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Technology Stocks : Aavid Thermal Technologies (AATT)

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To: Lloyd Bloom who wrote ()8/14/1998 8:06:00 AM
From: Lightbulb   of 185
 
Any engineers care to comment on the article below. Is there a trend toward using new materials to reduce heatsinks or is it just pertinentent to thios particular chip design.

New package for Pentium II
By Michael Kanellos
Staff Writer, CNET NEWS.COM
August 14, 1998, 4:00 a.m. PT
Starting in the fourth quarter, Intel will begin to
deliver the Pentium II processor in a new package
that will allow it to push chip speeds to 500 MHz
and beyond.
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August 13, 1998, 1:01 p.m. PT
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The plastic Pentium II
cartridge--slightly
smaller than a cassette
tape case--used inside
computers today will
become smaller with the
new design, according to
an Intel spokesman. Most of the changes, however,
are not cosmetic but substantive internal
modifications that affect the chip's performance.
The company is changing packaging materials, as
well as altering how and where the different
microcomponents surrounding the Pentium II attach
to each other. In the end, the chip will still be based
around the "Slot 1" design of Pentium II chips
today, but it will be more efficient because it will
increase the flow of electricity to the processor.
The new cartridge, which is called the SECC 2 for
"Single Edge Contact Cartridge," also will likely
lead to a cost reduction for Intel. "That's the magic
of semiconductors. Things get better and cheaper,"
said Nathan Brookwood, semiconductor analyst at
Dataquest.
Packaging technology has a strong effect on overall
chip performance because it influences both heat
dissipation and the amount of electricity that can
flow through a processor. By improving dissipation
and increasing conductivity, chipmakers can
increase speeds and prevent failures.
Intel will be making essentially two changes to the
Pentium II package.
First, it is altering the package that surrounds the
chip "die." (The die consists of the bare circuits.)
Intel will no longer use the Plastic Land Grid Array
(PLGA) package to wrap the chip. Instead, the
chip will come wrapped in the Organic Land Grid
Array (OLGA), an organic substrate interspersed
with copper.
OLGA's advantage comes in the copper. PLGA
packages are plastic. Electrical connections to the
chip are only made on one the side of the chip.
With OLGA, the back of the package can conduct
electricity, which means a greater electrical flow to
the processor. Intel now uses OLGA packaging on
mobile Pentium IIs, but not on its desktop versions.
Second, OLGA's metallic characteristics allow
removal of the thermal plate attached to the
Pentium II. Currently, Intel attaches a metal plate
and a thermal plate to the back of the Pentium II's
housing. In turn, the thermal plate attaches to a
large heat sink, which draws heat away from the
chip. With OLGA, the thermal plate is no longer
needed. In fact, the size of the heat sink can be
reduced.
"OLGA gives you better electrical performance,"
Intel's spokesman said. "This will allow us to get to
500 MHz and beyond." (Intel is an investor in
CNET: The Computer Network.)
The company will use the new packaging on
350-MHz processors, as well as its faster chips.
These new processors will start to roll out over the
fourth quarter of the year and the first quarter of
next year.
Although it uses copper, OLGA packaging is not
synonymous with the manufacturing trend that uses
the metal in processor circuitry. Chips with copper
interconnects are expected from IBM in the near
future. Intel will move to copper interconnect chips
when it shifts to the 0.13-micron manufacturing
process in 2001 or 2002, according to various
sources.
Related news stories
ÿ 300-MHz Pentium II notebooks on tap August 5, 1998
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