
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
The present disclosure provides a vertical inductor structure in which the magnetic field is closed such that the magnetic field of the vertical inductor structure is cancelled in the design direction outside the vertical inductor structure, yielding a small, or substantially zero, coupling factor of the vertical inductor structure. In one embodiment, several vertical inductor structures of the present disclosure can be placed in close proximity to create small resonant circuits and filter chains.

Inventors:
LEIPOLD, Dirk, Robert, Walter (1035 Coleman Rd, Apt. 7118San Jose, California, 95123, US)
CHANG, Danny, W. (526 Kirkham Street, San Francisco, California, 94122, US)
MAXIM, George (3151 Summercreek Drive, San Jose, California, 95136, US)
Application Number:
US2014/030188
Publication Date:
September 18, 2014
Filing Date:
March 17, 2014
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
RF MICRO DEVICES, INC. (7628 Thorndike Road, Greensboro, North Carolina, 27409, US)
International Classes:
H01F17/00
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WITHROW, Benjamin, S. (Withrow & Terranova, P.L.L.C.100 Regency Forest Drive,Suite 16, Cary North Carolina, 27518, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

What is claimed is:

1 . A vertical inductor structure in a substrate comprising:

at least four solid via columns, each of the at least four solid via columns comprising at least one solid via bar;

at least three connector plates, the at least three connector plates connecting the at least four solid via columns; and

at least two terminal plates, the at least two terminal plates comprise a terminal connection for the vertical inductor structure in the substrate.

2. The vertical inductor structure of claim 1 , wherein each of the at least two terminal plates enable an active device on the substrate to be connected to the vertical inductor structure in the substrate.

3. The vertical inductor structure of claim 1 , wherein the at least two terminal plates and the at least three connector plates are created in conductive layers of the substrate. 4. The vertical inductor structure of claim 1 , wherein the at least one solid via bar of each of the at least four solid via columns are created in non-conductive layers of the substrate.

5. The vertical inductor structure of claim 4, wherein a height of the at least one solid via bar of each of the at least four solid via columns corresponds to a depth of a non-conductive layer of the substrate.

6. The vertical inductor structure of claim 5, wherein a height of each of the at least four solid via columns corresponds to the height of the at least one solid via bar.

7. The vertical inductor structure of claim 6, wherein each of the at least four solid via columns comprise several of the at least one solid via bars stacked vertically in the substrate. 8. The vertical inductor structure of claim 1 , wherein the vertical inductor structure further comprises a high quality (Q) factor.

9. The vertical inductor structure of claim 8, wherein a value of the high Q factor is greater or equal to 100.

10. The vertical inductor structure of claim 9, wherein the value of the high Q factor is increased by increasing a width of each of the at least four solid via columns. 1 1 . The vertical inductor structure of claim 1 , wherein the vertical inductor structure further comprises a magnetic field, where the magnetic field is closed to an interior of the vertical inductor structure.

12. The vertical inductor structure of claim 1 1 , wherein the magnetic field is closed to the interior of the vertical inductor structure when a width of each of the at least four solid via columns are equal.

13. The vertical inductor structure of claim 12, wherein the vertical inductor structure further comprises a small coupling factor.

14. The vertical inductor structure of claim 13, wherein the small coupling factor is substantially zero.

15. The vertical inductor structure of claim 1 , wherein the vertical inductor structure is configured to generate a magnetic field, where the magnetic field is not closed to an interior of the vertical inductor structure.

16. The vertical inductor structure of claim 15, wherein the magnetic field is not closed to the interior of the vertical inductor structure when a width of each of the at least four solid via columns are not equal.

17. The vertical inductor structure of claim 16, wherein the vertical inductor structure further comprises a non-zero coupling factor.

18. The vertical inductor structure of claim 1 , wherein the vertical inductor is spherical.

19. The vertical inductor structure of claim 1 , wherein the vertical inductor structure is configured to generate a magnetic field, and wherein the at least four solid via columns, the at least three connector plates, and the at least two terminal plates are arranged such that the magnetic field is substantially confined to an interior of the vertical inductor structure.

20. A vertical inductor in a substrate, comprising:

at least two via columns, each of the at least two via columns comprising at least one via bar;

at least one connector plate, the at least one connector plate connecting the at least two via columns; and

at least two terminal plates, the at least two terminal plates comprise a terminal connection for the vertical inductor in the substrate.

