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posted by Fnord666 on Monday May 14 2018, @10:25PM   Printer-friendly
from the hot-tech dept.

The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has revealed a manufacturing technique (called wafer-on-wafer or WoW) that could allow CPUs and GPUs to take their first step towards vertical scaling:

Instead of one wafer per chip, future GPUs may include two or more wafers stacked vertically, which would double the performance without the need to develop new horizontal designs every 2 years. A dual wafer setup, for example, would be achieved by flipping the upper wafer over the lower one, binding both via a flip-chip package. Thus, future GPUs could include multiple wafers in one die and the operating system could detect it as a multi-processor graphics card, eliminating the need for SLI setups.

One shortcoming for this technology would be its lower manufacturing yields for sizes lower than 16 nm. If one of the stacked wafers does not pass the QA, the entire stack is discarded, leading to low yields and poor cost effectiveness. TSMC is currently working to improve this technology so that sub-12 nm processes could equally benefit from it.

Not discussed is how to deal with the heat generated in such a stack.

See also: Here's why Intel and AMD's 7nm CPU revolution is so important to the future of PCs


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  • (Score: 2) by black6host on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:14AM (3 children)

    by black6host (3827) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:14AM (#679872) Journal

    Sure you have extra heat, so you double the output and decrease the life (I can't say by how much) of the chip. That's worst case scenario. And, to some, it might be worth the trade-off. Find a way to deal with the heat and then you got something cooking! :)

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  • (Score: 1) by Kalas on Tuesday May 15 2018, @03:40AM (2 children)

    by Kalas (4247) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @03:40AM (#679926)

    Find a way to deal with the heat and then you got something cooking! :)

    Thanks for that mental image of someone frying an egg on their oversized heatsink.

    • (Score: 2) by black6host on Tuesday May 15 2018, @03:44AM

      by black6host (3827) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @03:44AM (#679928) Journal

      This is your brain on dual wafer chips...

    • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday May 15 2018, @04:05AM

      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @04:05AM (#679941) Journal

      I could swear I saw a picture of someone doing that once (on a Prescott P4, natch).

      --
      I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...