Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier (PLCC) Product Overview

plastic leaded chip carrier

In today’s era of rapid technological advancement, integrated circuits (ICs) serve as the backbone of modern electronics. These miniature electronic components, also known as microchips, play a pivotal role in powering various devices, from smartphones and computers to medical equipment and automotive systems. Integrated circuits integrate multiple electronic components onto a single semiconductor chip, enabling compact designs, enhanced performance, and reduced power consumption.

Within the realm of integrated circuits, the choice of chip carrier package significantly influences the functionality and reliability of the IC. Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier (PLCC) emerges as a prominent solution, offering robust protection and efficient mounting for ICs. As we delve deeper into understanding PLCC, we uncover its crucial role in safeguarding and facilitating the operation of integrated circuits across diverse applications.

Understanding Chip Carriers

Integrated circuits (ICs) are delicate electronic components that require protection and secure mounting to function effectively within electronic devices. Chip carriers play a vital role in fulfilling these requirements, serving as the housing for ICs while providing electrical connections and thermal management. These carriers shield the IC from external factors such as moisture, dust, and mechanical stress, thereby ensuring its longevity and reliability.

There are several types of chip carriers, each with distinct characteristics suited for various applications. One prominent variant is the Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier (PLCC), known for its robustness and versatility. PLCCs feature a plastic body with leads extending from the sides, facilitating easy soldering onto circuit boards. Another common type is the Leadless Chip Carrier (LCC), which lacks external leads, making it suitable for applications requiring high-density packaging.

Other chip carrier options include the Quad Flat Package (QFP), Ball Grid Array (BGA), and Small Outline Integrated Circuit (SOIC), each offering unique advantages in terms of size, performance, and thermal properties. Understanding the different types of chip carriers enables designers to select the most suitable option based on the requirements of their specific application, ensuring optimal performance and reliability of the integrated circuits.

What is PLCC?

Definition of PLCC: 

PLCC stands for Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier. It is a type of integrated circuit (IC) package that provides a protective housing for the IC while also serving as a means for electrical connections. PLCCs are commonly used in electronic devices where reliability, compactness, and ease of installation are essential.

Explanation of its construction and features

PLCCs typically consist of a square or rectangular plastic body with leads (or pins) extending from each side. The IC is mounted inside the plastic body, and the leads are arranged along the perimeter, allowing for easy soldering onto a circuit board. PLCCs often incorporate features such as chamfered corners for orientation, heat sink tabs for thermal management, and locking mechanisms for secure attachment.

One key feature of PLCCs is their ability to withstand mechanical stress and environmental factors, thanks to the durable plastic housing. Additionally, PLCCs offer good electrical performance, efficient heat dissipation, and compatibility with automated assembly processes, making them suitable for a wide range of applications.

Comparison with other chip carrier types:

Compared to other chip carrier types, PLCCs offer distinct advantages. For example, PLCCs provide better protection and thermal management than some leadless chip carrier (LCC) designs, thanks to their encapsulated plastic body. PLCCs also typically have leads extending from all sides, unlike some other packages such as the Quad Flat Package (QFP), which may have leads on only two or four sides. This makes PLCCs more versatile and easier to integrate into various circuit board layouts.

Furthermore, PLCCs are often preferred over through-hole packages like Dual In-line Packages (DIP) due to their smaller size and compatibility with surface-mount technology (SMT), allowing for higher component density on circuit boards. Overall, PLCCs offer a balance of size, reliability, and ease of use that makes them a popular choice for many electronic applications.

PLCC IC Package Full Name

Elaboration on the full name of PLCC: Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier:

The full name of PLCC, Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier, provides valuable insights into its construction, materials, and purpose within the realm of integrated circuits (ICs). Let’s delve deeper into each component of its name:

Plastic: PLCCs are primarily constructed using plastic materials, which offer numerous advantages such as durability, lightweight, and cost-effectiveness. The plastic encapsulation protects the integrated circuit from environmental factors, ensuring its reliability in various operating conditions.

