Intel’s Nehalem to have a bigger die than AMD’s Shanghai?

Bigger often means better, but the opposite holds true in the world of microprocessors, where greater die sizes often go hand-in-hand with things like higher costs and higher power consumption. According to a report by Fudzilla, Intel may turn out to be the loser in that respect in the forthcoming contest that will pit Nehalem, the company’s next-generation native quad- and eight-core chip, against Shanghai, the 45nm version of AMD’s Barcelona.

Fudzilla quotes its sources as saying that, while Nehalem will likely be faster than Shanghai, it will have a "significantly bigger" die. The site speculates that Nehalem’s die may be 20-30% bigger than Shanghai’s. This increase may originate from Nehalem’s use of both an integrated memory controller and simultaneous multi-threading, not to mention the launch chips’ expected four built-in cores. However, Shanghai will also have quad cores and an integrated memory controller, as well.  The size difference could also be attributable to one of the largest consumers of die area in modern processors: on-chip cache.

Both Nehalem and Shanghai will be built using 45nm process technology, and they should show up in roughly the same time frame. AMD and Intel pin their respective chips’ releases in the second half of 2008, and judging by rumors that have previously leaked out, both Nehalem and Shanghai-based Phenoms could launch in the fourth quarter of this year.

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    • rivieracadman
    • 13 years ago

    I don’t see where any of this is an issue except maybe heat. Since these chips spread out hot spots ( ALU, FPU ?? ) over a broader area they’re not as tempermental as the older single cores ( P4, XP ) I’ve noticed this on both the Q6600 and Barcelona CPUs. Both require cheaper coolers then duel or single core chips with similar power and voltage req. For instance my Barcelona only had a solid AL heatsink where my previous 1218 Opty had a solid copper with heat pipe design. Yeilds may suffer a little, but Intel has the capacity to make up for this, however if they do have yeild issues price of course will be an issue. This is what really killing Barcelona in the first place. Low yeilds coupled with bugs and no backup for the desktop market to pull them through until they can get it right.

    • wingless
    • 13 years ago

    Nehalem may overclock like crap because of this. Large die sizes = poor overclocking plain and simple. This will get interesting….

      • Flying Fox
      • 13 years ago

      But can you say for certain? General rule of thumb != absolute.

        • wingless
        • 13 years ago

        I can say theres a HIGH PROBABILITY the Nehalem will not enjoy the overclocking success that the Core 2 dual and quad core systems have to date. The die size is simply too big and it will run into the same speed limits that the Phenom 45nm will likely run into. There won’t be any 3.8 or 4Ghz on air for sure. I’ll put my money where my mouth is.

        Intel will still be faster than AMD though. Let me put it simply. The Core 2 architecture is capable of doing up to 4 instructions per cycle, the K10’s can only do 3. Nehalem will do 4 as well. This is why AMD has lost so big against Intel’s Core 2 architecture. Clock for clock Intel will only widen that gap with the Nehalem due to the increased efficiency Quick Path will bring. Intel fan boys shouldn’t fret if they can’t get up to 4.0Ghz on air! At 2.6Ghz, a Nehalem will kill anything AMD will have until their next gen. We should all realistically expect some teething issues with the new IMC and Quick Path system arch. Either way, this still won’t allow AMD to catch up easily.

          • Flying Fox
          • 13 years ago

          I’m still trying to hit that “mythical” 3GHz now. =)

          AMD does not need to catch up and equal, just by staying close with good yields.

          But until we have seen TR benchmarks I’m not going to speculate or pass judgement whatsoever.

    • Duke3d87
    • 13 years ago

    The cache shouldn’t make that big a difference when it comes to power. In transistor count yes, but in power probably really small.

    Also, the initial Nehalems will be server and high end desktops so if the die is rather large, it doesn’t really matter. The cheaper Nehalems will come out later in 2009. So, it shouldn’t be that big a deal. Also, Fudzilla reported some time ago that Intel’s 45nm yield is already at 90%.

      • Flying Fox
      • 13 years ago

      l[

    • TheTechReporter
    • 13 years ago

    Let’s see, so we think “Nehalem” will lose to “Shanghai” because of:
    -[

      • zqw
      • 13 years ago

      cache

      • charged3800z24
      • 13 years ago

      I think They are stugling… I thought I just read that over at the Fud today….But who knows other then Intel them self..

        • Flying Fox
        • 13 years ago

        You mean the regular Q9xx0 not coming out until Q2? Hardly a problem for Intel, the Q6600 is selling very well, with only the minority enthusiasts that can afford to wait waiting on them. Should actually make the traditionally weaker 2nd quarter interesting too if there are *that* many waiting on them, although I don’t think that is the case.

          • yogibbear
          • 13 years ago

          I know i’m waiting on one.

            • DrDillyBar
            • 13 years ago

            65nm Quad is 975’s limit on this ASUS

    • marvelous
    • 13 years ago

    AMD named a chip after a Chinese city. China is AMD masters.

      • Flying Fox
      • 13 years ago

      It’s just the convention of these AMD CPUs to name after cities, like Barcelona, Manilla, Windsor, Orleans, etc.

        • BoBzeBuilder
        • 13 years ago

        Wouldn’t wanna live in Presscot.

          • tfp
          • 13 years ago

          To warm?

        • UberGerbil
        • 13 years ago

        I kind of wish they’d maintained the convention of using similar names for chips in a line, as they did briefly with Thoroughbred/Applebred. It would’ve been easy with cities: you could’ve had the ‘chesters (Winchester, Westchester, Rochester, etc) the ‘hams (Birmingham, Bellingham, Nottingham, etc), the Sans (Antonio, Francisco, Jose, etc)… I guess they could still do it with the ‘ais (Shanghai, Dubia, Mumbai).

          • Flying Fox
          • 13 years ago

          It’s not Mumbai, it’s Bombay! I refuse to use the new names!

          😀

            • UberGerbil
            • 13 years ago

            I assume you cheer for the York Blue Jays or York Maple Leafs, then? Must be kind of a bitch finding the right jersey.

            Certainly I see a show on Broadway whenever I visit New Amsterdam. I’m looking forward to the Peking Olympics this summer (I wonder if Leningrad will ever get them?) And when I was in Turkey I quite enjoyed my time in Constantinople.

            • DreadCthulhu
            • 13 years ago

            Leningrad is a bad example there, since St. Petersburg is the original name. As for the Istanbul/Constantinople thing we all know that is nobody’s business but the Turks.

            • UberGerbil
            • 13 years ago

            You’re right, I should’ve used Petrograd. 😉

            It drives me crazy that people think TMBG wrote that song (even though I love their version).

            I have to say, I’ve even adapted to HCM instead of Saigon, but I still haven’t gotten used to Chenai (which would the next in the ‘ai series, I guess). At least they didn’t rename the shorts while they were at it. 😉

            • Flying Fox
            • 13 years ago

            We all know they are Saigon and Madras. 🙂

    • alex666
    • 13 years ago

    “The size difference could also be attributable to one of the largest consumers of die area in modern processors: on-chip cache.”

    So it obviously begs the question of how large the on-chip cache on each chip will be, and how that might affect performance, power, and so forth.

      • mph_Ragnarok
      • 13 years ago

      that must be the most thank-you-captain-obvious question that’s even possible !

        • alex666
        • 13 years ago

        I couldn’t resist.

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