21 . The vertical inductor of claim 20, wherein each of the at least two terminal plates enable an active device on the substrate to be connected to the vertical inductor in the substrate.

22. The vertical inductor of claim 21 , wherein the vertical inductor further comprises a high quality (Q) factor.

23. The vertical inductor of claim 22, wherein a value of the high Q factor has is greater or equal to 100. 24. The vertical inductor of claim 23, wherein the high Q factor is increased by increasing a width of the at least two via columns.

25. The vertical inductor of claim 20, wherein the vertical inductor is

configured to generate a magnetic field, the magnetic field running parallel to a design plane of the substrate.

26. The vertical inductor of claim 20, wherein the vertical inductor is spherical.

27. The vertical inductor of claim 20, wherein the vertical inductor is

configured to generate a magnetic field, and wherein the at least two via columns, the at least one connector plate, and the at least two terminal plates are arranged such that the magnetic field is substantially confined to an interior of the vertical inductor. 28. A circuit, comprising:

a first inductor; and

a second inductor; and

wherein the first inductor and the second inductor are arranged so as to generate a substantially confined magnetic field.

Description:
HIGH Q FACTOR INDUCTOR STRUCTURE

Related Applications

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent

Application Serial Number 61 /789,693, filed March 15, 2013; U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial Number 61 /831 ,666, filed June 6, 2013; U.S.

Provisional Patent Application Serial Number 61 /860,932, filed August 1 , 2013; and U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial Number 61/909,028, filed

November 26, 2013, the disclosures of which are hereby incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.

Field of the Disclosure

[0002] The present disclosure is directed to an inductor structure. More specifically, the disclosure relates to an inductor structure having a high quality (Q) factor and a small, or substantially zero, coupling factor.

Background

[0003] Consumers are demanding increasingly sophisticated functionality from their mobile devices. For instance, the ability to have a video chat over a wireless network on a mobile phone is a sophisticated and complicated type of service mobile phones are expected to offer. The demand for increased functionality increases the complexity of the underlying circuitry of a mobile device and decreases the amount of space on the circuit board for various types of circuitry of the mobile device. One of the most complex and space-consuming types of circuitry in a mobile device is the signal processing circuitry. In particular, resonant circuits, within the signal processing circuitry, possess inductors, which are typically difficult to miniaturize or condense into smaller areas of a mobile device circuit board.

[0004] The difficulty in miniaturizing or condensing inductors is due to design limitations in achieving a high quality (Q) factor and a small coupling factor. The Q factor of an inductor is the ratio of the inductor's inductive reactance to its resistance at a given frequency, and is a measure of the inductor's efficiency. High internal resistances lower the Q factor of an inductor.

[0005] Inductor Q factors are commonly the limiting design factor for the insertion loss of passive filters and impedance matching circuits that are commonly found in front end modules, antenna tuners, tunable band pass filters, duplexers, and similar resonant circuits. Inductors used in these applications need to provide good isolation to avoid signal leakage. Isolation between current planar inductors is limited by a coupling factor resulting from the magnetic field generated across the design plane, as shown in Figure 1 . The magnetic field is open outside of an inductor 10, and without any field cancellation, the inductor 10 picks up the magnetic field of an inductor 12, and vice versa, increasing the coupling factor between the inductors 10 and 12.

[0006] One known method of solving the isolation design limitations presented in Figure 1 is to simply widen the distance between the inductor 10 and the inductor 12 so the inductors 10 and 12 do not pick up each other's magnetic fields. This solution simply is not viable in resonant circuitry on mobile device circuit boards as the circuit board space is simply not available.

[0007] Another known method of solving the isolation problem shown in Figure 1 is to "fold" the circular inductors 10 and 12 into a folded figure eight design. The coupling factor between the inductors 10 and 12 is reduced or improved, but the magnetic field still runs across the design plane, such that significant spacing is still needed between the inductors 10 and 12 and

underpass circuitry connected to this known solution can be complex.

