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Endicott Interconnect Technologies Fabricates Controller Board for 64x64 Port High-Performance Optical Switch


Extraordinarily complex design is bold new demonstration of EI's large, high-complexity PCB fabrication capabilities

ENDICOTT, NY, January 2008 - Endicott Interconnect Technologies, Inc. (EI) has upped the ante on its capabilities for fabricating large, high-complexity PC boards with an award winning controller board that functions as the intelligence of the world's most powerful and advanced optical packet switch.

The board fabricated by EI is a controller board for a 64-64 port, high-performance optical switch designed by IBM Zurich Research Lab. This is one of the most complex designs ever developed and is a core component in the OSMOSIS (Optical Shared MemOry Supercomputer Interconnect System) research project on next-generation optical switch technology in high-performance computing systems. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and in cooperation with Corning Inc., IBM's computer scientists developed a method of using optical switch elements to transfer packet data throughout the system using light. This switch is capable of transmitting 2.5 Terabits of data - equivalent to 20 high definition movies - in only 1 second. IBM researchers implemented this complex architecture for a 64-port optical switch technology demonstrator, achieving line rates of 40 Gb/s.

"The board construction consisted of 36 layers, 36,053 blind vias, 29,246 connections, a total trace length of 1.6 miles, and required multiple passes through the plating and drilling processes, highlighting the criticality of registration," said James Fuller, EI's VP of Semiconductor Packaging and Printed Circuit Board Fabrication. "The biggest hurdle was accommodating 40 back-to-back, two-sided, compliant pin connections."

The board was fabricated as two sub-composites with deep blind vias that, once joined, went only half way through the full thickness of the board. EI's engineering team provided the necessary depth control for the pin connections by developing a unique process that filled the vias to preserve the holes during lamination and then mechanically drilled the holes afterward.

"This opportunity has been among the most challenging board applications EI has undertaken since its inception," said James McNamara, president and CEO at EI. "The engineering expertise and manufacturing execution required to satisfactorily build this board is rare in the industry. Collaboration between our Engineering, Manufacturing and R&D teams was invaluable in solving an exceedingly complex fabrication puzzle and consequently delivering a leading-edge, high-performance solution."

The controller board design won a 19th Annual PCB Technology Leadership Award, a competition attracting printed circuit board designers from around the world, in the Telecommunications Switches, Network Servers, Base Stations & Computer Mainframes category.

About the IBM Zurich Research Lab
The IBM Zurich Research Laboratory (ZRL) is the European branch of IBM Research.
This worldwide network of some 3500 employees in eight laboratories around the globe is the largest industrial IT research organization in the world. The Zurich laboratory, which was established in 1956, currently employs some 330 persons, representing more than 30 nationalities. World-class research and outstanding scientific achievements - most remarkably two Nobel Prizes - are associated with the Zurich Lab. ZRL's spectrum of research activities ranges from basic science and fundamental research in physics and mathematics, to the development of computer systems and software, to the design of novel business models and services. For more information, please visit www.zurich.ibm.com.

About Endicott Interconnect Technologies
Endicott Interconnect Technologies, Inc., with headquarters in Endicott, NY, is a world-class supplier of electronic interconnect solutions consisting of fabrication and assembly of complex printed circuit boards, advanced flip chip and wire bond semiconductor packaging as well as precision equipment manufacturing and integration. EI product lines meet the needs of markets including IT, telecommunications, aerospace and defense, advanced test equipment, medical and power management, where highly reliable products built in robust manufacturing operations are critical for success. With more than 40 years experience in providing microelectronics solutions, the company brings to market a unique mix of leading edge technology and technical know how that provide customers with a time-to-market advantage and competitive differentiation. For more information about EI and its products, please visit www.eitny.com.

For more information, contact Endicott Interconnect Technologies, Inc. 1093 Clark Street, Endicott, New York 13760. Tel: 1-866-820-4820; Fax: 607-755-7000. Or visit www.eitny.com.

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