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Multi-Chip Module (MCM)

Definition - What does Multi-Chip Module (MCM) mean?

A multi-chip module (MCM) is an electronic package consisting of multiple integrated circuits (ICs) assembled into a single device. An MCM works as a single component and is capable of handling an entire function. The various components of a MCM are mounted on a substrate, and the bare dies of the substrate are connected to the surface via wire bonding, tape bonding or flip-chip bonding. The module can be encapsulated by a plastic molding and is mounted on the printed circuit board. MCMs offer better performance and can reduce the size of a device considerably.

The term hybrid IC is also used to describe an MCM.

Techopedia explains Multi-Chip Module (MCM)

As an integrated system, an MCM can improve the operation of a device and overcome size and weight constraints.

An MCM offers a packaging efficiency of more than 30%. Some of its advantages are as follows:

  • Improved performance as the length of the interconnection between dies is reduced
  • Lower power supply inductance
  • Lower capacitance loading
  • Less crosstalk
  • Lower off-chip driver power
  • Reduced size
  • Reduced time to market
  • Low-cost silicon sweep
  • Improved reliability
  • Increased flexibility as it helps in the integration of different semiconductor technologies
  • Simplified design and reduced complexity related to the packaging of several components into a single device.

MCMs can be manufactured using substrate technology, die attach and bonding technology, and encapsulation technology.

MCMs are classified based on the technology used to create the substrate. The different types of MCM are as follows:

  • MCM-L: Laminated MCM
  • MCM-D: Deposited MCM
  • MCM-C: Ceramic substrate MCM

Some examples of MCM technology include the IBM Bubble memory MCMs, Intel Pentium Pro, Pentium D Presler, Xeon Dempsey and Clovertown, Sony memory sticks and similar devices.

A new development called chip-stack MCMs allows dies with identical pinouts to be stacked in a vertical configuration, allowing for greater miniaturization, making them suitable for use in personal digital assistants and cell phones.

MCMs are commonly used in the following devices: RF wireless modules, power amplifiers, high-power communication devices, servers, high-density single-module computers, wearables, LED packages, portable electronics and space avionics.

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