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Multi-chip Modules That Meet Growing High Performance and Miniaturisation Standards

April 02, 2019 by Sam Holland

Due to the growing demand for compactness and greater efficiency in consumer electronics, Internet of Things, aerospace, defence, biotechnology industries and more, manufacturers face the challenge of designing systems with greater miniaturisation while being increasingly powerful. To achieve this, engineers must utilise smaller, more efficient components.

The multi-chip modules (MCMs) can help manufacturers to meet design constraints for high performance, reliability, and miniaturisation.

Multi-chip technology is a packaging technique for integrating multiple ICs (typically up to 5 chips) in multi-layer circuit arrangements on a single PCB. The result is improved connectivity between components, higher reliability, design flexibility at reduced costs, and shorter time-to-market (TTM).

Below are a few MCMs from leading market manufacturers.

RN2483 Transreceiver Module with LoRa® technology

The RN2483 from MicroChip is a small-footprint (17.8 x 26.7 x 3 mm) MCM designed for seamless connectivity in IoT applications.

MicroChip's wireless LoRa® technology enables long-range, low-power wireless data transmission in a host of IoT applications with proprietary LoRaWAN technology and certifications to save development costs and reduce TTM.

Key features include an embedded LoRaWAN™ Class-A protocol stack, small form factor (17.8 x 26.7 x 3 mm), grooved SMT pads for simplified PCB mounting, ASCII command interface over Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter (UART), Device Firmware Upgrade over UART, 14 GPIO for control, status, and ADC. The RN2483 is RoHS-compliant, eco-friendly, and meets the European RTT&E Directive specifications.

Applications for RN2483 LoRa® Transreceiver modules include IoT applications, home automation, industrial monitoring and control, wireless alarm and security systems, automated meter reading, and machine to machine (M2M) systems.

CC1070 Single Chip Low Power RF Transmitter

The CC1070 from Texas Instruments is a low profile, single-chip ultra-high frequency (UHF) transmitter designed for ultra-low power and low voltage wireless devices.

The chip supports very narrow bandwidth applications (channel spacing of around 12.5 or 25 kHz) and is compliant with ARIB STD T-67 and EN 300 220 ranges) such as ISM (Industrial, Scientific & Medical) and Short Range Device (SRD) frequency bands at 402, 424, 426, 429, 433, 447, 449, 469, 868 and 915 MHz with programmable options for multi-channel operation within the 402 to 470 and 804 to 940 MHz frequency range.

Key features include compact form factor (QFN 20 lead-free package), frequency ranges between 402 and 407 MHz and 804 to 940 MHz, low voltage operation (2.3 V to 3.6 V), programmable output power, data speeds up to 153.6 kB/s, OOK, FSK and GFSK data modulation and more. The CC1070 is RoHS-compliant, eco-friendly, and suited for systems targeting compliance with EN 300 220, FCC CFR47 part 15 and ARIB STD T-67.

Applications for the CC1070 UHF transmitter includes automatic meter reading (AMR), smart home automation, narrowband low-power UHF wireless transmitters for 402/424/426/429/433/447/449/469/868 and 915 MHz ISM and SRD systems, tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), wireless alarm and security systems, and low power telemetry.

Micron e.MMC Memory v5.0 16GB

e.MMC Memory manufactured by Micron Technology Inc. is a single-package solution combining NAND flash memory and a JEDEC-compliant controller in standard BGA packaging.

The multi-chip handles operations internally, including wear levelling, device mapping, error handling, and bad block management. The result is enhanced system performance and host processor speed. Engineers can choose specific models from a broad portfolio of industrial, automotive, and consumer-grade products. The e.MMC Memory is RoHS-compliant and lead-free.

Key features include low-profile WFBGA packaging, 16 Gigabyte memory, sequential write speeds up to 90/120 MB/s, read speeds up to 270/320 MB/s, random write speeds up to 5000/15,000 IOPS, random read speeds up to 5000/15000 IOPSMMC, interface 4.41, operating voltage 3V, and operating temperature range from −40°C to 85°C.

Applications for Micron e.MMC Memory multi-chip modules include automotive, industrial, and consumer electronic products:

  • Automotive applications: automated driver assistance systems (ADAS), cluster/dashboard, infotainment, and drive data recorder.
  • Industrial applications: industrial automation, PoS, energy, transportation, aerospace/defense, medical equipment, and surveillance systems.
  • Consumer applications: digital TV, Digital video cameras, digital still cameras, set-top box, home automation, augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) applications, and wearables.

The reviewed MCMs from leading manufacturers offer small-footprint, high performance, and superior reliability for a host of applications in RF systems (MicroChip RN2483 Transreceiver Module and Texas Instruments CC1070 Single-Chip RF Transmitter) as well as automotive, industrial, and consumer electronics (e.MMC Memory multi-chip module).

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

In Conclusion

Multichip modules can help electrical engineers to meet design constraints for reduced size and lower weight with enhanced electrical performance.

According to Allied Market Research, the multi-chip industry is projected to expand rapidly between 2018 and 2025, as modern design becomes increasingly miniaturized and powerful. The industry is segmented by type, end-user, and geography. In Europe, the major markets are the UK, France, Germany, and Russia.

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