The harder they come, the harder they fall

Toshiba has developed a stacked multi-chip package (MCP) that is about 30 percent smaller than its smallest current MCP, providing potential benefits for new mobile handsets, the company announced Monday.

The company has reduced the MCP size to 10 millimeters by 7 millimeters from the current 12 millimeters by 9 millimeters, said Kenichi Sugiyama, a spokesman for Toshiba.

The new standard package will be stacked with four memory chips -- an 8M-byte SRAM (static random access memory), a 32M-byte PSRAM (pseudo static random access memory) and two 64M-byte NOR flash memories, the statement said.

As mobile phones get more sophisticated with new functions and services for the wireless Internet, more memory chips are needed, without changing the size of the handsets. For example, SRAM acts as a buffer and working memory; NOR flash memory holds applications; PSRAM is for high-density buffer memory; and NAND flash memory is for file memory. These have to be combined into an MCP to save space, Toshiba said.

Tokyo-based Toshiba's new development will allow the same volume of memory chips to be carried in a smaller package, the company said.

Toshiba plans to start sample shipping of the products worldwide at ¥9,000 (US$68) in April and start mass production in May, Sugiyama said.

From June Toshiba will also start offering custom MCPs with various combinations of memory chips, including 16M-byte SRAM, 64M-byte PSRAM, 128M-byte NOR and 128M-byte NAND flash memories, in its 12 millimeter-by-9 millimeter MCP.

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