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Old 12-19-2012, 09:40 PM   #176
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Originally Posted by Idontcare View Post
Nowadays the big opportunity for improving clockspeed distributions and power-consumption comes from new mask steppings. But even there things have appeared to slow down, but only because Intel spends far more time iterating the mask sets before production release these days.
IDC,

Do you happen to have a simple explanation for how these mask steppings improve clockspeed distributions and power consumption?
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:45 PM   #177
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If, in fact, Core ULV is built on SP, that should leave Intel a good deal more room for lowering power consumption at some point in Core's future. (Notice the very large differences in leakage in the third chart for "SP", "LP" and "ULP" on the 22nm node.)
It's not a freefall reduction though. The low leakage processes usually run at higher voltages than the SP or HP meaning you use more at active but you get reduced leakage.

Also, I'm not sure if Intel uses derivative chips on different process variations. I mean, its probable that different dies like Xeon E5 and and Sandy Bridge use different leakage transistors, but on mobile/desktop/ultra low power? Right now, they take the biggest die and cut away stuff without arranging anything around(which will be a totally new die).

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As an analogy think of how much TDP Intel was able to lower on 45nm Pine Trail atom by going with low leakage 45nm for Oaktrail. (TDP dropped from 5.5 watts for the single core 1.66 Ghz Pine Trail to 3 watts for the single core 1.5 Ghz Oak trail.
I think the reduction is purely due to segmentation and Uncore/IO changes. Oak Trail is the "focus" market which is why it looks better(think of how much better laptop SKUs look compared to Desktop ones), plus it sacrifices Uncore and IO to reach lower power. Oak Trail for example takes out 64-bit support and goes to single channel 32-bit DDR2-800 while Pine Trail supports single channel 64-bit DDR2-667. There's probably other things it downsizes like DMI links.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:58 PM   #178
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Originally Posted by Computer Bottleneck View Post
IDC,

Do you happen to have a simple explanation for how these mask steppings improve clockspeed distributions and power consumption?
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

Mask steppings are the theoretical. The simulated. The modeled. And as with anything theoretical, there are assumptions made or implied, known and unrealized, when the masks are created.

In short, until you have silicon in hand you really don't know for certain how the design is going to function as a product of the real-world aspects of the process node.

New steppings don't really improve anything that wasn't already broken or an unintended speedpath bottleneck, etc.

The design tools aren't perfect, layout isn't always optimal. Shortcuts get taken, either intentionally or unintentionally, and you don't find out until you have silicon in hand...which is why it is an inherently iterative process: design/layout/simulate -> tapeout -> validate silicon -> characterize silicon -> rationalize gap between silicon and design/layout/simulation expectations -> repeat until silicon matches target within acceptable tolerances

And of course you can't forget this is all being done for the purposes of making money, so there is always the possibility of the cycle being cut short and management electing to rush less-than-optimized product out the door in the meantime. (B3->G0 stepping of Kentsfield, B1->B3 stepping of Barcelona)

When a product gets rushed to market, that is when the door has been opened for a future stepping to be released that addresses things which ought to have been addressed before the product had been brought to market (in a perfect world where money and time-to-market don't matter )
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:22 PM   #179
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Also, I'm not sure if Intel uses derivative chips on different process variations. I mean, its probable that different dies like Xeon E5 and and Sandy Bridge use different leakage transistors, but on mobile/desktop/ultra low power?
Maybe the Haswell Ultrabook chip will have lower leakage 22nm xtors (since it is definitely unique from the other SKUs.)

Or maybe something with dedicated lower clocks (like Pentium) and a small GPU will get the lowest leakage first?

Tough to figure out what could happen since I don't have a point of reference. Intel Ark just lists "lithography" as the spec, not the process tech

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Right now, they take the biggest die and cut away stuff without arranging anything around(which will be a totally new die).
Anandtech does list different die sizes for dual core, quad core, GT1, GT2, etc.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5876/t...idge-die-sizes

But I can't find the info on the die cutting.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:50 PM   #180
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Anandtech does list different die sizes for dual core, quad core, GT1, GT2, etc.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5876/t...idge-die-sizes

But I can't find the info on the die cutting.
Perhaps it will be different for dual core GT3 ULT but I'm still not sure.

It's easy to figure out what "derivatives" are compared to full new dies.

It's simple at looking at how the cores are arranged. First, look at this awesome RWT article: http://www.realworldtech.com/sandy-bridge-circuits/

Go to Google.com and search for the die shots of Sandy Bridge and Sandy Bridge EP. If you compare them side by side and look at it closely, you'll see that it can't be a simple cut. The EP's cores and caches are in different location to each other. Sandy Bridge has the cores laid out side by side, with the L3 cache on the bottom of the cores. Sandy Bridge EP has the cores surrounding the L3 cache at the center.

