Karl Puttlitz, Sr.
The collaborative work of Karl J. Puttlitz and Paul A. Totta led to the introduction of flip chip interconnection technology, a breakthrough in semiconductor assembly and packaging that has enabled electronic device manufacturers to deliver smaller, more powerful and more reliable products. Dr. Puttlitz and Mr. Totta were instrumental in championing the method whereby tiny solder bumps covering the face of a chip are directly reflowed to the circuitry. This was achieved by flipping the chip over so the bumps are soldered to mating circuit pads, hence the term “flip chip.” This direct connection technique reduces the footprint of an individual component by up to 95 percent compared to the wire bonding method. In addition, the elimination of bond wires improves performance, offers greater input/output connection flexibility, improves ruggedness, and reduces the manufacturing costs of electronic devices such as personal computers and mobile phones.
Dr. Puttlitz is president of Puttlitz Engineering Consultancy, LLC, a company he founded in 2004. Previously, he held numerous engineering positions during a 43-year career at IBM, where he was awarded an IBM Outstanding Innovation Award and the Master Inventor Award for his work on flip chips. An IEEE Fellow, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s of science degrees in metallurgical engineering and a doctorate in metallurgy / materials science engineering from Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich.