Intel wants to make a 3D stacked CPU architecture.

Intel calls its new architecture, Foveros 3D stacking, and it will apparently be the way Intel beats Moore’s law.

It is logical for Intel to think 3D, since larger chips have lower yields and cost more. However we still don’t know if, when those chips start being mass produced with this 3D design, they will have low or high yields. But it does make sense to pack more transistors vertically. On the other hand, this may be a solution to Intels 10nm issue, since they are struggling to produce processors with transistors smaller than 10nm.

At the moment, Intel wants to separate CPU components into layers, having memory management, power distribution, graphics etc, in other layers, leaving more room for the actual architecture of the calculating parts of the CPU on one layer. There is already some 3D structure in all CPUs, in the way the silicone is layered, but it is stacking of materials to create one component, rather than the stacking of multiple components.

It is interesting to see if Intel manages to beat AMDs Ryzen with this new design. It looks though as Intel is using some AMD logic, since they have hired Raja Koduri from AMD right after he designed the Zen 2 architecture for AMD. He helped design the modular elements of the Ryzen and Threadripper products and this is what he does for Intel as well, he splits the components of the Processors.

One issue though with 3D architectures may be thermals. In theory this shouldn’t be an issue, since those 3D layers are very thin and heat should be able to travel through them with no problems, but it is always better to have less layers between the CPU cooler and the transistors that produce heat while working. It is an interesting situation, an interesting fight between the two companies. We will have to wait to see what’s next.

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