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Flip Chip (trademark)

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Title: Flip Chip (trademark)  
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Subject: Digital Equipment Corporation, PDP-10, PDP-8, PDP-7, Field replaceable unit
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Flip Chip (trademark)

This article is about a historical electronic module produced by DEC. For the general semiconductor mounting technique, see flip chip.

Flip-Chip modules were used in the DEC PDP-7 (referred to in documentation as the "FLIP CHIP"), PDP-8, PDP-9 and PDP-10, beginning on August 24, 1964. The trademark "Flip-Chip"' was filed on August 27, 1964. [1] Various manuals produced by DEC refer to the modules as "FLIP CHIP", "FLIP-CHIP", "Flip Chip", and "Flip-Chip", with trademark and registered trademark symbols.

The first flip-chip modules mated with single-sided 18-contact card edge connectors with contacts on 1/8 inch centers. Circuit boards were 2 7/16 inches wide by 5 inches long, with a handle adding an additional 1/2 inch. Double modules with two connectors side by side were 5 3/16 wide.[2] Later, when two-sided boards were introduced, compatible double-sided 36-contact edge connectors were used, but the basic board dimensions were unchanged.[3]

The modules were called Flip-Chips because early versions of some of these modules, for example, the R107 module shown, used hybrid integrated circuits built using flip chip mounting of individual diode chips on a ceramic substrate. Some boards containing flip chip modules were etched and drilled to allow those modules to be replaced by discrete components.[4] At some points during production, conventional discrete components may have replaced these flip-chip devices, but the early use of hybrid integrated circuits allowed DEC to market the PDP-8 as an integrated circuit computer.[5]

When DEC began to use monolithic integrated circuits, they continued to refer to their circuit boards as "Flip-Chip" modules, despite the fact that actual flip chip mounting was not used. DEC continued to hold the flip chip trademark until June 6, 1987, when the trademark was allowed to expire.[1]


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