Leaded: PLCCs feature leads extending from the sides of the package. These leads facilitate easy soldering onto circuit boards, providing electrical connections between the integrated circuit and the circuitry of the electronic device. The leaded configuration simplifies the assembly process and enhances the overall robustness of the connection.

Chip Carrier: As the name suggests, PLCC serves as a carrier or housing for the integrated circuit chip. It provides physical support and protection to the delicate semiconductor chip while also facilitating electrical connections and thermal dissipation. PLCCs come in various sizes and configurations to accommodate different types of integrated circuits and meet the requirements of diverse applications.

Insight into how the name reflects its construction and function:

The name “Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier” succinctly encapsulates the essential characteristics and functionalities of this type of chip package. By incorporating plastic as the primary material, PLCCs offer a balance of durability, cost-effectiveness, and thermal performance. The presence of leads enables easy integration into circuit boards, simplifying the assembly process and ensuring reliable electrical connections. Additionally, the term “chip carrier” underscores its role as a protective housing for the integrated circuit, highlighting its importance in safeguarding the chip from external elements and mechanical stress while facilitating its integration into electronic devices. Overall, the name PLCC accurately reflects its construction, materials, and purpose, making it a widely used and versatile packaging solution in the field of integrated circuits.

Benefits of PLCC

Advantages of using PLCC in integrated circuits:

1. Reliability: PLCCs are known for their robust construction, which provides excellent protection to the integrated circuit against environmental factors such as moisture, dust, and mechanical stress. The plastic encapsulation shields the chip from damage, ensuring its long-term reliability even in harsh operating conditions.

2. Versatility: PLCCs come in various sizes and configurations, making them suitable for a wide range of integrated circuit applications. They can accommodate different types of ICs, including analog, digital, and mixed-signal chips, offering flexibility in design and assembly.

3. Ease of Assembly: The leaded design of PLCCs simplifies the assembly process, allowing for easy soldering onto circuit boards. The leads provide secure electrical connections, reducing the risk of solder joints failure and ensuring consistent performance of the integrated circuit.

4. Thermal Performance: PLCCs are designed to dissipate heat efficiently, thanks to their plastic housing and leaded configuration. The plastic material acts as a thermal insulator, preventing heat from accumulating around the chip and promoting optimal thermal management. Additionally, the leads facilitate heat transfer from the chip to the circuit board, helping to maintain the temperature within acceptable limits.

5. Cost-effectiveness: PLCCs offer a cost-effective packaging solution for integrated circuits, making them suitable for mass production and high-volume applications. The use of plastic materials and standardized manufacturing processes helps to reduce production costs without compromising on quality or performance.

In summary, PLCCs offer a multitude of benefits, including reliability, versatility, ease of assembly, thermal performance, and cost-effectiveness, making them a preferred choice for packaging integrated circuits across various industries and applications.

PLCC Package Size

Description of typical sizes of PLCC packages:

PLCC packages come in a range of sizes to accommodate different integrated circuit designs and requirements. The most common sizes include:

1. PLCC-20: This package size features 20 leads and is commonly used for smaller integrated circuits with fewer pins. It is suitable for applications where space is limited, such as in consumer electronics and portable devices.

2. PLCC-28: With 28 leads, this package size offers slightly more pinouts compared to PLCC-20, making it suitable for medium-sized integrated circuits. It is commonly found in applications such as automotive electronics, industrial controls, and telecommunications equipment.

3. PLCC-44: This package size provides ample pinouts, making it suitable for larger and more complex integrated circuits. It is often used in applications requiring higher levels of integration and functionality, such as microcontrollers, memory modules, and networking devices.

4. PLCC-68: With 68 leads, this package size is ideal for high-density integrated circuits with numerous pins. It is commonly used in advanced microprocessors, graphics processors, and other high-performance computing applications.

Insight into how size impacts its applications and compatibility:

The size of a PLCC package directly influences its applications and compatibility with different electronic devices and circuit designs. 

