An integrated circuit (also called IC or chip) is a small square or rectangular piece of semiconductor material (usually silicon), on which a number of logic gates are placed. These semiconductor pieces are called dies (singular: die).
The small die is placed in a square or rectangular package of varying dimensions and materials, these packages have pins on the sides or bottom. Every pin has an electrical connection with a place on the die, called a pad, which is usually a metal spot large enough to solder a thin wire to. The pads form the in- and outputs to the die.
- Flatpack (FP): A rectangular or square package with leads parallel to base plane attached on two opposing sides of the package periphery.
- Single In-line Package (SIP/SIPP): A rectangular package with one row of electrical connecting pins, often shaped like a comb. Room for heat-sink on top.
- Dual In-line Package (DIP/DIPP): A rectangular package with two parallel rows of electrical connecting pins.
- Pin Grid Array (PGA): A square or rectangular package with pins that are arranged in a regular array on the underside of the package.
- Plastic (PPGA): Uses a plastic substrate
- Flip-chip (FC-PGA): Variant of PGA where the die faces downwards on the substrate with the back of the die exposed.
- Ceramic (CPGA): Uses a ceramic substrate
- Staggered pin (SPGA): Consists of two square arrays of pins that form a diagonal square lattice.
- Chip Carrier: One of several kinds of SMT chip packages, with connections on all four edges of a square package.
- Plastic/Ceramic Leaded Chip Carrier (PLCC/CLCC): Has a rectangular plastic/ceramic package with J-shaped leads.
- Leadless Chip Carrier (LCC): Has no leads, but instead has rounded through the edges of the ceramic or plastic package.
Chips often include identifying information, commonly the manufacturers name/logo, the part number, a production batch number, serial number and a four digit date code. Small devices may only include a number used in the manufacturer's lookup table to find the chips characteristics.
The manufacturing date is commonly represented as YYWW, a part with the code 1422 is manufactured in week 22 of 2014.
|Name||Transistor count||Logic gate count|
|SSI (Small Scale Integration)||1 to 10||1 to 10|
|MSI (Medium Scale Integration)||10 to 500||10 to 100|
|LSI (Large Scale Integration)||500 to 20,000||100 to 10,000|
|VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration)||20,000 to 1,000,000||10,000 to 100,000|
|ULSI (Ultra Large Scale Integration)||> 1,000,000||> 100,000|