Intel’s First Fovoros and First Hybrid x86 CPU: Core plus Atom in 7 W on 10 nm

Perhaps someone will correct me, but I can’t ever remember a time when Intel has put multiple x86 cores of different configurations on the same bit of silicon (ed: Intel Edison). Ever since Arm starting doing it with its big.Little designs in smartphones, a perennial question was if Intel was going to do something similar, either with big and small Atom cores, or by moving a high-performance Core into the mix. When Intel left the smartphone and tablet market, we assumed the idea was dead. But, like a reanimated zombie, it has risen from the grave. Enter Intel’s Hybrid x86 CPU.

This tiny 12x12 package is built using Intel’s Fovoros technology, using a 22FFL IO chip as the active interposer connected with TSVs to a 10nm die that contains both a single Sunny Cove core and four Atom (Tremont?) cores. This tiny chip is smaller than a dime, and is designed to have a 2 mW standby power. It would appear that this chip is destined for mobile devices.

Here’s the manufacturing diagram, showing the idea that POP memory is placed over the Fovoros design to give the final product. Very much like a mobile chip.

The demo system that Intel had on display looked similar to the previous Sunny Cove design, however this heatsink was smaller and it had a few different connectors. We were told that this chip will support PCIe for M.2 as well as UFS, both of which are found in mobile. There also looked like a couple of SIM card connectors on this motherboard.

The key part of this discussion however is this block diagram that was on one of the Intel slides. Here we see a single ‘Big CPU’ with 0.5 MB of private medium level cache, four ‘Small CPU’s with a shared 1.5 MB L2 cache, an uncore that has 4MB of last level cache, a quad-channel memory controller (4x16-bit) with support for LPDDR4, a 64 EU design with Gen11 graphics, the Gen 11.5 display controller, a new IPU, MIPI support with DisplayPort 1.4, and all of this in a tiny package.

Seriously though, this has the potential to be a large revenue stream for Intel. They’ve made this chip, which allows the cores to enter C6 sleep states when not in use, that has a die size smaller than 12x12mm (144 mm2), and target the sub-7W fanless device market. That’s with a big Core, four Atom cores, and a GT2 64 EU design.

Intel actually says that the reason why this product came about is because a customer asked for a product of about this performance but with a 2 mW standby power state. In order to do this, Intel created and enhanced a number of technologies inside the company. The final product is apparently ideal for the customer, however the chip will also be made available for other OEMs.

In our Q&A session with the senior members of Intel, it was clear that this technology is still in its infancy, and Intel now has a new toy to play with. Jim Keller stated that internally they are trying lots of new things with this technology to see what works and what would make a good product, so we should be seeing more Foveros designs through 2019 and 2020.

Changing How Chips are Made: 3D Packaging with FOVEROS Ice Lake 10nm Xeon Scalable On Display
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  • prisonerX - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - link

    And you're a special brand of pathetic. Congrats.

    Don't worry though, one day you'll hit puberty and things will improve.
    Reply
  • LogitechFan - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - link

    Oh yes, amdturds are THE breed of stupid to behold... Reply
  • drunkenmaster - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - link

    Would that be Marvell's chip from 3 years ago that suddenly people are talking about... which is just a chip on an interposer with an HBM chip. HBM which AMD co-developed, had prototype APU packages using it in 2011 and launched Fury X with HBM on an interposer 3 years ago.

    Right, but AMD didn't pioneer it, because Marvell made a dramatically less complex switch using the same concept at the same time AMD did, but you know, AMD co-developed the memory, they worked with the packaging plants for years to be able to mass produce interposer packaged products and Fury X was the reason HBM went into full production in the first place.... but sure, AMD definitely didn't pioneer this latest move.
    Reply
  • ajc9988 - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - link

    http://www.eecg.toronto.edu/~enright/micro14-inter... http://www.eecg.toronto.edu/~enright/Kannan_MICRO4... https://youtu.be/G3kGSbWFig4 https://seal.ece.ucsb.edu/sites/seal.ece.ucsb.edu/... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3RVwLa3EmM&t=... Reply
  • qap - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - link

    Well ... yeah. Intel had multi-chip CPUs almost 15 years ago (look for Pentium D). And it was mocked by AMD and its fans.
    I thought that the mocking intel did last month was just to remind AMD, what they said then and I found it hilarious. But maybe not. People don't change and it's completely plausible, that it was said by someone, who does't know the history.
    Reply
  • Topweasel - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - link

    Never Mocked by AMD. They just made sure to point out that their 2 cores with the X2 and quad with the Phenom where "real" multicore chips. It mattered more back then because Intel's boards had FSB's instead of direct connections and the separate chips had to talk through the FSB and chipset northbridge to talk to each other. Also AMD hadn't been rambling on thier glue tech for years (with no product yet on market using it (Kaby-G isn't actual EMIB)) when they made their statements.

    AMD promoted their products said they are better because they were real. There is a negative connotation with that. But that is different then calling out your competitor for using "glue".
    Reply
  • 29a - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - link

    "Well ... yeah. Intel had multi-chip CPUs almost 15 years ago (look for Pentium D). And it was mocked by AMD and its fans."

    I think pretty much everyone mocked anything P4 related, you have to admit it was pretty bad.
    Reply
  • FreckledTrout - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - link

    What's P4? To flush it down the toilet. Reply
  • tshoobs - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - link

    Never heard that one before! So true, the P4 was such an embarrassment. Reply
  • JlHADJOE - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - link

    lol this takes me right back to the days of the P4, and the awesome "x is good... for me to POOP on!" meme Reply

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