- Oct 14, 2003
So actually the situation would really be the opposite of what you describe. It's the Skylake core that is 4 times as big as the Vortex core.
Intel's main cores don't seem particularly efficient in terms of die size. Perhaps they don't care that much though. You can see with ARM dies and Intel's small core(Atom) dies that the CPU core portion takes a tiny portion of the total die. Power measurements however show those tiny blocks are also responsible for a large portion of power use.
Contrast that to Intel's main cores. Their CPU cores take up significant part of the die. It could be related to high clock requirements necessitating the blocks be spread out to reduce thermal hotspots. Managing thermals and power use are the biggest problem for modern MPUs.
Packaging costs start to dominate under 80mm2 so they don't have a big reason to really make it much smaller anyway. There's likely an optimal balance between the two, as making the die even larger will result in diminishing returns as the contact to the heatsink does a reasonable job of lifting heat away once a certain core size is reached.