What is a Multi Chip Module?

What is an MCM? Why do we use it? What are its advantages?

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- everything RF

Jul 17, 2021

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A Multi-Chip Module (MCM) is an electronic component that consists of multiple ICs/dies integrated into a single package or module. By placing multiple components into a single module/package MCMs reduce the board space required for implementation. They are also lighter and shorten the signal path between ICs thereby improving device performance.

MCMs allow designers to integrate CMOS ICs for digital circuits and GaAs/SiGe devices for RF / Microwave circuits with soft-board laminates and low-temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) components into a single package. Many RF Front End Modules are MCMs as they consist of Power Amplifier (PA), Low Noise Amplifier (LNA), Switch, Filters and Control circuitry all made using different technologies.

A recent development called “chip-stack” allows ICs to be vertically-stacked within the MCM resulting in an even smaller package. The chip-stack configuration is used in a wide range of electronic devices such as laptops, cell phones, and memory cards.

Advantages of Multi-Chip Modules

  • Shorter signal path between ICs results in better performance
  • Easier to Integrate and reduced design complexity - Only need to integrate a single module on to a board vs integrating multiple ICs/packages
  • Smaller Size
  • Lighter

Click here to read this detailed article on Multi Chip Modules.