Flatpack is a US military standardized Printed-circuit-board surface-mount-component package. The military standard MIL-STD-1835C defines: Flat package (FP). A rectangular or square package with leads parallel to base plane attached on two opposing sides of the package periphery.
The original flatpack was invented by Y. Tao in 1962 while working for Texas Instruments to achieve improved heat dissipation. The dual in-line package would be invented two years later. The first devices measured 1/4 inch by 1/8 inch (3.2mm x 6.4mm) and had 10 leads.
The flat package was smaller and lighter than the round TO-5 style transistor packages previously used for integrated circuits. Round packages were limited to 10 leads. Integrated circuits needed more leads to take full advantage of increasing device density. Since flat packages were made of glass, ceramic and metal, they could provide hermetic seals for circuits, protecting them from moisture and corrosion. Flat packs remained popular for military and aerospace applications long after plastic packages became the standard for other application fields.
- Dummer, G.W.A. Electronic Inventions and Discoveries 2nd ed. Pergamon Press ISBN 0-08-022730-9
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