Why are DIPs so inneficient compared to SMDs?

Is anyone else annoyed by the extreme inefficiency of DIP chips? You know when a manufacturer can fit the same thing you get in a large 28 pin dip in a package that probably takes up a twentieth of the space(SOIC or other SMD), they’re wasting space on the DIP. This always made me angry, why don’t the manufacturers full up all of that plastic with electronics and give us a few megabytes (or gigabytes, nowadays) of flash or an integrated crystal or something? I mean, when you take the plastic off of a DIP the circuit itself is insignificant compared to the package. Not so on an SMD chip, they take full advantage of space. You could fit all sorts of processing power and functions on a DIP if you used the available space to the same degree. This all occurred to me when I looked at a SMD PIC that I had the DIP version of, and I saw you could probably fit 50 or more SMD chips inside the DIP version.

It’s all about money.

If you put more stuff in there (unnecessary stuff), it costs more money to manufacture. If you spend more, you have to charge more, and you’ll sell fewer.

If the companies think they can make a good profit with their current setup, and not any more with more stuff, then they certainly won’t change anything.

This always made me angry, why don’t the manufacturers full up all of that plastic with electronics and give us a few megabytes (or gigabytes, nowadays) of flash or an integrated crystal or something?

Well I know very little about the semiconductor industry, however I think they first design the chip and then just mount it into whatever packages that can hold it. The packaging is rather a smaller part of the overall design, they wouldn’t just start with a spec of saying lets see how much stuff we can fit into a 28 pin DIP package. I also think they wouldn’t design a chip that can only mount in a single package style.

More important to me is there going to be a day when they stop packaging into DIP mountings? At my age and eyesight I hate to think of having to try and mount and solder a 100 pin mega1280 chip. :-?

Lefty

It’s all about money.

If you put more stuff in there (unnecessary stuff), it costs more money to manufacture. If you spend more, you have to charge more, and you’ll sell fewer.

If the companies think they can make a good profit with their current setup, and not any more with more stuff, then they certainly won’t change anything.

I don’t think this applies in this case. I bet if you drew the demand curve (how much people want per price) you’d find that more people would buy these chips with more power, because some hobbyists need as much power as only something like an ARM can give, but don’t want the hassle of SMD or all those extra pins. I bet many would switch to DIP chips in a heartbeat if they gave better performance. My guess is they would make more money by charging a few bucks more for a faster design, but they don’t want the overhead research cost of fitting a better processor in a DIP housing. And @retrolefty, I asked the exact same question on IRC a while ago. I think soon the demand for DIP will die and we’ll all be forced to go with SMD or some kind of futuristic FPGA.

It’s all about money.

yes it is

If you put more stuff in there (unnecessary stuff), it costs more money to manufacture.

yes, dip chips are a small market in 2010, so do you design a special super packed every nm counted for chip, or do you use the same ic as your smd package and add a breakout frame to fit the dip package?

heck google search for videos of fairchild semi, there is one from “the day” (seriously the 60’s) even then they were packing tiny square chips to large 0.1 spacing breakout frames to do the dip form factor

all that needed to happen was the removal of hand soldering which came quick

I bet if you drew the demand curve (how much people want per price) you’d find that more people would buy these chips with more power, because some hobbyists need as much power as only something like an ARM can give, but don’t want the hassle of SMD or all those extra pins.

Go on. Draw the demand curve. Zoom in. Zoom in further. Right. Down there, that’s the hobbyists. Don’t see? The pixel right there. Aah, you got it.
Just want to say that hobbyists still aren’t the number one money source for most kinds of semiconductor company. And big customers (companies selling electronic stuff using their chips) design for a special purpose, then find the chip that fulfills their requirements at least cost (ordered in hundreds of thousands).
Be glad you can still have (some) DIPs to fiddle around with. Personally, I use much of SMD with homeetched PCBs, witch works really fine (and if I need an smd on a breadboard, I just etch me a little adapter).

If you don’t like the wasted space in DIP packages, buy the SMD version. Simples…

Personally I like to be able to unplug the chip and replace it without a soldering iron, seriously good eyesight and seriously steady hands.

