AMD talks about Nvidia’s mobile GPU failures
acts and rumors about failing Nvidia chips have been spewing from all sides for months now. What’s AMD’s take on the issue, and why aren’t we seeing similar failures from its products? We recently had a chat with Neil McLellan, AMD’s director of packaging and interconnect technologies, who offered his insight and opinions about these matters.
To understand where AMD is coming from, one must go back a few years to the former ATI. Prompted by problems with packaging and interconnect materials in consoles as well as the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive, ATI hired McLellan and went about rethinking its chip packaging strategy. In 2005, the RoHS directive required GPU packages to start connecting to their host boards with lead-free solder balls. ATI also took that opportunity to replace the high-lead solder bumps with so-called eutectic bumps. As you’ll see in the diagram below, those solder bumps connect the silicon GPU die to the rest of the package: