LGA-housed CPU

Packaging Makes the Difference for Processors

Through the use of ruggedized packaging, a commercial server CPU was upgraded for use on the battlefield.

Hostile environments require rugged components, and Mercury Systems has extended its ruggedization packaging technology so that commercial central processing units (CPUs) can be modified for use in military applications. The technology enables conversion of the land-grid-array (LGA) package found on standard Intel Xeon computer server processors to a more rugged ball-grid-array (BGA) package.

Once the conversion has been made, the processors are ready for battle with much higher performance than other Intel Xeon processor product lines in LGA packages. The Intel Xeon BGA-packaged processors can withstand the harsh temperature and vibration conditions found in military applications on airborne, naval, and ground platforms.

Mercury plans to use BGA-converted Intel Xeon Processor Scalable CPUs in its own OpenVPX, ATCA, and Secure Rack Server families of computer server products.

Mercury Systems

“Mercury’s unique BGA conversion technology enables our customers to use the latest and most powerful Intel Xeon server chips in deployed military applications,” explained Mercury Systems’ director of strategic marketing and alliances, Richard Jaenicke. “The new Intel Xeon Processor Scalable Family provides major increases in vector processing performance, memory bandwidth, and number of cores as compared with native BGA-based Intel Xeon solutions such as the Intel Xeon Processor D family and the Intel Xeon Processor E3 mobile family.”

Mercury’s BGA conversion technology has been successfully deployed on a number of systems that use the previous generation of Intel Xeon server-class processors. The technology has been applied to the new Intel Xeon Processor Scalable Family of CPUs for effective thermal management under the harsh conditions of military applications. By using the BGA packaging with military-grade solder balls and underfill, the dangers of package thermal expansion and contraction are minimized, along with the amount of stress placed on the semiconductor die.

The BGA packaging option has been thoroughly characterized through the use of thermal shock and lifetime testing. The ruggedized packaging allows CPUs that were originally developed for commercial applications to be used in military systems. The new processors feature double the vector processing performance of previous generations of CPUs, using Intel’s new AVX512 processing engine. The CPUs also offer 50% more memory bandwidth by expanding the architecture to six memory channels, as well as increasing the core count to as many as 24 on models with extended-temperature capabilities.

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