I was afraid you'd say that. I have a feeling those pretty die shots are nothing more than marketing material and the core numbering is there just because. When I asked AMD for core numbering info about Phenom II, the tech support guy just pulled a picture from somewhere in the Net. I can't remember clearly but it seemed like there was something fishy about his response.
IMO it is not that fishy, it is implementation details that are just not to be disclosed. High resolution die shots already give competitors enough insight into the implementation (and large enough competitors will use scanning electron microscope to augment their reverse engineering efforts).
I actually once thought about what you said, about just getting some sort of infrared heat sensor and track which part of the die is heating up while loading cores individually, but those things are pricey. Besides, how would you do it with the heatsink on?
I thought you just need to put the sensor in the right distance and it will probe properly? I never use those things so I can't say for sure.
Yes, I'd imagine so. I once considered core numbering to 'reset' everytime the system turned on or restarted, but that would be a bit messy, wouldn't it? I also imagine the BIOS needs to start off with a 'default' core first, probably Core 0, assign the OS to this 'default' core during boot, then things could just spread out to other cores from there.
Probably a combination of internal implementation, microcode on the CPU, and BIOS code.
The Model M is not for the faint of heart. You either like them or hate them.
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