[0008] Still another known method of solving the isolation design limitations shown in Figure 1 is to create a vertical coil inductor within a multi-layered substrate, such as a laminate, utilizing standard tube vias. Placing the coil inductor vertically within the multi-layered substrate, instead of horizontally as shown in Figure 1 , enables the magnetic field to run parallel to the design plane, reducing the coupling factor of the inductor. However, standard tube vias limit inductor performance. When placing multiple tube vias in parallel, to create a coil, the required spacing between standard tube vias limits the metal density of the inductor, limiting the Q factor. Also, the magnetic field of the inductor will cause the current to be restricted to a very small effective area of the standard tube vias, further limiting the Q factor.

[0009] Thus, there is need for a high Q factor vertical inductor with a small, or substantially zero, coupling factor that does not take up a significant amount of space on a circuit board of a mobile device.

Summary

[0010] The present disclosure provides a vertical inductor structure in which a magnetic field is closed such that the magnetic field generated by the vertical inductor structure is cancelled in the design direction outside the vertical inductor structure, yielding a small, or substantially zero, coupling factor of the vertical inductor structure. In one embodiment, several vertical inductor structures of the present disclosure can be placed in close proximity to create small resonant circuits and filter chains.

[0011] The vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure, created in a substrate, comprises two or more solid via columns. With respect to an embodiment with at least four solid via columns, each of the at least four solid via columns comprises at least one solid via bar. The vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure also comprises at least three connector plates, the at least three connector plates connect the at least four solid via columns. The vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure further comprises at least two terminal plates, where the at least two terminal plates comprise a terminal connection for the vertical inductor structure in the substrate. In a first

embodiment of the present disclosure, the at least two terminal plates of the vertical inductor structure are located on a top of the vertical inductor structure. In a second embodiment of the present disclosure, the at least two terminal plates of the vertical inductor structure are located on a bottom of the vertical inductor structure.

[0012] The terminal plates and connector plates of the vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure are created in conductive layers of a substrate, such as a laminate. The solid via bars of the at least four solid via columns are created in non-conductive layers of the substrate, wherein a height of each solid via bar corresponds with a depth of a non-conductive layer in the substrate. The at least four solid via columns are created by stacking several of the solid via bars between conductive layers in the substrate. The at least four solid via columns connect the at least two terminal plates and the at least three connector plates etched in the conductive layers in order to create the vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure in the substrate.

[0013] The high Q factor and the small coupling factor of the vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure can be adjusted by either increasing or decreasing widths of the at least four solid via columns. The widths of the at least four solid via columns can be increased to improve the metal density of the vertical inductor structure and to achieve a high Q factor without increasing the inductive resistance of the vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure. In a first embodiment, the magnetic field of the vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure is closed to an interior of the vertical inductor structure when the widths of each of the at least four solid via columns are equal in size. The coupling factor is small, or substantially zero, when the magnetic field of the vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure is closed to the interior of the vertical inductor structure. However, in a second embodiment, the widths of the at least four solid via columns are not equal, thus enabling the magnetic field of the vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure to leak outside the vertical inductor structure to obtain a desired coupling factor.

[0014] Vertical inductor structures of the present disclosure can be placed in close proximity to create resonant filter chains. In a first embodiment, a resonant filter chain comprises at least two vertical inductor structures of the present disclosure wherein widths of at least four solid via columns of a vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure are equal and a coupling factor between the vertical inductor structures of the resonant filter chain is small or substantially zero. In a second embodiment, a resonant filter chain comprises at least two vertical inductor structures of the present disclosure wherein widths of at least four solid via columns of a vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure are not equal and a coupling factor between the vertical inductor structures of the resonant filter chain of the second embodiment is small, but not zero.

[0015] Those skilled in the art will appreciate the scope of the present disclosure and realize additional aspects thereof after reading the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments in association with the accompanying drawing figures.

Brief Description of the Drawing Figures

[0016] The accompanying drawing figures incorporated in and forming a part of this specification illustrate several aspects of the disclosure, and together with the description serve to explain the principles of the disclosure.

