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Intel’s backside power delivery process could make CPUs a whole lot more efficient

After years of struggling to make good on its chip manufacturing promises, Intel will publish two papers at the VLSI Symposium next week detailing a new way to build chip nodes to create more efficient processors, according to today’s press release. It’s called PowerVia, and if Intel does do this, it’ll be a pretty big deal in the race to make processor nodes smaller and smaller.

PowerVia will be critical to making smaller, less power-hungry chips that are part of Intel’s launch roadmap in 2021. It will move all power paths to the back of the chip, bringing power directly to the components that need it instead of routing it around to one side and becoming an “increasingly chaotic web,” to borrow Intel’s wording of multi-layered power and signal wires, like Currently.

The benefit of this new method is that the power and signal wires have more space and can therefore be larger and conduct electricity better.

Intel says it has demonstrated this solution with an experimental chip called Blue Sky Creek, which is based on an efficient core that it will include in its upcoming Meteor Lake PC processors. It says that the new method allows for better power delivery and better signal connectivity.

VLSI 2023 Twitter account tweeted a few pictures from one of the Intel papers on June 2nd, one of which is done with thermal imaging.

Intel hopes its new PowerVia solution will be ready for production by 2024. According to its roadmap, it hopes the new process will help it regain a position lost over the past few years, as competitors Players like AMD and TSMC are getting stronger day by day. and more efficient processor.

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An article in AnandTech put a lot of Intel’s work to come here in context, discussing in detail the challenges the company faced with the new design. According to the article, it will put Intel at least two years ahead of its competitors when it comes to actually manufacturing chips using this new technique.

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