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Intel takes bumps off packaging

BBULs hit solder balls

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The boffins at Intel have developed a new means of casing the guts of a processor. The technology, called “Bumpless Build-Up Layer” (BBUL), will only start to be used in the somewhat distant future to build processors, but will pave the way to deliver the “performance of billion-transistor processors”.

Currently, the case (or package) of the processor is bonded to its innards via tiny balls of solder called bumps, making the electrical and mechanical connection between the package and chip. This creates various technical problems as the clock frequency ramps exponentially up in the future, hence the introduction of this new technology: BBUL, which eliminates usage of these bumps completely.

Essentially, instead of taking a processor and soldering a case onto it, this technique “grows” the package around the chip. Intel’s press release doesn’t go into any more detail as to what exactly it means by this.

The company plans to start using this technology around 2006/2007. ®

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