– Smaller PLCC packages, such as PLCC-20 and PLCC-28, are suitable for compact devices where space is limited, such as smartphones, tablets, and wearables. Their smaller footprint allows for efficient use of space on the circuit board, enabling sleek and compact device designs.

– Medium-sized PLCC packages like PLCC-44 find applications in a wide range of electronic devices and systems, including automotive electronics, industrial controls, and telecommunications equipment. They strike a balance between pin count and package size, making them versatile for various applications.

– Larger PLCC packages, such as PLCC-68, are commonly used in high-performance computing and networking applications where a high number of pins and advanced functionality are required. These packages offer compatibility with advanced microprocessors, graphics processors, and other complex integrated circuits.

In summary, the size of a PLCC package plays a crucial role in determining its applications and compatibility with different electronic devices and circuit designs. Designers must carefully consider the size requirements and pin count of their integrated circuits to select the most suitable PLCC package size for their specific application needs.

Applications of PLCC

Overview of industries and devices where PLCC is commonly used:

PLCCs find widespread use across various industries and electronic devices due to their versatility, reliability, and ease of integration. Some of the industries where PLCCs are commonly employed include:

1. Consumer Electronics: PLCCs are extensively used in consumer electronics such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, digital cameras, and gaming consoles. They enable the integration of complex integrated circuits in compact and sleek designs, enhancing the functionality and performance of these devices.

2. Automotive Electronics: In the automotive industry, PLCCs are utilized in a wide range of applications, including engine control units (ECUs), airbag systems, infotainment systems, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). They withstand harsh environmental conditions and ensure reliable operation in automotive applications.

3. Industrial Controls: PLCCs play a crucial role in industrial control systems, including programmable logic controllers (PLCs), motor drives, sensors, and monitoring devices. They provide robust performance and long-term reliability, making them well-suited for demanding industrial environments.

4. Telecommunications: PLCCs are integral components in telecommunications equipment such as routers, switches, modems, and base stations. They support high-speed data processing and communication capabilities, enabling seamless connectivity and network operations.

Examples of electronic products utilizing PLCC ICs:

1. Microcontrollers: PLCC ICs are commonly used in microcontroller units (MCUs) found in a wide range of electronic devices, including home appliances, smart meters, and industrial automation systems. These devices rely on PLCCs for processing and controlling various functions and interfaces.

2. Memory Modules: PLCC ICs are also utilized in memory modules such as flash memory and dynamic random-access memory (DRAM). These modules are used in computers, servers, and networking equipment to store and retrieve data quickly and efficiently.

3. Networking Devices: PLCC ICs are integral components in networking devices such as routers, switches, and network interface cards (NICs). They support high-speed data processing, packet forwarding, and network management functions, ensuring reliable connectivity and data transmission in networked environments.

4. Digital Signal Processors (DSPs): PLCC ICs are commonly used in DSPs found in audio equipment, telecommunications devices, and digital signal processing applications. These devices leverage PLCCs for high-speed signal processing and computational tasks, enabling advanced audio and video processing capabilities.

In conclusion, PLCCs are essential components in a wide range of industries and electronic devices, providing reliable performance, versatility, and integration capabilities. Their widespread adoption underscores their importance in powering modern technology and driving innovation across various sectors.

Chip Holder

Introduction to chip holders and their importance in securing ICs:

Chip holders, also known as socket or carrier sockets, are essential components used to secure integrated circuits (ICs) onto printed circuit boards (PCBs) or other electronic devices. They provide a mechanical interface between the IC and the circuit board, ensuring stable placement and reliable electrical connections. Chip holders play a crucial role in simplifying the assembly process, facilitating IC replacement, and protecting delicate semiconductor chips from damage during handling or operation.

Explanation of how PLCC fits into chip holders:

PLCCs are designed to fit seamlessly into chip holders, which are specifically designed to accommodate their unique shape and dimensions. Chip holders for PLCCs typically feature a socket with receptacles or contacts that align with the leads of the PLCC package. The PLCC is inserted into the socket, and the leads make contact with the receptacles, establishing electrical connections between the IC and the circuit board.