[0017] Figure 1 illustrates conventional planar loop inductors from related art;

[0018] Figure 2 illustrates a vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure;

[0019] Figure 3 illustrates a second embodiment of a vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure;

[0020] Figure 4A illustrates a cross-section terminal view of the terminal side of the first embodiment in a multi-layered substrate;

[0021] Figure 4B illustrates a cross-section side view of the first embodiment in the multi-layered substrate;

[0022] Figure 4C illustrates a cross section terminal view opposite of the terminal side of the first embodiment in the multi-layered substrate;

[0023] Figure 5A illustrates a top-down view of the first embodiment of the vertical inductor structure with a first embodiment of port connections to terminal plates of the vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure;

[0024] Figure 5B illustrates a second embodiment of the vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure with a second embodiment of the terminal plates of the present disclosure; [0025] Figure 6 illustrates a first embodiment of a resonant filter chain comprising at least two of the vertical inductor structures of the present disclosure;

[0026] Figure 7 illustrates a second embodiment of a resonant filter chain comprising at least two of the vertical inductor structures of the present disclosure; and

[0027] Figure 8 illustrates an alternative embodiment to stacking solid via bars to create solid via columns of the present disclosure. Detailed Description

[0028] The embodiments set forth below represent the necessary information to enable those skilled in the art to practice the embodiments and illustrate the best mode of practicing the embodiments. Upon reading the following

description in light of the accompanying drawing figures, those skilled in the art will understand the concepts of the disclosure and will recognize applications of these concepts not particularly addressed herein. It should be understood that these concepts and applications fall within the scope of the disclosure and the accompanying claims.

[0029] The present disclosure provides a vertical inductor structure with a high quality (Q) factor, a magnetic field of the vertical inductor structure closed to an interior of the vertical inductor structure, and a coupling factor that is small, or substantially zero. The vertical inductor structures of the present disclosure significantly reduce the amount of space taken up by resonant circuitry on a circuit board of a mobile device. However, the present disclosure is not limited to such environments and can be used in any environment in which an inductor is used.

[0030] Figure 2 demonstrates a first embodiment of a vertical inductor structure created in a substrate by stacking several layers of solid via bars to create solid via columns 14 and 16 that can be connected to terminal plates 18 and 20 on a top of the solid via columns 14 and 16 and a connector plate 22 on a bottom of the solid via columns 14 and 16. The substrate may be any type of substrate made from suitable non-conductive material(s) and/or semiconductor material(s). Exemplary non-conductive materials include laminate, a

semiconductor material, glass, a dielectric, plastic, fiber, and/or the like.

Exemplary semiconductor materials include Silicon (Si), Silicon Germanium (SiGe), Gallium Arsenide (GaAs), Indium Phosphorus (InP), and/or the like. The substrate may also be single layered or multi-layered. Conductive structures (e.g., the vertical inductor structure shown in Figure 2, connection paths, transmission paths, contact pads, terminals, passive circuit elements, etc.) may be formed on and/or within the substrate. The conductive structures may be metallic structures made from any type of metal(s) including, for example, copper (Cu), gold (Au), silver (Ag), Nickel (Ni), metallic alloys, and/or the like.

Conductive materials may also be non-metallic conductive materials (e.g., graphene). In this embodiment, the substrate is a multi-layered substrate made from a laminate. The multi-layered substrate thus includes a plurality of laminated substrate layers and metallic structures formed on and between the laminated substrate layers. The laminated substrate layers may be formed from laminates such as FR-1 , FR-2, FR-3, FR-4, FR-5, FR-6, CEM-1 , CEM-2, CEM-3, CEM-4, CEM-5, CX-5, CX-10, CX-20, CX-30, CX-40, CX-50, CX-60, CX- 70, CX- 80, CX-90, CX-100, and/or the like. In this embodiment, the multi-layered substrate includes standard tube vias.

[0031] While the specific embodiments described in this disclosure are implemented using a multi-layered substrate, the vertical inductor structures described herein are not limited to multi-layered substrates. Alternatively, the vertical inductor structures may be implemented using single-layered substrates.

[0032] With regard to the vertical inductor structure shown in Figure 2, the terminal plates 18 and 20 and the connector plate 22 are created in conductive layers of the multi-layered substrate. The solid via bars are created in non- conductive layers and provide a connection between the connective layers in the multi-layered substrate to create the solid via columns 14 and 16. A magnetic field H of the vertical inductor structure is parallel to the design plane of the multi- layered substrate, reducing the coupling factor of the vertical inductor structure. A width of the solid via columns 14 and 16 can be increased to improve the metal density of the vertical inductor structure to achieve a high quality (Q) factor without increasing the inductive resistance of the vertical inductor structure of Figure 2. However, the magnetic field H of the vertical inductor structure of Figure 2 is still open outside the vertical inductor structure, limiting the proximity in which the vertical inductor structure can be placed to other vertical inductor structures.

