A great question submitted in the Q&A feature:
Can a QUIK CSSP (i.e. AL BX or VX) be imbedded in a Application Processor (AP), or would it always be a stand-alone chip on a board?
Note the following from an ifixit teardown which leads me to believe vendor chips can be imbedded in the AP:
“Much like the iPad’s A4 processor, the …processor is an ARM processor featuring package-on-package construction…Samsung takes advantage of the Package-on-Package architecture by embedding…Mobile DDR into the processor…The iPad’s A4 processor embeds two layers of RAM into the processor’s three layers”
Stepping back a bit…it’s not unusual for processors or discrete devices to stack/embed memory. Memory is physically architected in such a way to allow stacking within packages–this is a relatively common occurrence, as stacking memory saves PCB space (as well as possibly cost). To demonstrate how common this really is, our ArcticLink II VX2/4 and ArcticLink II CX both use embedded memory.
However, other than memory, it’s rare to find a stacked package containing devices from different suppliers. Here’s why–stacking devices requires package design that is custom-architected to the devices contained within; with commodity devices like memory, this is OK, as products from different suppliers can be readily swapped out without package redesign. However, when dealing with a product that is decidedly not a commodity (like a CSSP), pin and size-identical alternatives likely do not exist, which ties the suppliers together for the life of that package. That is generally a risk that is too high for most companies to stomach.
So, to answer your question, while theoretically possible for a CSSP to be stacked within an Application Processor’s package, it is very unlikely to occur.