Intel Leverages Factory Network to Overcome Substrate Shortages

Intel Leverages Factory Network to Overcome Substrate Shortages

Intel recognized the contributions of its Vietnamese site to reducing stresses in the global semiconductor supply chain. With an innovative approach to substrate processing at its assembly and test facility, Intel has shipped millions more production units of chips over the past year, meeting customer demand as the industry was struggling to cope with a shortage of this essential component.

“This initiative is a great example of how integrated manufacturing is the foundation of Intel’s success. Our global network of factories and supplier ecosystem directly enable a more adaptable and resilient product supply. Over the past year, when substrates were limited in the industry, our ability to leverage internal capacity created over $2 billion in revenue for Intel, enabling us to respond with agility to meet dynamic customer demand,” said Keyvan Esfarjani, Executive Vice President of Intel. President and Head of Global Operations.

Since the onset of the global pandemic, rising demand for computing has placed the semiconductor industry at the epicenter of unprecedented supply chain disruptions. This has created a shortage of key components for chipmaking, including a fundamental element of almost all of the world’s advanced processors: the Ajinomoto build-up film (ABF) substrate.

Before a computer chip leaves the factory, it is mounted between a substrate and a heat sink to form a complete processor. This “package” protects the chip and forms electrical connections between the processor and the circuit board of a computer. At a quick glance, the substrate looks like nothing more than a thin piece of green plastic. In reality, it is made up of about 10 layers of fiberglass, each connected by a complex network of metal interconnects. A silicon chip must be placed a few microns (a fraction of the thickness of a human hair) to line up with electrical connections, allowing signals to flow from the motherboard through the substrate to the chip and back. -poured.

Among the key elements of substrates are capacitors, devices capable of storing electrical charge. Capacitors reduce noise and impedance and maintain a constant voltage to the chip. For years, Intel attached some capacitors to one side of the substrate and relied on substrate vendors to attach them to the other side. Now, Intel attaches these components to both sides of the substrate at its Vietnam Assembly and Test (VNAT) facility. To enable this capability, the VNAT team has dedicated factory floor space, purchased additional tools and modified existing ones to prepare for high-volume production, which began in May 2021.

“This is the ultimate demonstration of why integrated manufacturing is a benefit for Intel and our customers,” said Kim Huat Ooi, vice president and general manager of Intel Products Vietnam. “By bringing this capacity in-house, we are able to complete die assembly more than 80% faster, while freeing up capacity-constrained substrate vendors. Over the past year, we have demonstrated that this is a scalable manufacturing process that matches the quality of our substrate suppliers. Going forward, we plan to continue to increase capacity to enable this approach for a wider range of products.

Comments are closed.