Multi-chip module

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A ceramic multi-chip module containing four POWER5 processor dies (center) and four 36 MB L3 cache dies (periphery).

A multi-chip module (MCM) is generically an electronic assembly (such as a package with a number of conductor terminals or "pins") where multiple integrated circuits (ICs or "chips"), semiconductor dies and/or other discrete components are integrated, usually onto a unifying substrate, so that in use it can be treated as if it were a larger IC.[1] Other terms, such as "hybrid" or "hybrid integrated circuit", also refer to MCMs; the individual ICs that make up an MCM are known as Chiplets[2]. Intel and AMD are using MCMs to improve performance and reduce costs, as splitting a large IC into smaller ICs allows for more ICs per wafer, and improved yield.[3][4]


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 substrate.

  • MCM-L – laminated MCM. The substrate is a multi-layer laminated printed circuit board (PCB).
  • MCM-D – deposited MCM. The modules are deposited on the base substrate using thin film technology.
  • MCM-C – ceramic substrate MCMs, such as low temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC)

Chip stack MCMs[edit]

A relatively new development in MCM technology is the so-called "chip-stack" package.[5] 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). After a thinning process, as many as ten dies can be stacked to create a high capacity SD memory card.[6]

Examples of MCM technologies[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rao Tummala, Solid State Technology. “SoC vs. MCM vs SiP vs. SoP.” Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  2. ^ "Chiplet - WikiChip".
  3. ^ Simonite, Tom (November 6, 2018). "To Keep Pace With Moore's Law, Chipmakers Turn to 'Chiplets'" – via
  4. ^ "Upscaled: This is the year of the CPU 'chiplet'". Engadget.
  5. ^ Jon Worrel (15 April 2012). "Intel migrates to desktop Multi-Chip Modules (MCMs) with 14nm Broadwell". Fudzilla.
  6. ^ Richard Chirgwin, The Register. “Memory vendors pile on '3D' stacking standard.” April 2, 2013. February 5, 2016.
  7. ^ High-performance MCM interconnection circuits and fluxoelectronics, Proc. 1992 IEEE Multi-Chip Module Conf., Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society Press, 1992, pp. 175-178.
  8. ^ Multichip module using multilayer YBa2Cu3O7−δ interconnects, Appl. Phys. Lett. 62, 1435-1437 (1993)
  9. ^ Satoru Iwata, Iwata Asks. “Changes in Television.” Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  10. ^ "MCP (Multichip Package) | Samsung Semiconductor".
  11. ^ "NAND based MCP | Samsung Memory Link".
  12. ^ "e-MMC based MCP | Samsung Memory Link".

External links[edit]