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Samsung Builds Thinner Chip Package

By Susan B. Shor
Jan 10, 2005 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.

Samsung Builds Thinner Chip Package

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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