Chip carrier

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Intel N80C186XL12 in QFJ68 / PLCC68, an example of a plastic leaded chip carrier Intel N80C186XL12-3179.jpg
Intel N80C186XL12 in QFJ68 / PLCC68, an example of a plastic leaded chip carrier

In electronics, a chip carrier is one of several kinds of surface-mount technology packages for integrated circuits (commonly called "chips"). Connections are made on all four edges of a square package; Compared to the internal cavity for mounting the integrated circuit, the package overall size is large. [1]

Electronics physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter

Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. The identification of the electron in 1897, along with the invention of the vacuum tube, which could amplify and rectify small electrical signals, inaugurated the field of electronics and the electron age.

Surface-mount technology method for producing electronic circuits

Surface-mount technology (SMT) is a method for producing electronic circuits in which the components are mounted or placed directly onto the surface of printed circuit boards (PCBs). An electronic device so made is called a surface-mount device (SMD). In industry, it has largely replaced the through-hole technology construction method of fitting components with wire leads into holes in the circuit board. Both technologies can be used on the same board, with the through-hole technology used for components not suitable for surface mounting such as large transformers and heat-sinked power semiconductors.

A semiconductor package is a metal, plastic, glass, or ceramic casing containing one or more discrete semiconductor devices or integrated circuits. Individual components are fabricated on semiconductor wafers before being diced into die, tested, and packaged. The package provides a means for connecting the package to the external environment, such as printed circuit board, via leads such as lands, balls, or pins; and protection against threats such as mechanical impact, chemical contamination, and light exposure. Additionally, it helps dissipate heat produced by the device, with or without the aid of a heat spreader. There are thousands of package types in use. Some are defined by international, national, or industry standards, while others are particular to an individual manufacturer.



Chip carriers may have either J-shaped metal leads for connections by solder or by a socket, or may be lead-less with metal pads for connections. If the leads extend beyond the package, the preferred description is "flat pack". [1] Chip carriers are smaller than dual in-line packages and since they use all four edges of the package it can have a larger pin count. Chip carriers may be made of ceramic or plastic. Some forms of chip carrier package are standardized in dimensions and registered with trade industry associations such as JEDEC. Other forms are proprietary to one or two manufacturers. Sometimes the term "chip carrier" is used to refer generically to any package for an integrated circuit.

Quad Flat Package surface mount integrated circuit package

A QFP or Quad Flat Package is a surface-mounted integrated circuit package with "gull wing" leads extending from each of the four sides. Socketing such packages is rare and through-hole mounting is not possible. Versions ranging from 32 to 304 pins with a pitch ranging from 0.4 to 1.0 mm are common. Other special variants include low-profile QFP (LQFP) and thin QFP (TQFP).

Dual in-line package

In microelectronics, a dual in-line package, or dual in-line pin package (DIPP) is an electronic component package with a rectangular housing and two parallel rows of electrical connecting pins. The package may be through-hole mounted to a printed circuit board (PCB) or inserted in a socket. The dual-inline format was invented by Don Forbes, Rex Rice and Bryant Rogers at Fairchild R&D in 1964, when the restricted number of leads available on circular transistor-style packages became a limitation in the use of integrated circuits. Increasingly complex circuits required more signal and power supply leads ; eventually microprocessors and similar complex devices required more leads than could be put on a DIP package, leading to development of higher-density packages. Furthermore, square and rectangular packages made it easier to route printed-circuit traces beneath the packages.

JEDEC standards organization

The JEDEC Solid State Technology Association is an independent semiconductor engineering trade organization and standardization body.

Types of chip-carrier package are usually referred to by initialisms and include:

Package on package

Package on package (PoP) is an integrated circuit packaging method to combine vertically discrete logic and memory ball grid array (BGA) packages. Two or more packages are installed atop each other, i.e. stacked, with a standard interface to route signals between them. This allows higher component density in devices, such as mobile phones, personal digital assistants (PDA), and digital cameras.

Plastic-leaded chip carrier

Reverse side of an Intel 80C86: J-shaped metal leads Intel N80C186XL12-3180.jpg
Reverse side of an Intel 80C86: J-shaped metal leads
Gigabyte DualBIOS in QFJ32 / PLCC32 Qfj32gelotet.jpg
Gigabyte DualBIOS in QFJ32 / PLCC32

A plastic-leaded chip carrier (PLCC) has a rectangular plastic housing. It is a reduced cost evolution of the ceramic leadless chip carrier (CLCC).

