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posted by martyb on Friday August 14 2020, @08:48PM   Printer-friendly
from the the-die-is-cast^W-stacked dept.

Samsung Announces "X-Cube" 3D TSV SRAM-Logic Die Stacking Technology

Yesterday, Samsung Electronics had announced a new 3D IC packaging technology called eXtended-Cube, or "X-Cube", allowing chip-stacking of SRAM dies on top of a base logic die through TSVs.

Current TSV deployments in the industry mostly come in the form of stacking memory dies on top of a memory controller die in high-bandwidth-memory (HBM) modules that are then integrated with more complex packaging technologies, such as silicon interposers, which we see in today's high-end GPUs and FPGAs, or through other complex packaging such as Intel's EMIB.

Samsung's X-Cube is quite different to these existing technologies in that it does away with intermediary interposers or silicon bridges, and directly connects a stacked chip on top of the primary logic die of a design.

Samsung has built a 7nm EUV test chip using this methodology by integrating an SRAM die on top of a logic die. The logic die is designed with TSV pillars which then connect to µ-bumps with only 30µm pitch, allowing the SRAM-die to be directly connected to the main die without intermediary mediums. The company this is the industry's first such design with an advanced process node technology.

[...] Stacking more valuable SRAM instead of DRAM on top of the logic chip would likely represent a higher value proposition and return-on-investment to chip designers, as this would allow smaller die footprints for the base logic dies, with larger SRAM cache structures being able to reside on the stacked die. Such a large SRAM die would naturally also allow for significantly more SRAM that would allow for higher performance and lower power usage for a chip.

3D SRAM is not a new idea, but this kind of stacking could become commonplace in CPUs within a few years. SRAM takes up a large amount of CPU die area, so stacking it into layers above or near cores could be beneficial.

Also at The Register and Guru3D.

Related: Intel Details Lakefield CPU SoC With 3D Packaging and Big/Small Core Configuration
AMD Plans to Stack DRAM and SRAM on Top of its Future Processors


Original Submission

Related Stories

Intel Details Lakefield CPU SoC With 3D Packaging and Big/Small Core Configuration 9 comments

Intel Lakefield SoC With Foveros 3D Packaging Previewed – 10nm Hybrid CPU Architecture Featuring Sunny Cove, Gen 11 Graphics and More

Intel Lakefield is based around Foveros technology which helps connect chips and chiplets in a single package that matches the functionality and performance of a monolithic SOC. Each die is then stacked using FTF micro-bumps on the active interposer through which TSVs are drilled to connect with solder bumps and eventually the final package. The whole SOC is just 12×12 (mm) which is 144mm2.

Talking about the SOC itself and its individual layers, the Lakefield SOC that has been previewed consists of at least four layers or dies, each serving a different purpose. The top two layers are composed of the DRAM which will supplement the processor as the main system memory. This is done through the PoP (Package on Package) memory layout which stacks two BGA DRAMs on top of each other as illustrated in the preview video. The SOC won't have to rely on socketed DRAM in this case which saves a lot of footprint on the main board.

The second layer is the Compute Chiplet with a Hybrid CPU architecture and graphics, based on the 10nm process node. The Hybrid CPU architecture has a total of five individual Cores, one of them is labeled as the Big Core which features the Sunny Cove architecture. That's the same CPU architecture that will be featured on Intel's upcoming 10nm Ice Lake processors. The Sunny Cove Core is optimized for high-performance throughput. There are also four small CPUs that are based on the 10nm process but optimized for power efficiency. The same die [has] Intel's Gen 11 graphics engine with 64 Execution Units.

[...] [Last] of all is the base die which serves as the cache and I/O block of the SOC. Labeled as the P1222 and based on a 22FFL process node, the base die comes with a low cost and low leakage design while providing a feature-rich array of I/O capabilities.

It would be nice to finally see some consumer CPUs with stacked DRAM, although the amount was not specified (8 GB?).

Intel video (1m48s). Also at Notebookcheck.

Previously: Intel Announces "Sunny Cove", Gen11 Graphics, Discrete Graphics Brand Name, 3D Packaging, and More
Intel Promises "10nm" Chips by the End of 2019, and More


Original Submission

AMD Plans to Stack DRAM and SRAM on Top of its Future Processors 10 comments

Ryzen Up: AMD to 3D Stack DRAM and SRAM on Processors

AMD revealed at a recent high performance computing event that it is working on new designs that use 3D-stacked DRAM and SRAM on top of its processors to improve performance.

[...] Intel whipped the covers off its Foveros 3D chip stacking technology during its recent Architecture Day event and revealed it already has a leading-edge product ready to enter production. The package consists of a 10nm CPU and an I/O chip mated with TSVs (Through Silicon Via) that connect the die through vertical electrical connections in the center of the die. Intel also added a memory chip to the top of the stack using a conventional PoP (Package on Package) implementation.

Not to be left behind, AMD is also turning its eyes toward 3D chip stacking techniques, albeit from a slightly different angle. AMD SVP and GM Forrest Norrod recently presented at the Rice Oil and Gas HPC conference and revealed that the company has its own 3D stacking intiative underway.

[...] [True] 3D stacking consists of two die (in this case, memory and a processor) placed on top of each other and connected through vertical TSV connections that mate the die directly together. These TSV connections, which transfer data between the two die at the fastest speeds possible, typically reside in the center of the die. That direct mating increases performance and reduces power consumption (all data movement requires power, but direct connections streamline the process). 3D stacking also affords density advantages.

Where are the CPUs with attached High Bandwidth Memory?

Related: Intel Announces "Sunny Cove", Gen11 Graphics, Discrete Graphics Brand Name, 3D Packaging, and More
Intel Details Lakefield CPU SoC With 3D Packaging and Big/Small Core Configuration


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 14 2020, @09:54PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 14 2020, @09:54PM (#1036782)

    Did it work or did it die?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 14 2020, @10:06PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 14 2020, @10:06PM (#1036788)

    Yeah, wait till I get my hands on them.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by looorg on Friday August 14 2020, @10:37PM (3 children)

    by looorg (578) on Friday August 14 2020, @10:37PM (#1036801)

    So instead of a large surface area CPU will get once that is more like a cube? The heatsinks are going to have to look very interesting, sort of like a heatcage or are is this liquid cooling only?

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Friday August 14 2020, @11:45PM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday August 14 2020, @11:45PM (#1036824) Journal

      It's difficult to say. We should know more about how it works after their Hot Chips presentation next week.

      This isn't the only way SRAM could be stacked. Instead of smothering the whole CPU with it, maybe the SRAM portion of the die could be layered up, and the base of it would still be adjacent to the CPU cores.

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      • (Score: 2) by looorg on Saturday August 15 2020, @04:33PM

        by looorg (578) on Saturday August 15 2020, @04:33PM (#1037130)

        I guess they could once again split the two so that CPU is CPU and Memory is something outside and not integrated into it.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday August 21 2020, @12:02AM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday August 21 2020, @12:02AM (#1039613) Journal

      I don't see any further coverage of it and the Samsung Hot Chips thing is listed as a "poster" [wikipedia.org]. Not sure what that means given that they went streaming only.

      https://www.hotchips.org/program/ [hotchips.org]
      http://archive.is/bZQKW [archive.is]

      So I guess that's it for now. If the technology sucks and can't be cooled effectively, it won't gain traction.

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  • (Score: 2) by DECbot on Saturday August 15 2020, @03:59AM

    by DECbot (832) on Saturday August 15 2020, @03:59AM (#1036936) Journal

    Did they run this past legal first or did they imagine that cubes and boxes are dissimilar enough to keep Microsoft from sueing them for trademark infringement?

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