ATLAS is one of the four big experiments at the Large Hadron Collider of the european centre for nuclear physics CERN at Geneva. At commissioning in the year 2005 LHC will be the biggest particle accelerator in the world. The task of ATLAS will be to answer fundamental questions concerning the structure of matter.
The ASIC laboratory is involved in the development of the so called trigger system. The task of this system is to select from the billion events that happen every second within the detector, the few physical events that are interesting and worth to investigate further. That must happen in realtime, because only a tiny fraction of all data that is produced can be stored.
The picture shows a detail of a chip that was developed in the ASIC laboratory. It is mounted on a carrier with technique called a "bump-bonding", in which the electrical contacts are not realized by thin wires, as usual, but by little metal balls. The lower picture shows a multi chip module, which integrates this chip.
Further documentation is available via the project's home page in the ASIC lab.