[0033] A second embodiment of a vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure is shown in Figure 3. The vertical inductor structure comprises four solid via columns (referred to generically as element 24, and specifically as solid via columns 24a, 24b, 24c, and 24d). Each of the solid via columns 24

comprises solid via bars 26. The vertical inductor structure of Figure 3 also comprises three connector plates 28, 30a, and 30b. The connector plate 28 connects the solid via column 24b to the solid via column 24c on a first side SA of the vertical inductor structure. On a second side SB of the vertical inductor structure that is antipodal to the first side SA, the connector plate 30a connects the solid via column 24a to the solid via column 24b, and the connector plate 30b connects the solid via column 24c to the solid via column 24d. The vertical inductor structure of Figure 3 further comprises two terminal plates 32 and 34. The terminal plates 32 and 34 comprise a terminal connection for the vertical inductor structure and are connected to the solid via columns 24a, 24d, respectively, at the first side SA. The terminal plates 32 and 34 can be

connected to ports P32 and P 34 , respectively, for connection to an external component, such as, but not limited to, a tunable capacitor. Note that the vertical inductor structure shown in Figure 3 is also a three-dimensional inductor structure. Furthermore, while the vertical inductor structure in Figure 3 is cubic, other embodiments of the vertical inductor structure may be any shape. For example, an alternative embodiment of the vertical inductor structure may be spherical.

[0034] Current from the port P32 flows to and across the terminal plate 32 down the solid via column 24a to the connector plate 30a. The current flow continues across the connector plate 30a up through the solid via column 24b to the connector plate 28. The current flow then continues across the connector plate 28 down through the solid via column 24c to the connector plate 30b. The current flow continues up through the solid via column 24d to the terminal plate 34 and up through the port P 34 . Since the current direction of one solid via column 24 is parallel to an adjacent solid via column 24 (for example, the adjacent solid via columns 24a and 24b), the magnetic fields generated from each individual solid via column 24 cancel each other, confining the magnetic field to the interior of the vertical inductor structure of Figure 3. Thus, the vertical inductor structure of Figure 3 contains a small, or substantially zero, coupling factor. As such, the solid via columns 24a-24d, the connector plates 28, 30a, 30b, and the terminal plates 32, 34 are arranged such that the magnetic field generated by the vertical inductor structure is substantially confined to the interior of the vertical inductor structure.

[0035] Figures 4A-4C provide cross-section views of the vertical inductor structure of Figure 3 in the multi-layered substrate. Note that the vertical inductor structure shown in Figures 4A-4C is also a three-dimensional inductor structure. In particular, Figure 4A provides a cross-section view of the terminal side of the vertical inductor structure of Figure 3. In Figure 4A, the ports P32 and P 34 extend from the surface of the multi-layered substrate down to the respective terminal plates 32 and 34. Placing the vertical inductor structure of Figure 3 in the substrate enables an active device, such as, but not limited to, a tunable capacitor, to be attached right above the vertical inductor structure on the surface of the multi-layered substrate to maintain a low series resistance between the vertical inductor structure and the active device, and to ensure homogenous injection of current between the vertical inductor structure and the active device. This arrangement also greatly reduces the amount of space resonant circuitry comprising the vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure takes up in the multi-layered substrate.

[0036] Figure 4A also provides a cross-section view of a gap 36 between the terminal plates 32 and 34. The gap 36 between the terminal plates 32 and 34 must be a minimum of approximately 50 microns to keep electrical separation between the terminal plates 32 and 34. It is also advantageous that the ports P32 and P 34 are respectively connected to substantially the edge of the terminal plates 32 and 34 for proper current flow throughout the vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure.

