Why do Intel core i7 have small L2 cache?

I just noticed that from the core i7 first gen to 3rd gen that they all have only 256kb L2 cache per core but have a 8mb L3 cache. Core 2 quads used to have 4mb to 12mb L2 cache and current AMD cpus still have large L2 cache.
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  1. This should explain it has to do with latency http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-l2-cache.htm
  2. it probably came down to managing chip size.

    the core i products are a lot faster than the core 2 products, there is no need to know more.

    There may have been improvements in how they managed L2 cache, and how efficiently they could transfer from L3 to L2, if that improved then there was no need for vast arrays of L2 cache.
  3. More cache = more latency. So you have a tradeoff: Do you want a higher chance to hit the L2 cache but at a cost to latency, or less of a chance to hit the cache, but with very fast access times?

    Because of the L3, there is not a need for a large L2.
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