European Commission, 4th Framework Project (FP4)

The rapidly changing market for embedded and portable computing exhibits a steadily growing demand for improved reliability and increasing processing performance in progressively smaller form factors. A Pentium® based Multi-Chip-Module (MCM) was designed and manufactured during the 4th Framework project «EUROPRACTICE-MCM». The main scientific and technical challenge of the project was to develop a technology demonstrator to show the potential of High Density Packaging (HDP) technologies.

Advantages of MCM-based solutions

  • simplification of system design
  • internal routing of high-speed host bus signals reduces power consumption and ringing
  • high frequencies & critical signals remain inside MCM
  • standard simple interfaces (PCI, DRAM)
  • reduced number of signal layers on motherboard
  • less aggressive board design rules
  • reduction of motherboard area
  • significant reduction in size (¼ of original size)
  • overall weight reduction
  • easily upgradeable (new processors / chipsets)
  • reduced time-to-market (no board changes required)
  • improved EMC and thermal performance
  • end-user needs no Pentium® knowledge


The Pentium® MCM was mounted on thermally enhanced Plastic-Stud-Grid-Array (PSGA), a packaging technology using plastic studs moulded to the body of the package instead of large solder balls, which provides reliable, low cost packaging of high pin-count devices. An existing Pentium® module chipset with 2nd level cache (9 chips plus SMD components), DRAM interface and PCI host-bridge was used with thin film on silicon in a PSGA housing which was significantly smaller than the original packaged Pentium® processor, i.e. 25% of the original packaged Pentium®.

The SP5MX1 is a miniaturised version of the core of a Pentium® processor based Multi-Chip-Module (MCM) which is intended as a processor subsystem for use in mobile and embedded systems. First tests were successfully carried out with Windows NT running and some benchmark programs at a clock frequency of 100 MHz.