[0037] The cross-section view shown in Figure 4A also demonstrates how a height h of the solid via bars 26 correspond to a depth di of the substrate layers, which may range between approximately 50 microns and 80 microns. As shown, the height hi of the solid via column 24a is dependent upon the depth di and the number of the solid via bars 26 available to create the solid via columns 24. For example, the height h of the solid via columns 24a-24d shown in Figures 4A-4C would be approximately 250 microns to 400 microns if the depth di ranges from approximately 50 microns to 80 microns. However, the height h of the solid via columns 24 of the present disclosure may be taller or shorter depending upon the number of solid via bars 26 used to construct the vertical inductor structure and the depth di of each of those solid via bars 26.

[0038] The high Q factor and the small coupling factor of the vertical inductor structure of Figure 3 can be adjusted by either increasing or decreasing widths w-i of the solid via columns 24a and 24b shown in Figure 4B. The width w of the solid via columns 24a and 24b can be increased to improve a metal density of the vertical inductor structure and to achieve a high Q factor without increasing an inductive resistance of the vertical inductor structure of Figure 3. However, the width w cannot be increased such that a spacing 38 between the solid via columns 24a and 24b is smaller than approximately 150 microns, which is the amount of space need to provide an electrical separation between the solid via columns 24a and 24b.

[0039] A length L of the connector plate 30a shown in Figure 4B is

dependent upon the width w of the solid via columns 24a and 24b and the size of the spacing 38 to achieve a specific high Q value. Typically, a high Q value would be equal or higher than a value of 100. For example, if the desired widths w-i of the solid via columns 24a and 24b is approximately 400 microns, and the spacing 38 is approximately 400 microns, then the length Li of the connector plate 30a would be approximately 1 200 microns. However, the width w-i , the spacing 38, and the length L-, of the connector plate 30a may be larger or smaller, depending upon the desired Q factor and coupling factor of the vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure.

[0040] In accordance with the vertical inductor structure of Figure 3 of the present disclosure, although not shown, the solid via columns 24c and 24d possess the same width w of the solid via columns shown in Figure 4B. A spacing between the solid via columns 24c and 24d also would be the same as the spacing 38 shown in Figure 4B.

[0041] Figure 4C shows the opposite terminal view of the vertical inductor structure of Figure 3 within the substrate. A length L 2 of the connector plate 28 is also substantially long enough to connect the tops of the solid via columns 24b and 24c. In order to ensure that the path length the current travels is equal in each turn of the vertical inductor structure of Figure 3, the length L 2 of the connector plate 28 is substantially equal to the length L-, of the connector plate 30a shown in Figure 4B. For example, if the length l_i of the connector plate 30a of Figure 4B is approximately 1 200 microns, the length L 2 of the connector plate 14 will also be approximately 1 200 microns. In one embodiment, the terminal plates 32, 34, and the connector plates 28 and 30 are each approximately 20 microns.

[0042] Figure 5A provides a top-down view of the vertical inductor structure of Figure 3 from the first side SA, and demonstrates the advantageous connection location for the ports P 32 and P 34 . The advantageous placement of the port connections as shown in Figure 5A enables the current flow in each of the solid via columns 24a-24d to have substantially equal magnitudes. Since the current flow of one solid via column 24a, 24b, 24c, 24d is equal in magnitude but in the opposite direction in comparison to the current flows of the adjacent solid via columns (24b, 24d), (24a, 24c), (24b, 24d), (24a, 24c) respectively, the magnetic fields from each of the individual solid via columns 24 cancel one another, closing the magnetic field to the interior of the vertical inductor structure of Figure 3. This enables the coupling factor of the vertical inductor structure of Figure 3 to be small, or substantially zero.

[0043] In another embodiment, Figure 5B demonstrates an alternative placement for the terminal connection of the vertical inductor structure of Figure 3 in accordance with the present disclosure. Instead of placing the terminal connection on a top of the vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure, a terminal connection comprising terminal plates 40 and 42 may be placed on the second side SB of the vertical inductor structure as shown in Figure 5B. An external component can connect to the bottom of the vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure via ports P 40 and P 42 . The ports P 40 , P 4 2 may be

terminals, other plates, nodes, solder bumps, and/or any other type of connecting component or location. The vertical inductor structure of Figure 5B is the same as the vertical inductor structure of Figure 5A, except that the vertical inductor structure in Figure 5B was formed to be oriented antipodally with respect to the first side SA and the second side SB. Thus, Figure 5B demonstrates that the vertical inductor structure can have any orientation. The vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure may be used to create resonant circuitry, such as, but not limited to, tunable duplexers and band pass filters. Note that the vertical inductor structure shown in Figures 5A and 5B is also a three- dimensional inductor structure.