This is an age thing isn’t it ? :slight_smile:

i like the DIPs… easy to work with… easy to replace…talking of SMD there are crazy packages which are so difficult to solder… i remember someone struggling to solder an accelerometer… it ended up costing 50 times more than a normal DIP package soldering.

I think it all comes down to pin count in standardized packages.

Otacon2k hit the nail squarely on the head - it is a vanishingly tiny market.
Unless you’re buying component reels by the boxful, they’re not even going to talk to you.

It’s all about money space. The size of the DIP is based upon the number of required I/O pins not on the size of the circuit.

Don

The answer is “because the silicon is different now”.

People tend to forget that DIPs were invented in the era of "BFD"s: Big, Fuzzy Dice with a very small (compared to today) number of bipolar transistors that were almost big enough to see with the naked eye and generated huge (again, by today’s standards) amounts of heat. They needed packages with a small number of pins for interconnecting their simple functions that could also dissipate that heat.

Companies do not make packaging decision based on want the “hobbyist” wants, they want to send 10,000 to a company that makes a microwave oven controller or a calculator.

I too am afraid that some day we wont be able to buy DIPs. Look at the ftdi chip, its only available in surface mount.

A lot of a DIP package is the leads themselves, which have to be rigid enough to support their own weight and the forces of insertion/removal. So there isn’t really that much more room for the actual chip inside a DIP package than there is for the chip inside some SMT package. If you’re willing to have very flimsy leads (TSSOP) or no leads at all (BGA, LCC, etc) you can make the package a lot closer to the actual chip size (thus “chip scale leadless” packages from many vendors.) Of course, you give up a fair amount for those denser packages: sockets for easy chip replacement or programming are pretty much out of the question, and they are rather fragile and difficult (for humans) to handle. A 68000 in a 64-pin DIP is pretty huge, but still usable by a hobbyist. I can’t use a modern FPGA in 1156-pin BGA package at all :frowning:

I bet if you drew the demand curve (how much people want per price)

That’s easy people want more and more for less and less. What you personally want it totally irrelevant.

@westfw
I remember the 68000 in the 64-pin pack, we used to call that package an “aircraft carrier pack”. :slight_smile:

I remember the 68000 in the 64-pin pack, we used to call that package an “aircraft carrier pack”.

There was never a problem finding the CPU in the Amiga…!

As someone has already suggested . . . hold onto your DIPs while you can because the time that they will start disappearing is now.

Most of my electronic hobby work centre’s around science based instrumentation (seismographs, mircobarographs, monitoring the Aurora Borealis or electrical storms). While there are a lot of pre-existing schematics for these kinds of projects, most of them are more than 10 years old and consequently many of the IC’s, transistors and misc discrete components are obsolete. If you are lucky, then they might be available in SMD as a sample . . . however, in many cases you are just SOL.

That’s where the Arduino comes in!

My current project is a microbarograph which is an instrument that monitors infrasonic (sound waves far below normal hearing range) energy.

The circuit involves a simple heater control that turns on when triggered by a low level sensor monitoring of opaque liquid in a manometer (bent u-shaped glass tube). The second part of the circuit is a simple instrumentation amplifier that monitors the actual temperature fluctuation that triggers the heater circuit. These temperature fluctuations form the devices output that can be data logged.

Several of the required components are extremely difficult to find, but the functions of both circuits are relatively easy to accomplish with an Arduino and some relatively easy programming.

Without the Arduino, some of these circuits would require re-engineering by someone a lot more knowledgeable than me.

How they solder this leadless chips on the PCB circuit?! The “leads”
are under the chip! I know there is some kind of robotic system that
doing the job, but I very much like to see how they do it!

Who are “they”?

The correct way to wire that up is to use a PCB with solder paste on the tracks. You put the chip on top of the solder paste and place it on an oven so that the solder paste melts.

You can do it by hand by just applying a soldering iron to the PCB track, apply a little solder and capalary action sucks the solder under the chip.

Finally there is the dead bug method. Turn the chip on it’s back and glue it down. Then solder fine wires to the connections.