Integrated circuit packaging is the final stage of semiconductor device fabrication followed by IC testing. The die (integrated circuit), which represents the core of the device, is encased in a support that prevents physical damage and corrosion and supports the electrical contacts required to assemble the integrated circuit into a system.
In the integrated circuit industry it is called simply packaging and sometimes semiconductor device assembly, or simply assembly. Also, sometimes it is called encapsulation or seal, by the name of its last step. Confusion sometimes arises, because the term electronic packaging generally includes the later stages of mounting and interconnecting the devices, for example on printed-circuit boards.
The metal can type of container provides electromagnetic shielding for the IC chip which cannot be provided by plastic or ceramic packages.
The plastic dual-in-line package is much cheaper than other types of packages and is widely employed for general industrial and consumer applications where high temperatures are not met with
. Ceramic or metal containers are used where ICs are subjected to high temperatures.
Dual-in-line and flat packages are more convenient for circuit board use than are cans, because of their lead arrangement and because they are flatter and permit greater circuit densities.
Large ICs like microprocessor units are packed in the dual-in line type of package with perhaps 40 connecting pins.