Not rearranging the locations make it lot easier to get it working. Validation times are lower, and there are less effort to do it. Changing the layout likely requires figuring out timing on the wires and circuits for example. Now the derivatives DO take a bit of time to make, but way shorter than complete new dies. These chips have hundreds of millions of transistors and wires you know.

But you are talking about doing lot more than that, by using transistor with a different characteristic.
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:56 AM   #181
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Perhaps it will be different for dual core GT3 ULT but I'm still not sure.
For some reason I was thinking the Haswell die (for ultrabooks) integrated the PCH. In fact, it is a MCP (two dies on a package).

So it is not unique as I was thinking.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5078/i...50-for-desktop

Quote:
The big news here is Intel will move the PCH (Platform Controller Hub) onto the same package as the CPU, making the Ultrabook version of Haswell a single chip solution. With Sandy Bridge you needed two parts from Intel, the CPU and the PCH, with Haswell you only need the Haswell MCP (multi-chip package). That's two individual die

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Old 12-21-2012, 02:42 AM   #182
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It's easy to figure out what "derivatives" are compared to full new dies.

It's simple at looking at how the cores are arranged. First, look at this awesome RWT article: http://www.realworldtech.com/sandy-bridge-circuits/
That is a great article. Thank you for the link.

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Not rearranging the locations make it lot easier to get it working. Validation times are lower, and there are less effort to do it. Changing the layout likely requires figuring out timing on the wires and circuits for example. Now the derivatives DO take a bit of time to make, but way shorter than complete new dies. These chips have hundreds of millions of transistors and wires you know.

During my search today I also noticed you started a thread discussing cut lines and the derivative process ---> http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2234017

Good info!

But how does Intel connect the cut die pieces back together?

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Old 12-21-2012, 09:41 PM   #183
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But how does Intel connect the cut die pieces back together?
Of course you can't attach them back physically, its done before. Seperate die means that each version has its own wafer. The "cut and paste" process is likely done on a computer and that will turn into its unique mask.

Compare to printing. You can't attach the cut paper pieces back together. You do it on the computer before printing to make the shapes you want.
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:27 PM   #184
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For some reason I was thinking the Haswell die (for ultrabooks) integrated the PCH. In fact, it is a MCP (two dies on a package).
Yeah. It's going to happen sooner rather than later though. Perhaps Broadwell?
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:38 PM   #185
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Yeah. It's going to happen sooner rather than later though. Perhaps Broadwell?
Skylake at the earliest according to PCWatch, and I agree with them too. It's with Tock such changes happen.
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Old 12-22-2012, 03:23 AM   #186
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So what discrete components will be left on the motherboard after that?

Will we reach a solution which more or less consists of only one chip and connectors?

And a lot of connectors can also be removed on some motherboard models, e.g. if only iGPU and soldered on board RAM is used (i.e. no PCIE or RAM slots).

See e.g. Intel DH77DF board component diagram:

http://www.intel.com/support/motherb.../CS-033202.htm
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:06 AM   #187
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Does anyone know if 2013 A,B,C,D mean 1rst, 2nd, etc quarter?
Little late, but I hope you still get to read it.

You can see its under the acronym "FMB". FMB stands for "Flexible Mainboard" or something in that form. FMB is basically a power guideline for sockets and motherboards.

A/B/C/D each corresponds to different power guidelines. You can see the alphabets only vary when TDP numbers are different. Unless you are involved in designing those motherboards, its not that meaningful to you.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:48 AM   #188
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Skylake at the earliest according to PCWatch, and I agree with them too. It's with Tock such changes happen.
That does sound more realistic.

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Will we reach a solution which more or less consists of only one chip and connectors?
I think so. And by 'one chip', I mean everything, including ram and disk. That will take awhile to get to that point though.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:05 PM   #189
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I think so. And by 'one chip', I mean everything, including ram and disk. That will take awhile to get to that point though.
I know HP has released on good amount of information on stacking the storage with the CPU.

How about Intel? Anyone have any good links on this? (It would be very interesting to understand how these memory developments could affect their processor design)
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:10 PM   #190
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Of course you can't attach them back physically, its done before. Seperate die means that each version has its own wafer. The "cut and paste" process is likely done on a computer and that will turn into its unique mask.

Compare to printing. You can't attach the cut paper pieces back together. You do it on the computer before printing to make the shapes you want.
Thanks for explanation.

So basically a lot of the local interconnects could be re-used, but other larger area interconnects would have to be re-designed.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:17 PM   #191
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Skylake at the earliest according to PCWatch, and I agree with them too. It's with Tock such changes happen.
So Skylake will probably have the PCH (<--and this portion will selectively be low leakage process?) and digital wifi integrated?

