Photos of an Intel Cannon Lake prototype have surfaced. This CPU features an MCM design with three chiplets in a single package. That is different from release versions of Cannon Lake, which had two dies.
It concerns a prototype of a Core M3 CPU from the Cannon Lake-Y generation, writes hardware collector YuuKi_AnS on Twitter. The photo shows an engineering board from Intel, with a processor with three small chiplets packed in a bga package. There is red glue on the CPU, indicating that thermocouples were attached to the processor. The CPU would thus have been used as a tdp sample to perform heat and power tests, the Twitter user speculates.
Cannon Lake was the first CPU to use Intel’s now infamous 10nm process. The chips were intended for use in laptops and NUC systems and featured two chiplets. One of them contained two CPU cores. The other functioned as a separate I/O die. This prototype therefore has a third chiplet. According to SkyJuice60 by AngstroNomics and leaked datasheets from VideoCardz used as a mcivr, or multi-chip integrated voltage regulator. Such IVRs control the power supply to the CPU.
Traditionally, such a voltage regulator was on the motherboard, but Intel integrated it with his Haswell architecture in the CPU itself. However, a generation later, with Broadwell, IVRs were dropped from Intel’s “mainstream” desktop processors. It is unknown why the company did this, but it is believed that it was due to heat issues and die surface limitations. also writes Tom’s Hardware. So it seems that Intel had plans to use the ivr in a separate chiplet, although chips with this implementation never appeared on the market. Ultimately, only two Cannon Lake CPUs appeared on the market. Intel stopped supporting Cannon Lake less than two years after its release.