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Samsung Builds Thinner Chip Package

Samsung Builds Thinner Chip Package

The MCPs are not application specific, but Samsung said it believes its denser chip design will propel the creation of next-generation mobile, multifunction devices. "The main drivers have been cell phones and wireless, hand-held products where we want the product thin, light and small," said Jim Walker of Gartner/Dataquest.

By Susan B. Shor
01/10/05 11:50 AM PT

Samsung has found a way to increase memory while allowing for the ever-thinner profile of mobile devices, the company announced today.

Its eight-die multichip package (MCP) creates an eight-layer chip stack 1.4 mm thick, the space normally taken up by four chips. The chips have a capacity of 3.2 GB.

The electronics company said the eight-die MCP is designed for high-capacity mobile devices such as 3G handsets.

Cheaper and Faster

"Multi-chip packaging is a technology primarily used to circumvent the SoC [system-on-chip] process," Jim Walker, vice president of research for semiconductor manufacturing at Gartner/Dataquest, told TechNewsWorld. "It does so at lower final cost and faster time to market."

SoC wafers contain all the hardware and electronic circuitry for a complete system, making them more expensive to produce and less flexible.

Samsung said it is the first to develop an eight-die MCP. Stacking chips is not an innovation. Walker said companies such as Irvine Sensors and Staktek have been manufacturing these packages for a decade.

Bigger companies, such as Fujitsu and Samsung, have been creating the stacks for at least three years, but most of them have been four-die MCPs.

Next-Gen Mobile

The MCPs are not application specific, but Samsung said it believes its denser chip design will propel the creation of next-generation mobile, multifunction devices.

"Since it is a packaging process, it can be used for any application, but the main drivers have been cell phones and wireless, hand-held products where we want the product thin, light and small -- i.e., the new Motorola RAZR phone," Walker said.

Samsung has incorporated all available memory devices -- two 1 GB NAND flash memories, two 256 MB NOR flash memories, two 256 MB mobile DRAMs, one 128 MB UtRAM and one 64 MB UtRAM -- into the package.


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