So this leaves the question of how the master die will be arranged on how the cutlines will be drawn.
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Old 12-23-2012, 04:13 AM   #192
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WiFi integration is further out, due to the fact that engineers still need to solve issues with interference. The prototype Atom clocked similar to WiFi frequency which supposedly helps reduce interference. It probably is even longer out for Core chips, and will come to Atom first. Tablets and Ultrabooks don't need so much space saving as to integrate the WiFi chip, unlike Smartphones.

Topic: Intel expects Haswell to only ramp to 20% of the desktop market in second half of next year. That's pretty slow compared to Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge. The reason is likely due to high inventory levels of Ivy Bridge chips combined with less than stellar specifications of Haswell desktop chips.

Even if Intel doesn't abandon socketed LGA chips in the future, they will need really good ideas to ensure the enthusiast/socketable market will grow. Or it will be inevitable that they will be forced to kill it.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:03 PM   #193
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Topic: Intel expects Haswell to only ramp to 20% of the desktop market in second half of next year. That's pretty slow compared to Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge. The reason is likely due to high inventory levels of Ivy Bridge chips combined with less than stellar specifications of Haswell desktop chips.
That is a low percent for desktop and I have to wonder if Intel is planning to put the mainstream core processor on the low power/low leakage process at some point because of that?

Such a move would increase the separation between the mainstream core processors and the E-series on the big LGA socket.

If that happened, the E-series processors would effectively have to take over the void left by the mainstream unlocked multiplier K chips. This could be handled by Intel having more chips like the i7-3820 (a true quad core with its own die) and a drop in price of the mainboards for the large socket.

That leaves the mainstream core processors to speculate about. One thing I would be concerned about is a reduction in turbo performance for these new low leakage ultra book/tablet chips. As I understand things, low leakage = lower max clocks, but better overall energy efficiency. But maybe a move to a fanless design (and the form factor enabled by that) would more than offset the loss in max performance for the old top bin?
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:47 AM   #194
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20% is no surprise really because Intel will launch only Quadcores in May, ULT models in Q3 and dualcores in Q4.
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:52 PM   #195
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20% is no surprise really because Intel will launch only Quadcores in May, ULT models in Q3 and dualcores in Q4.
20% is for Desktop.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:21 PM   #196
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Topic: Intel expects Haswell to only ramp to 20% of the desktop market in second half of next year. That's pretty slow compared to Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge. The reason is likely due to high inventory levels of Ivy Bridge chips combined with less than stellar specifications of Haswell desktop chips.
Would you have a source for this number? It's H213, not H113? Because it doesn't make sense to churn out old designs at that rate when you have a new one on the wings. Plus they are not sitting on huge inventories right now, they can simply scale back manufacturing to make room for HSW. In fact, they are scaling back manufacturing.
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:47 AM   #197
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Would you have a source for this number? It's H213, not H113? Because it doesn't make sense to churn out old designs at that rate when you have a new one on the wings. Plus they are not sitting on huge inventories right now, they can simply scale back manufacturing to make room for HSW. In fact, they are scaling back manufacturing.
Fudzilla, but I've seen their estimates for Ivy Bridge, and they weren't wrong, so I don't assume they are now either. And yes, its for 2H 2013. For 1H 2013 its mere 5%.

They've said that 70% of inventory is due to Ivy Bridge, so even if its not high, they still need to clear that out.

mikk might be right in a general sense then. Ivy Bridge got dual core desktop chips quite fast, but we may not see that with Haswell. Dual cores are probably still very important in terms of volume desktop shipments for Intel.

BTW, GT3 is coming at similar time to GT2 variants for the mobile quad core. We just don't have it leaked, that's all.
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Old 12-25-2012, 05:24 PM   #198
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Even if Intel doesn't abandon socketed LGA chips in the future, they will need really good ideas to ensure the enthusiast/socketable market will grow. Or it will be inevitable that they will be forced to kill it.
One thing Intel could do is sell unlocked multiplier dual core chips.

Add $15 premium to Pentium or i3 and I would definitely consider buying.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:35 AM   #199
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Remember how everyone was saying those roadmaps were "fake"? Well Olivon just posted this link on XS:
http://chinese.vr-zone.com/45571/int...2013-12252012/



Looks like model numbers were correct after all. Launch is according to the above slides on June the 2nd.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:39 AM   #200
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One thing Intel could do is sell unlocked multiplier dual core chips.

Add $15 premium to Pentium or i3 and I would definitely consider buying.
Or intel could stop being a greedy buttface and make all of their procs unlocked like AMD.
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