Flat Packs (Forgotten PC History)

James Fogg James at jdfogg.com
Sat Aug 9 20:42:41 CDT 2008

> > When I worked at Odetics Anaheim,CA in the mid-70s we used tons of
> > "flatpacks" in our Spacebourne black boxes. They came in TTL, CMOS
and I
> > think even some ECL. The parts were spot welded with the legs
> out
> > to gold posts that protruded slightly off of the PCBs. Expensive
> a
> > RAM chip cost about $600 at the time. The parts were real low
> and
> > weighed less than DIPs ( important in spacecraft, weight / space is
at a
> > premium ). The parts were all MIL-STD and some projects even RAD-
> hardened
> > parts. Fun stuff.

In the 1960's and 70's my mother worked as a bonder for Transitron in
Wakefield Massachusetts. They mostly did .gov work and a lot of her work
went to NASA and defense work. She would bring home reject work that had
not been "capped" (open top, die, pins and bonding wires visible). I
remember her making some into jewelry. They were so unusual at the time
that they attracted a lot of attention.

BTW, a bonder soldered the hair thin gold wire from the "chip" (dice) to
the carrier legs (pins). They used stereo microscopes and it was
precision work.

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