[0044] Figure 6 illustrates embodiments of two vertical inductor structures V1 , V2, which are each the same as the vertical inductor structure shown in Figures 3-5A. As shown, the vertical inductor structures V1 , V2 are placed in close proximity due to the small, or substantially zero, coupling factor of each of the vertical inductor structures V1 , V2. It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that several vertical inductor structures V1 , V2 can be connected in series, and thus in close proximity, to create a resonant filter. The inductor structure V1 and the inductor structure V2 are thus arranged so as to generate a substantially confined magnetic field. In this example, the vertical inductor structures V1 , V2 of the present disclosure are symmetrical in that the widths wi of the solid via columns 24 of both of the vertical inductor structures V1 , V2 are equal and the spacing 38 between the solid via columns 24 of both of the vertical inductor structures V1 , V2 is such that a small, or substantially zero, coupling factor exists between the two vertical inductor structures V1 , V2. However, it may be desired to achieve a non-zero coupling factor between the two vertical inductor structures V1 , V2 of the present disclosure to achieve a particular function of a filter comprising vertical inductor structures of the present disclosure, such as, but not limited to, filtering for a specific transfer function of a signal. Note that the vertical inductor structures V1 , V2 shown in Figure 6 are each a three-dimensional inductor structure.

[0045] Figure 7 illustrates embodiments of vertical inductor structure V1 ' and V2', which are each the same as the vertical inductor structure shown in Figures 3-5A. Note that the vertical inductor structures V1 ', V2' shown in Figure 7 are each a three-dimensional inductor structure. As in the vertical inductor structures V1 , V2 of Figure 6, the solid via columns 24a, 24b of the vertical inductor structure V1 ' and the solid via columns 24c, 24d of the vertical inductor structure V2' each have widths w-i . However, unlike in the vertical inductor structures V1 , V2 of Figure 6, the solid via columns 24c, 24d of the vertical inductor structure V1 ' and the solid via columns 24a, 24b of the vertical inductor structure V2' have width w 2 . Thus, the solid via columns 24c, 24d of the vertical inductor structure V1 ' that are adjacent to the solid via columns 24a, 24b of the vertical inductor structure V2' are formed to have widths w 2 . Accordingly, the solid via columns 24 of the vertical inductor structure V1 ' have unequal widths w-i , w 2 . Similarly, the solid via columns 24 of the vertical inductor structure V2' have unequal widths w ; w 2 . The widths w 2 of adjacent solid via columns 24, as shown in Figure 7, are smaller than the widths w-i . Increasing the spacing 38 by shrinking the widths w 2 controls leakage of the magnetic fields of the vertical inductor structures V1 ', V2', and thus controls and achieves a non-zero coupling factor between the two vertical inductor structures V1 ', V2'. The inductor structure V1 ' and the inductor structure V2' are arranged so as to generate a substantially confined magnetic field. [0046] Resonant circuitry comprising the vertical inductor structures V1 , V2, V1 V2' in Figures 6 and 7 have high Q factors and the small coupling factors, while utilizing much less space on a circuit board than traditional inductors, since the vertical inductor structures V1 , V2, V1 ', V2' can be placed in close proximity.

[0047] Figure 8 shows one embodiment of one of the solid via columns 24. As shown in Figure 8, the solid via bars 26 of the solid via columns 24 of the present disclosure may be stacked in such a manner that a top solid via bar 26 and a bottom solid via bar 26 of a solid via column 24 are offset from the solid via bars 26 in the middle of the solid via column 24 to create a curved solid via column 24. A curvature I in the solid via column 24 may improve the current flow throughout the vertical inductor structure and thus raise the Q factor of the vertical inductor structure of the present disclosure. One or more of the solid via columns 24 shown in Figures 1 -7 may be stacked in the same manner as the solid via columns 24 shown in Figure 8.

[0048] Those skilled in the art will recognize improvements and modifications to the preferred embodiments of the present disclosure. All such improvements and modifications are considered within the scope of the concepts disclosed herein and the claims that follow.