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How many types of die yields the whole line of Ivy Bridge Core i3/i5/7 and Xeon E3/E5/E7 CPUs?

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October 15, 2013 1:55:59 PM

I've been told that within one generation of Intel CPUs, all of the different Core i3/i5/i7 and Xeon E3/E5/E7 CPUs are all based on the one and the very same die. What I heard happens is that after the lithography process the quality of each produced die is evaluated through a so called "binning" process. Depending on the result of the evaluation process a certain set of fuses on each die are blown or burned off which defines what type of CPU the die will turn into once placed into the PGA/BGA encapsulation.

But I want to question this statement. How can it be possible that an LGA2011 dodeca (12) core Xeon E5 can be the same as a dual core LGA1155 Core i3 with built in GPU? Perhaps a dodeca core consists of three separate quad core dies (or two hexa core dies) tied together within the same PGA encapsulation?

If someone could clue me in as to how the different CPUs are configured in (or after) the binning process and how many different types of die they are based upon, it would be greatly appreciated. And, by the way; is the "built-in" GPU (on those CPUs that have one) on the same die as the CPU or are they on separate dies?

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October 15, 2013 2:02:50 PM

Well that is close but not really true. There is binning but the Ivy Bridge-E and Xeons are the same die and the rest of the Ivy Bridge processors are on another die. Binning works by taking the highest grade dies from each wafer and putting those higher up in "Bin 1" and then the next highest in "Bin 2" and it continues like that till the end. To separate the different products they disable cores, cache, or any other physical difference between products.

Edit: BGA mobile, embedded, or low power parts are separate dies as well
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October 15, 2013 2:14:11 PM

Ok, so how many different dies are we talking about here?

So, Xeon E3 CPUs (that are sitting in LGA1155 chips) also use the same die as the Ivy Bridge E?

Is e.g. the HD4000 GPU on the same die as the CPU or are they separate dies inside the chip?

But how come that a 12 core Xeon use the same die as say a quad core i7? That's a lot of cores to be disabled = waste of valuable wafer!
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October 15, 2013 2:40:17 PM

threehosts said:
Ok, so how many different dies are we talking about here?

So, Xeon E3 CPUs (that are sitting in LGA1155 chips) also use the same die as the Ivy Bridge E?

Is e.g. the HD4000 GPU on the same die as the CPU or are they separate dies inside the chip?

But how come that a 12 core Xeon use the same die as say a quad core i7? That's a lot of cores to be disabled = waste of valuable wafer!


Sorry I was unclear, I meant that ivy bridge based Xeons are from the same dies as Ivy Bridge-E i7s. For the higher end 12 cores I do not recall if they put 2 dies in one package or maybe they have a higher bin, 2 dies in one package is how Opterons get higher core counts if I recall correctly.

Edit: 2 dies in one package is how they raise the core count
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October 22, 2013 3:21:20 PM

rishiswaz said:
threehosts said:
Ok, so how many different dies are we talking about here?

So, Xeon E3 CPUs (that are sitting in LGA1155 chips) also use the same die as the Ivy Bridge E?

Is e.g. the HD4000 GPU on the same die as the CPU or are they separate dies inside the chip?

But how come that a 12 core Xeon use the same die as say a quad core i7? That's a lot of cores to be disabled = waste of valuable wafer!


Sorry I was unclear, I meant that ivy bridge based Xeons are from the same dies as Ivy Bridge-E i7s. For the higher end 12 cores I do not recall if they put 2 dies in one package or maybe they have a higher bin, 2 dies in one package is how Opterons get higher core counts if I recall correctly.

Edit: 2 dies in one package is how they raise the core count


According to this article on the Anand website,

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7285/intel-xeon-e5-2600-v2-12-core-ivy-bridge-ep

the Ivy Bridge EP platform comes with three different die flavours. I take it to mean that there are three different types of die for this platform. That said, I would believe it to be likely that the 4-6 core die is also used in other current-gen Ivy Bridge platforms (that also involve core i7).

Edit: Indeed there are dual-die CPU chips out there. The following picture is a Core2 Quad that actually are two Core 2 Duo CPUs in one chip:



So it is reasonable to believe that some (at least older-gen CPUs) have dual-die set-ups. I guess that the the Intel CPUs with built-in GMAx000 are designed in this fashion.
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October 22, 2013 6:18:05 PM

Many of the huge core count server processors currently out there are a dual die configuration of some sort. I know the 12 and 16 core Opterons are such a configuration for sure.
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