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Pillars replace Pb-Sn balls in Intel processors

Posted: 30 Jan 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Peter Clarke  Presler  Yonah  processor  Intel 

The Presler and Yonah processors, built by Intel Corp. using 65nm process technology, make use of copper pillar bumping (CPB) as an alternative to lead-tin solder balls, according to Chipworks Inc., an engineering consultancy that analyses semiconductor chips and systems.

Chipworks said the Intel processors are the first examples of microprocessor die being connected to a printed wiring board using the CPB technology. CPB used in flip-chip assembly offers higher connection density, better electrical and heat-dissipating performance, greater mechanical strength and potentially increased reliability, Chipworks.

"The silicon process technology and strained silicon science being manufactured at 65-nanometer is nothing short of amazing," said Gary Tomkins, manager of technical intelligence at Chipworks, in a statement. "Intel has also taken an additional significant development leap with this new advanced packaging technology."

"Previous Intel processor generations such as the 'Prescott' used conventional flip-chip technology with lead-tin (Pb-Sn) solder balls," added Dick James, senior technology advisor at Chipworks. "For the Yonah and Presler, Intel has switched to a process that uses plated copper pillars to form the interconnection between die and board. This reduces the lead content over traditional flip-chip packaging even in the latest lead-free devices This is the first processor seen by Chipworks to use this advanced flip-chip technique."

- Peter Clarke
EE Times

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