Chip holders provide several advantages when used with PLCCs:

1. Secure Mounting: Chip holders ensure secure mounting of PLCCs onto the circuit board, preventing accidental dislodgment or damage during operation or transportation.

2. Ease of Replacement: PLCCs can be easily inserted and removed from chip holders, allowing for quick and hassle-free replacement of ICs without soldering or desoldering.

3. Thermal Management: Some chip holders feature heat sinks or thermal pads to enhance thermal dissipation from the PLCC package, helping to maintain optimal operating temperatures and prolonging the lifespan of the integrated circuit.

4. Versatility: Chip holders provide compatibility with various PLCC package sizes and configurations, offering flexibility in design and assembly for different electronic applications.

In summary, chip holders play a critical role in securing and facilitating the use of PLCCs in electronic devices. By providing mechanical support, electrical connectivity, and thermal management capabilities, chip holders ensure the reliable performance and longevity of integrated circuits in a wide range of applications.


Detailed comparison between PLCC and LCC (Leadless Chip Carrier):


1. PLCC (Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier):

   – PLCCs feature a plastic body with leads extending from the sides, allowing for easy soldering onto circuit boards.

   – The leads provide mechanical support and electrical connections between the IC and the circuit board.

   – PLCCs typically have a square or rectangular shape with leads arranged along the perimeter of the package.

2. LCC (Leadless Chip Carrier):

   – LCCs do not have external leads protruding from the package. Instead, they utilize metal pads or solder balls underneath the package for surface mounting onto the circuit board.

   – LCCs often have a flat, square or rectangular shape with metal pads arranged on the bottom surface of the package.


1. PLCC:

   – Easy to solder onto circuit boards due to the presence of external leads.

   – Provides better mechanical stability and durability, as the leads help distribute stress during assembly and operation.

   – Allows for easy replacement or rework of ICs without requiring specialized equipment.

2. LCC:

   – Offers higher density packaging, as there are no leads occupying space around the package perimeter.

   – Provides improved electrical performance due to shorter interconnect lengths and reduced parasitic effects.

   – Enables more efficient thermal management, as heat can dissipate directly through the bottom of the package.


1. PLCC:

   – Commonly used in applications requiring robust mechanical support and ease of assembly, such as consumer electronics, automotive electronics, and industrial controls.

   – Suitable for applications where space constraints are not a primary concern, but reliable electrical connections and mechanical stability are essential.

2. LCC:

   – Preferred for applications where high-density packaging and superior electrical performance are critical, such as mobile devices, wireless communication systems, and high-speed data processing.

   – Well-suited for miniaturized electronic devices and applications requiring efficient thermal management and high-speed signal transmission.

FAQs about plastic leaded chip carrier

What is the difference between LCC and PLCC?

The main difference between LCC (Leadless Chip Carrier) and PLCC (Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier) lies in their construction and packaging. LCCs do not have external leads, while PLCCs feature leads extending from the sides of the package. This difference affects their compatibility with circuit boards, ease of soldering, mechanical stability, and thermal management capabilities.

What is PLCC IC?

PLCC IC stands for Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier Integrated Circuit. It refers to an integrated circuit packaged within a PLCC, which is a type of chip carrier package commonly used in various electronic devices. The PLCC IC offers robust protection, reliable electrical connections, and efficient thermal dissipation, making it suitable for diverse applications across different industries.

What is a chip holder called?

A chip holder is also known as a socket or carrier socket. It is a component used to secure integrated circuits (ICs) onto printed circuit boards (PCBs) or other electronic devices. Chip holders provide a mechanical interface between the IC and the circuit board, facilitating stable placement, reliable electrical connections, and easy replacement of ICs.

What size are PLCC packages?

PLCC packages come in various sizes to accommodate different integrated circuit designs and requirements. Some typical sizes include PLCC-20, PLCC-28, PLCC-44, and PLCC-68. The number in the package name indicates the number of leads or pins on the package. For example, PLCC-20 has 20 leads, PLCC-28 has 28 leads, and so on.

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