- Multi-Chip Module
A Multi-Chip Module (MCM) is a specialized electronic package where multiple
integrated circuits (ICs), semiconductor dies or other modules are packaged in such a way as to facilitate their use as a single IC. The MCM itself will often be referred to as a "chip" in designs, thus illustrating its integrated nature.
Multi-Chip Modules come in a variety of forms depending on the complexity and development philosophies of their designers. These can range from using pre-packaged ICs on a small
printed circuit board(PCB) meant to mimic the package footprint of an existing chip package to fully custom chip packages integrating many chip dies on a High Density Interconnection (HDI) substrate.
Multi-Chip Module packaging is an important facet of modern electronic miniaturization and micro-electronic systems. MCMs are classified according to the technology used to create the HDI (High Density Interconnection) substrate.
* MCM-L - laminated MCM. The substrate is a multi-layer laminated PCB (
Printed circuit board).
* MCM-D - deposited MCM. The modules are deposited on the base substrate using thin film technology.
* MCM-C - ceramic substrate MCMs, such as LTCC.
Chip stack MCMs
A relatively new development in MCM technology is the so-called "chip-stack" package. Certain ICs, memories in particular, have very similar or identical pinouts when used multiple times within systems. A carefully designed substrate can allow these dies to be stacked in a vertical configuration making the resultant MCM's footprint much smaller (albeit at the cost of a thicker or taller chip). Since area is more often at a premium in miniature electronics designs, the chip-stack is an attractive option in many applications such as cell phones and
personal digital assistants (PDAs).
Examples of MCM technologies
IBM Bubble memoryMCMs (1970s)
Intel Pentium Pro, Pentium DPresler [http://www.theinquirer.org/?article=25746] , XeonDempsey and Clovertown, and Core 2 Quad Kentsfield
Sony memory sticks
Xenos, a GPU designed by ATI Technologiesfor the Xbox 360, with eDRAM
POWER2, POWER4and POWER5from IBM
System in package
Hybrid integrated circuit
* Multi-Chip Modules [http://www.cmac.com/products-and-applications/MCMs.php C-MAC MicroTechnology]
* [http://www.aws.cit.ie/research/wirelessnodes/index.htm Multichip Module Technology (MCM) or System on a Package (SoP)]
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