An interesting Intel CPU example based on the Cannon Lake architecture has surfaced online with a three-chip design. The CPU, which was designed as a 10nm chip, never made it to the market in this variant, but the technology would expand and we would see Intel adopt a chiplet/hybrid design in its future processors.
Intel’s 10nm Cannon Lake-Y “Special Samples” CPU is designed with three chiplets
Photos revealed by YuuKi_AnS show that said SKU is part of a “Special Samples” series intended for internal use only. Since this particular chip never made it to retail, we can assume that these specialty chips are not intended for mass marketing but more for testing and internal testing purposes.
The 10nm Cannon Lake series was the start of Intel’s endless slowdown. The CPU was supposed to be the first chip to be manufactured on the 10nm process node, but due to various issues related to yields, the CPU entered the market as the industry moved forward. As such, Intel itself tried to quickly replace the family with its Ice Lake and Tiger Lake CPUs over the next few years, meaning Cannon Lake was short-lived.
Now, several years later, we can glimpse what Intel was up to with its Cannon Lake 10nm CPU lineup. From SkyJuice from Angstronomics, the CPU sample photo here is a 3-die MCP (Multi-Chip Processor) that comes in a BGA1392 package and measures 28mm x 16.5mm. There are three chiplets on the package, the 10nm CPU which is the largest of the three and measures 70.52 mm2this is followed by the PCH die which is 46.17 mm . measure2 and finally we have the McIVR die which is 13.72mm. measure2.
The McIVR (Multi-Chip Integrated Voltage Regulator) is supposed to handle voltage regulation across the two chiplets, but Intel has since gone back to FIVR and is also considering DLVR for some of their next-generation designs. The leaker also posted photos of a reference test motherboard used for internal testing only and we can see how small the 10nm Cannon Lake-Y CPU is. The CPU has many thermocouples on the front and there is also a visible spot on the back of the PCB, directly below the CPU that can be used to evaluate the voltage.
The Intel Cannon Lake-Y 10nm CPU range only saw the release of two SKUs, the Core i3-8121U and the M3-8114Y. Both contain 2 Palm Cove cores with 4 threads, but they only came in a few laptops and NUCs.
News source: Videocardz
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