The Future of CPU Packaging: Intel's BBULby Anand Lal Shimpi on October 8, 2001 8:30 PM EST
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It's the people behind the scenes that rarely get the credit they deserve. The people that help put together news broadcasts, movies, and even microprocessors. By far the focus of most discussion about the CPUs we use in our systems is about their silicon; the architecture of the processor, how much cache it has, the bus interface, the clock speed, etc The only credit we give to the other factors that influence CPU performance and reliability is in our discussions of manufacturing processes. Even then we only talk about how large the die is, how high (or low) yields are expected to be, and what the size of the circuits (manufacturing process) being used. In all of this we actually overlook one of the most important parts of the CPU that is key to stability, performance and the ramping up of clock speeds.
There are two major parts to every CPU, the silicon that actually contains the "processor" and the packaging that connects the core to the rest of the outside world. The packaging of a processor can control how high of a clock speed the CPU will reach, and it can also control factors such as FSB frequencies. How does something as simple as the packaging of a CPU control things like clock speeds? To answer that question we'll have to dive into the world of packaging for a moment.