[Beowulf] Re: amd 3 and 6 core processors

Jonathan Aquilina eagles051387 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 20 16:24:35 PDT 2009


rbw that is actually true 4th quater of this year intel is release its first
8 core with hyperthreading processor to the xenon market. amd currently
already has their 6 core out.
i understand the reasoning you made about recycling them David, which saves
the company money as a whole on manufacturing especially since they wont
need another plant to prossibly produce the lower end product.

On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 12:35 AM, <richard.walsh at comcast.net> wrote:

>
>
>
>
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: "David Mathog" <mathog at caltech.edu>
> >To: beowulf at beowulf.org
> >Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 2:33:38 PM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central
> >Subject: [Beowulf] Re: amd 3 and 6 core processors
> >
> >Jonathan Aquilina <eagles051387 at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> a friend of mine told me that the amd tri cores were quads with one core
> >> disabled?
> >
> >Probably.  It will often be the case that the disabled core is
> >defective, maybe not fully dead, but it did not pass all of its tests.
> >It is common practice to recycle multicore CPUs with one bad CPU and
> >sell it as a lower performance part.  Similarly, chips that won't run at
> >full speed, but will pass all tests at a lower speed, may be stamped as
> >a lower performance part and shipped as that.  It makes good business
> >sense to do this since it lets them recover the otherwise wasted
> >production costs on these partially defective devices.  They may also
> >disable the 4th core even if works perfectly, and sell it as a 3 core
> >device, when they have an order for the tricore that needs to be shipped
> >and not enough quadcore chips on hand with one bad core to fill it.
>
> Many good points above and in Greg's earlier note.  Its all about yield
> and what you can fit on the chip at a given line width.
>
> In the past, binning by clock was the primary (only?) choice to bring up
> yields.  As chips have grown in size and evolved toward multi-core,
> degrading cores has been a economic side-benefit.  IBM was one of
> the first to use this approach (first with dual-core too), when they sold
> dual-core
> Power series chips with one core disable to give the remaining core
> maximum bandwidth.  There is little benefit in developing processing
> for real 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, ... etc. core chips.  Better to start with a
> standard
> process and core-count, and degrade it to fill lower power and performance
> bins.  The Nehalem micro-architecture is available as a dual core offering.
>  It
> is not clear to me (someone here may know), whether this is not just a
> degraded quad-core, or a true dual core.  This pinout is different, so
> perhaps it is a true dual-core.  I would also like to know how Intel and
> AMD are disabling/degrading the cores.  They very like have built
> in circuits that they can "burn out" to ensure physical incapacity. Still,
> perhaps it is done another way.  With Nehalem and its on-chip power
> management unit, dynamic "soft" disabling may be all that is needed.
>
> As folks here are I am sure aware, Intel will have a true 8-core offering
> in the next 3 to 6 months which puts them in a position to offer 5 and
> 7 core degraded processors as well.
>
> rbw
>
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-- 
Jonathan Aquilina
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