Flip Chips was Re: US Sources for old ICs

Bob Bradlee Bob at BRADLEE.ORG
Thu Oct 27 12:10:05 CDT 2005

On Thu, 27 Oct 2005 10:04:34 -0400, Tim  Shoppa wrote:

>Paul wrote:

>> "Flip Chip" as a DEC trademark simply designates the PC board with
>> stuff on them that implements some function and can be plugged into a
>> backplane.

>That's what it ended up meaning, and most of the modules indeed were made up of discrete wire-lead components and DIP's on
>a plug-in card.

What I find interesting is that, what it ended up meaning, was closer to the original trademark claim
than it was to the actual original use.

The modern flip chip (processor) is very much like the MST chip I referenced/linked to  in my original post.
The circuitry is surface mounted sans wires to the carrier providing connectivity to the outside world using pins
or pads.

A quick online patent search came up with 157 patents referring to "filpchip"[s] from the mid 70 through the present.

The oldest reference on-line is  1976 Signetics Corporation - Semiconductor transducer packaged assembly...
and 1977 Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha (Osaka, JP) -  Installation of a semiconductor chip on a glass substrate...
There are references to a 1960 IBM patent but it's text has not been put online yet. 

While the Trademark online search system is very comprehensive, the patent search system 
does not go back very far, yet .... it gets a little better every year....

There seems to be a lot of DECies around this list, I was wondering when DEC stopped 
using/marketing the flipchip NAME as a trademark. Part of the black art  surrounding trademark law is 
the idea that a trademark can not be descriptive of the product or service it represents. There is
a written exception for famous trademarks where the mark has taken on a descriptive meaning of its own.
The most recent example is Google, it is a noun, verb, adjective, and a registered trademark.

My knowledge of DEC is very limited. The only DEC systems I ever supported were PDP8e's 
in ECRM OCR readers. I toggled in the boot loader, more times than I
care to remember. ECRM produced a flying spot scanner for the newspaper business.
When a customer call in a classified, the call center would type the billing info along with the 
add title and body text using a selectric OCR-A ball. We would scan the form, split it, send the billing
info to accounting via a serial link, and format the text and send it to a photo-typesetter in the
composing room. We called the replacement cards as flip-chips on those systems.
Did the name continue on to the pdp10 or pdp11 ?

>But DEC's original intention was a much closer bonding
>of a hybrid module to a PCB sans wires.  See my thread
>in a.f.c. on this topic in 1998 :-).

a.f.c. ?? 
Could you please send me a link to this thread or copy me off list ?


Enough muttering, gota get back to my rat-killen :)


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