Tom Dolbear: Packaging Matters

Packaging Matters
Tom Dolbear

AMD historically was primarily in the business of designing computer processors. Today, its business is diversified into three operating segments: computing, graphics, and enterprise, embedded and semi-custom.  The computing and graphics segments design processors and graphics cards that are incorporated into the laptops and desktop computers. The enterprise, embedded and semi-custom segment designs processors for servers and “embedded” devices, as well as semi-customized processors for the gaming market. The market shift for increased mobility and energy-efficiency has motivated the company to diversify into new markets. Multiple driving factors of new products include increasing processing speeds and graphics fidelity, 4K video, virtual and augmented reality , conforming to unique size of new devices, and higher reliability requirements.

AMD has developed “System-on-Chip” (SoC) solutions combining a CPU and GPU onto a single silicon device.  The unique requirements of each segment offer opportunities and challenges to semiconductor packaging.  The packaging technology strategies have to accommodate low cost solutions using standard packaging solutions where possible to advanced technologies for product differentiation.  Examples of product differentiation include thin and small packages for mobility, large packages for high density and high functionality, thin core substrates, Si interposers, and high density organic interconnect.    This keynote will address the packaging challenges and the strategies to overcome the diverse and complex demands on development, characterization, and high-volume manufacturing.


Tom Dolbear
Tom is an Senior Director and AMD Fellow in the Thermal/Mechanical/Package Engineering organization within AMD. He and his team are responsible for the design, development, and ramp to high volume production of these aspects of AMD products at the silicon, package, socket, and platform-level. Prior to joining AMD, he was a Member of Technical Staff at MCC.  He holds fifteen patents in the field of electronic packaging. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and from Stanford University with a MS in Mechanical Engineering.