A premolded PLCC was originally released in 1976, but did not see much market adoption. Texas Instruments later released a postmolded variant that was soon adopted by most major semiconductor companies. The JEDEC trade group started a task force in 1981 to categorize PLCCs, with the MO-047 standard released in 1984 for square packages and the MO-052 standard released in 1985 for rectangular packages. [4] The PLCC utilizes a "J"-lead with pin spacings of 0.05" (1.27 mm). The metal strip forming the lead is wrapped around and under the edge of the package, resembling the letter J in cross-section. Lead counts range from 20 to 84. [5] PLCC packages can be square or rectangular. Body widths range from 0.35" to 1.15". The PLCC “J” Lead configuration requires less board space versus equivalent gull leaded components, which have flat leads that extend out perpendicularly to the narrow edge of the package. The PLCC is preferred over DIP style chip carriers when lead counts exceed 40 pins due to the PLCC's more efficient use of board surface area.

Lead (electronics) connecting wire or pad within an electronic device; electrical connection consisting of a length of wire or metal pad (SMD) that comes from a device

In electronics, a lead is an electrical connection consisting of a length of wire or a metal pad (SMD) that is designed to connect two locations electrically. Leads are used for many purposes, including: transfer of power; testing of an electrical circuit to see if it is working, using a test light or a multimeter; transmiting information, as when the leads from an electrocardiograph, or ECG are attached to a person's body to transmit information about their heart rhythm; and sometimes to act as a heatsink. The tiny leads coming off through-hole components are also often called pins.

The heatspreader versions are identical in form factor to the standard non-heatspreader versions. Both versions are JEDEC compliant in all respects. The heatspreader versions give the system designer greater latitude in thermally enhanced board level and / or system design. RoHS compliant, lead-free and green material sets are now qualified standards.

A PLCC circuit may either be installed in a PLCC socket or surface-mounted. PLCC sockets may in turn be surface mounted, or use through-hole technology. The motivation for a surface-mount PLCC socket would be when working with devices that cannot withstand the heat involved during the reflow process, or to allow for component replacement without reworking. Using a PLCC socket may be necessary in situations where the device requires stand-alone programming, such as some flash memory devices. Some through-hole sockets are designed for prototyping with wire wrapping.

Through-hole technology mounting scheme used for electronic components that involves the use of leads on the components that are inserted into holes drilled in printed circuit boards and soldered to pads on the opposite side manually or by automated insertion mount machines

Through-hole technology, refers to the mounting scheme used for electronic components that involves the use of leads on the components that are inserted into holes drilled in printed circuit boards (PCB) and soldered to pads on the opposite side either by manual assembly or by the use of automated insertion mount machines.

Flash memory electronic non-volatile computer storage device

Flash memory is an electronic (solid-state) non-volatile computer storage medium that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed.

Wire wrap

Wire wrap was invented to wire telephone crossbar switches, and later adapted to construct electronic circuit boards. Electronic components mounted on an insulating board are interconnected by lengths of insulated wire run between their terminals, with the connections made by wrapping several turns of uninsulated sections of the wire around a component lead or a socket pin.

A specialized tool called a PLCC extractor facilitates the removal of a PLCC from a socket.

This package is still used for a wide variety of device types, which would include memory, processors, controllers, ASICs, DSPs, etc. It is particularly common for read-only memories as it provides an easily swappable socketed chip. Applications range from consumer products through automotive and aerospace.


Ceramic leadless package of Intel R80286-8 (bottom) KL Intel 80286 CLCC.jpg
Ceramic leadless package of Intel R80286-8 (bottom)

A leadless chip carrier (LCC) has no "leads", but instead has rounded pins through the edges of the ceramic or molded plastic package.

Prototypes and devices intended for extended temperature environments are typically packaged in ceramic, while high-volume products for consumer and commercial markets are typically packaged in plastic.

See also

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An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit is a set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece of semiconductor material that is normally silicon. The integration of large numbers of tiny transistors into a small chip results in circuits that are orders of magnitude smaller, cheaper, and faster than those constructed of discrete electronic components. The IC's mass production capability, reliability and building-block approach to circuit design has ensured the rapid adoption of standardized ICs in place of designs using discrete transistors. ICs are now used in virtually all electronic equipment and have revolutionized the world of electronics. Computers, mobile phones, and other digital home appliances are now inextricable parts of the structure of modern societies, made possible by the small size and low cost of ICs.

SIMM type of memory module

A SIMM, or single in-line memory module, is a type of memory module containing random-access memory used in computers from the early 1980s to the late 1990s. It differs from a dual in-line memory module (DIMM), the most predominant form of memory module today, in that the contacts on a SIMM are redundant on both sides of the module. SIMMs were standardised under the JEDEC JESD-21C standard.

Ball grid array

A ball grid array (BGA) is a type of surface-mount packaging used for integrated circuits. BGA packages are used to permanently mount devices such as microprocessors. A BGA can provide more interconnection pins than can be put on a dual in-line or flat package. The whole bottom surface of the device can be used, instead of just the perimeter. The traces connecting the package's leads to the wires or balls which connect the die to package are also on average shorter than with a perimeter-only type, leading to better performance at high speeds.

