News Column

Patent Issued for Integrated Circuit Package Architecture

July 23, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventor Hata, William Y. (Saratoga, CA), filed on March 9, 2012, was published online on July 8, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8772085, is Altera Corporation (San Jose, CA).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Some integrated circuits may be designed to function with another device, e.g., a memory chip, a co-processor, etc. Different combinations of the two devices are possible, e.g., different amounts of memory, operating frequencies, or even the ability to function without the secondary device. Packages for the different combinations tend to add to the overall cost and as such, there are continual efforts to reduce the costs for the packaging.

"One exemplary application is with regard to programmable logic devices and the configuration stored in an external device, such as one or more non-volatile memory chips. The different package formats for the devices, or combination of devices, add to the inventory management overhead, in addition to requiring customized bills of materials for the owner of the programmable logic device. Along with the different package formats, different testing requirements are incurred further adding to costs. It is desirable to reduce the inventory overhead yet maintain the flexibility offered through alternative package formats.

"It is within this context that the embodiments described herein arise."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "The embodiments described herein provide for a small form factor integrated circuit and accompanying configuration unit. It should be appreciated that the present invention can be implemented in numerous ways, such as a process, an apparatus, a system, a device or a method on a computer readable medium. Several inventive embodiments of the present invention are described below.

"In one aspect of the invention, a packaging architecture for an integrated circuit is provided. The architecture includes a printed circuit board and a package substrate disposed on the printed circuit board. A first integrated circuit is disposed on a first surface of the package substrate. The package substrate is capable of supporting a second integrated circuit. The second integrated circuit is in electrical communication with a plurality of pads disposed on the first surface of the package substrate. Each of the plurality of pads is in electrical communication with the printed circuit board without communicating with the first integrated circuit. Consequently, the second integrated circuit communicates with the first integrated circuit, solely through the printed circuit board. In one embodiment, the first integrated circuit is a programmable logic device and the second integrated circuit stores a configuration utilized by the programmable logic device. In another embodiment, the second integrated circuit is disposed above the first integrated circuit.

"In another aspect of the invention, a method of packaging an integrated circuit is provided. The method initiates with coupling a first integrated circuit to a package substrate and then coupling a second integrated circuit to the package substrate. The second integrated circuit is disposed over the first integrated circuit in one embodiment. The method includes coupling the package substrate to a printed circuit board such that the second integrated circuit communicates data to the first integrated circuit exclusively through the printed circuit board prior to being delivered to the first integrated circuit. In one embodiment, the first integrated circuit is a programmable logic device and the second integrated circuit stores a configuration utilized by the programmable logic device.

"Other aspects of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, illustrating by way of example the principles of the invention."

For more information, see this patent: Hata, William Y.. Integrated Circuit Package Architecture. U.S. Patent Number 8772085, filed March 9, 2012, and published online on July 8, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8772085.PN.&OS=PN/8772085RS=PN/8772085

Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Circuit Board, Altera Corporation, Electrical Communication, Programmable Logic Device.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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