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The SoC paradigm is a system integration approach that integrates large numbers of transistors as well as various mixed-signal active and passive components onto a single chip. This realization-led to the 3D system-in-package (SiP) approach, alternatively called 3D ICs or 3D stacked die/package. Designers can take SiP a step further by embedding both active and passive components, but passive-component embedding is bulky and requires thick-film discrete components. Thick-film component embedding distinguishes SiP from system on package (SoP), an emerging 3D system integration concept that involves embedding both active and passive components. SoP, however, incorporates ultrathin films at microscale to embed the passive components, and the package rather than the board is the system. SoP overcomes both the computing and integration limitations of SoC, SiP, multichip modules (MCMs), and traditional system packaging by having global wiring as well as RF, digital, and optical component integration in the package instead of on the chip. Moreover, 3D SoP addresses the wire delay problem by enabling the replacement of long, slow global interconnects with short, fast vertical routes.
Date of Publication: Nov.-Dec. 2005