Pin grid array type of integrated circuit packaging. In a PGA, the package is square or rectangular, and the pins are arranged in a regular array on the underside of the package

A pin grid array, often abbreviated PGA, is a type of integrated circuit packaging. In a PGA, the package is square or rectangular, and the pins are arranged in a regular array on the underside of the package. The pins are commonly spaced 2.54 mm (0.1") apart, and may or may not cover the entire underside of the package.

Zig-zag in-line package type of electronic packaging

The zig-zag in-line package or ZIP is a packaging technology for integrated circuits. It was intended as a replacement for dual in-line packaging. A ZIP is an integrated circuit encapsulated in a slab of plastic with 20 or 40 pins, measuring about 3 mm x 30 mm x 10 mm. The package's pins protrude in two rows from one of the long edges. The two rows are staggered by 1.27 mm (0.05"), giving them a zig-zag appearance, and allowing them to be spaced more closely than a rectangular grid would allow. The pins are inserted into holes in a printed circuit board, with the packages standing at right-angles to the board, allowing them to be placed closer together than DIPs of the same size. ZIPs have now been superseded by surface-mount packages such as the thin small-outline packages (TSOPs) but they are still in use.

Integrated circuit packaging Final stage of semiconductor device fabrication

In electronics manufacturing, integrated circuit packaging is the final stage of semiconductor device fabrication, in which the block of semiconductor material is encapsulated in a supporting case that prevents physical damage and corrosion. The case, known as a "package", supports the electrical contacts which connect the device to a circuit board.

CPU socket provides mechanical and electrical connections between a microprocessor and a printed circuit board

In computer hardware, a CPU socket or CPU slot comprises one or more mechanical components providing mechanical and electrical connections between a microprocessor and a printed circuit board (PCB). This allows for placing and replacing the central processing unit (CPU) without soldering.

Land grid array type of surface-mount packaging for integrated circuits

The land grid array (LGA) is a type of surface-mount packaging for integrated circuits (ICs) that is notable for having the pins on the socket rather than the integrated circuit. An LGA can be electrically connected to a printed circuit board (PCB) either by the use of a socket or by soldering directly to the board.

Thin Small Outline Package type of surface mount IC package

Thin Small Outline Package, or TSOP is a type of surface mount IC package. They are very low-profile and have tight lead spacing.

Quad Flat No-leads package

Flat no-leads packages such as quad-flat no-leads (QFN) and dual-flat no-leads (DFN) physically and electrically connect integrated circuits to printed circuit boards. Flat no-leads, also known as micro leadframe (MLF) and SON, is a surface-mount technology, one of several package technologies that connect ICs to the surfaces of PCBs without through-holes. Flat no-lead is a near chip scale plastic encapsulated package made with a planar copper lead frame substrate. Perimeter lands on the package bottom provide electrical connections to the PCB. Flat no-lead packages include an exposed thermal pad to improve heat transfer out of the IC. Heat transfer can be further facilitated by metal vias in the thermal pad. The QFN package is similar to the quad-flat package (QFP), and a ball grid array (BGA).


In electronics, TO-3 is a designation for a standardized metal semiconductor package used for power semiconductors, including transistors, silicon controlled rectifiers, and, integrated circuits. TO stands for "Transistor Outline" and relates to a series of technical drawings produced by JEDEC.

Flatpack (electronics) flat integrated circuit package

Flatpack is a US military standardized printed-circuit-board surface-mount-component package. The military standard MIL-STD-1835C defines: Flat package (FP). A rectangular or square package with leads parallel to base plane attached on two opposing sides of the package periphery.


The U80601 was a 16-bit microprocessor made in 1989-1990 by Kombinat Mikroelektronik Erfurt in the former German Democratic Republic of East Germany. It was manufactured in NMOS technology and encased in a PLCC or ceramic (CLCC) package.

Footprint (electronics)

A footprint or land pattern is the arrangement of pads or through-holes used to physically attach and electrically connect a component to a printed circuit board. The land pattern on a circuit board matches the arrangement of leads on a component.


  1. 1 2 Kenneth Jackson, Wolfgang Schroter, (ed), Handbook of Semiconductor Technology Volume 2,Wiley VCH, 2000, ISBN   3-527-29835-5,page 627
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Integrated Circuit, IC Package Types; SOIC. Surface Mount Device Package". Retrieved 2011-12-15.
  3. 1 2 "CPU Collection Museum - Chip Package Information". CPU Shack. Retrieved 2011-12-15.
  4. Prasad, Ray (1997). Surface mount technology: principles and practice. p. 121. ISBN   0-412-12921-3.
  5. Minges, Merrill L. (1989). Electronic Materials Handbook. CRC Publishing. p. 173. ISBN   0-87170-285-1.
  6. "Intel R80286-8; Package 68-pin ceramic LCC"