The Vietnamese company Intel learned how to prepare processor substrates
Hardware

The Vietnamese company Intel learned how to prepare processor substrates themselves

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a shortage of all kinds of microcircuits. The logistics settled down and the demand for electronics grew. Intel has done a lot in 2021 to alleviate the shortage of its flagship product – processors. An important step on this path was Prolongation of the substrate preparation for processors at the company’s assembly plant in Vietnam.

    Image source: Intel

Image source: Intel

Ajinomoto Build-up Film (ABF) substrates are a combination of approximately 10 layers of fiberglass with contact groups on the bottom and top and many conductors inside. The substrates serve as the basis for installing the processor chip and as a guarantee to protect it from damage. The substrate carries a set of contacts from below for installation into the processor socket on the motherboard and is covered with a heat-dissipating cover from above. In addition, surface-mount capacitors are soldered on both sides of the substrate, which reduce interference and serve to stabilize the processor’s power supply.

Traditionally, Intel bought substrates for processors with capacitors already soldered on one side. At the factory in Vietnam, where the processors are assembled and tested, the capacitors were soldered on the other side during final assembly of the processors. But the supply disruptions caused by the pandemic forced the company to prepare substrates for processor assembly independently, namely by desoldering the capacitors on both sides of the substrate.

In 2021, the company purchased a hundred special equipments for a plant in Vietnam and organized the process of full preparation of substrates for final assembly there. Since then, this company has not needed intermediaries to carry out such work and this has made it possible not only to maintain production volumes, but even to produce products beyond the planned level, even in the face of logistical problems and bottlenecks. According to Intel, millions of additional processor units could be released in just over a year.

“This initiative is a stunning example of how integrated manufacturing is at the heart of Intel’s success. Our global factory network and direct supplier ecosystem enables a more adaptable and sustainable product supply. Last year, when substrates were tight in the industry, our ability to leverage in-house capacity generated more than $2 billion in revenue growth, allowing us to quickly respond to dynamic customer demand.” Keyvan Esfarjani, Intel’s executive vice president and global chief operating officer, said in a statement.

In just 15 years of operations in Vietnam, Intel has invested $1.5 billion in manufacturing and shipped over 3 billion processors by the end of 2021. Jobs were made available to 2,800 employees and around 4,000 other specialized jobs were created around the factory infrastructure.

About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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