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Endicott Interconnect Technologies, Inc. Fabricates Award Winning Printed Circuit Board

Jan 16, 2008

Endicott Interconnect Technologies, Inc. (EI) announced today that it has fabricated an award winning, printed circuit board for IBM Zurich Research Laboratory (ZRL). Used in the worlds most powerful and advanced optical packet switch, this controller board functions as the intelligence of the switch.

�This complex 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,� stated James Fuller, VP semiconductor packaging and printed circuit board fabrication. �The largest 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. Our 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 afterwards.�

�This opportunity has been among the most challenging board applications EI has undertaken since its inception,� commented 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 aided this valued customer in solving a fabrication puzzle, consequently delivering a leading edge, high performance solution.�

The controller board design won in the 19th Annual PCB Technology Leadership Awards, a competition attracting printed circuit board designers from around the world, in the Telecommunications Switches, Network Servers, Base Stations & Computer Mainframes category. It is one of the most complex designs ever developed and was a core component in the OSMOSIS research project on next generation optical packet 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 novel switch is capable of transmitting 2.5 Terabits of data, which is equivalent to 20 high definition movies, in only 1 second. One of many potential uses for such a system is the acceleration of discoveries in the fields of biomedicine and biology.

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