Intel Docs Confirm Dual-Core Cannon Lake CPUs With And Without iGPUs

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Mar 28, 2017
Due to physics, and the complicated fabrication process. It's harder to fabricate a CPU at a smaller node. The problem is complicated by the size of the CPU you're trying to fabricate because errors pop-up more often at smaller nodes.

So a smaller CPU, as TSMC has already printed several at 7nm, is easier to print than Intel's massive monolithic CPU's.

"A second reason for the slowdown is that it’s simply getting harder to design, inspect and test chips at advanced nodes. Physical effects such as heat, electrostatic discharge and electromagnetic interference are more pronounced at 7nm than at 28nm. It also takes more power to drive signals through skinny wires, and circuits are more sensitive to test and inspection, as well as to thermal migration across a chip. All of that needs to be accounted for and simulated using multi-physics simulation, emulation and prototyping."

But, using EMIB Intel could stitch 14nm+++ parts with 10nm parts creating hybrid CPU's until they've perfected the 10nm process to print their entire CPU's on 10nm in a competitive cost effective manner.

The question is, can they do this before AMD prints Ryzen on 7nm? AMD has an advantage here, Ryzen is 1/3rd the size of Intel's Coffee Lake.

Regardless I heard a rumor that Intel is switching to modular CPU's in 2020, to compete with AMD, although I have no idea if this was a joke or not.



Coffee Lake is 151sqmm while Zeppelin and Raven Ridge are both over 200sqmm. Intel is the one with a 33% die size advantage there.


May 2, 2011

Intel has been fighting with this for a long time. I remember hearing about all of the quantum physics problems they ran into with the 22nm node. I bet 14nm had it's own unique challenges.

I wonder what the rate of producing fully functional 14nm chips is for Intel. How do you think it compares you the 65nm Core 2 Duo Conroe chips? Was Conroe coming out right more frequently than Coffee Lake or Kaby Lake? Do you think that 10nm Cannon Lake and Ice Lake chips will be fully functional more or less often than this current generation?

I'm asking because I wonder if it would make sense to focus on architecture improvements instead of die shrinks in the future. Think about what Intel has done with 14nm.
Broadwell was just Haswell @ 14nm.
Skylake was a real architectural improvement over Broadwell.
Kaby Lake is Skylake with 14nm+ transistors.
Coffee Lake is Kaby Lake with 14nm++ and 2 more cores.

How much radical innovation really happened over this last node generation? Skylake was the single biggest architectural change in the last 4 years. Instead of dumping all of your time and resources into the 10nm node that has a lower success rate of fully functional chips, why not focus on innovating at the current node size?

edit: typo, clarification
Also Skylake X featured a lot of new ideas for scaling. That should have been mentioned. What would Skylake X have been if they used solder instead of thermal paste? There wouldn't be much of a conversation about Threadripper today.



I don't see AMD getting to 7nm ( well GF as AMD doesn't do anything for fabrication anymore) before Intel hits 10nm. Beyond the fact that their 7nm isn't even a "true" 7nm, I doubt they somehow figured it all out and are not running into any issues on a true 7nm platform while the company that consistently lead the industry is somehow, with all their money in R&D (remember Intel typically goes it alone) somehow couldn't even manage to get 10nm to work.



GloFo began taking 7nm orders in June 2017 with the first production shipments expected around mid-2018. We'll see if its schedule slips to late-2018 soon enough. If things remain on track though, GloFo's customers may be first to market with 7-10nm products.

With GloFo's top priority going into 2019 being "improve yields on 7nm, reduce use of triple/quad-patterning", yields in mid-2018 might not be expected to be particularly good. I doubt that would surprise anyone.
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