Enthusiasts regularly take apart new processors to see how they are arranged, and not only for the sake of science, but primarily for the sake of viewing and attention in social networks. Processors are not always able to survive such experiments, which is especially noticeable by the fresh acquaintance with the anatomy of Ryzen 5 5600X, which confirms the changes in the layout of the crystals taken by AMD.
AMD’s Technical Marketing Director Robert Hallock spoke about innovations in the structure of chipsets containing Zen 3 processing cores a few days before Ryzen 5000 processors were sold from the YouTube platform. The eight cores on the crystal are now combined into a single complex, each of the cores has equal access to a shared Level 3 cache.
The first experiments to remove the lid from Ryzen 5 5600X processors have confirmed that the crystal with computing cores after switching to the architecture Zen 3 slightly increased in length. According to official data, the area of the crystal increased from 74 to 81 mm2, an increase of 9%, and the number of transistors on the crystal increased by 350 million pieces. Well, let’s check it with photos under the microscope.
The famous master of macro photography of electronic components, Fritzchens Fritz, recently published images of Ryzen 5 5600X crystal with computational cores. The process of removing the cap from the processor, which is held on solder, as before, was not completed without consequences for the crystal – as a result, it was partially destroyed. However, just because of this risk in such situations on the table of the pathologist gets exactly the youngest model of the family, as the cheapest.
When compared to the layout of the Zen 2 chip, the Infinity Fabric bus controller shifts from the central area where it was previously needed to communicate between blocks of cores to the periphery of the chip. These changes are due to the changes in the layout of the cores, as described by Robert Halloch – cores are no longer divided between two segments, but belong to a single complex.
Measurements made by the enthusiast indicate other dimensions of chipsets with computational cores: the area is 75.75 mm2 in the case of Zen 2 and 83.74 mm2 in the case of Zen 3. Unlike AMD, which only takes into account the area of useful crystal elements in measurements, the author of the photos takes into account the total area of a silicon crystal. This method allows us to state that the crystal area has increased by about 11% compared to its predecessor.
At the same time, the performance of Ryzen 5000 processors has increased by more than 9-11%, so the implemented changes justify themselves from the economic point of view. The more compact the crystal is, the cheaper it is in production. AMD shifted to multi-crystal layout for the sake of economy.
Snapshots of 12nm crystal with I/O logic allowed to confirm that it has not undergone any changes in comparison with representatives of Zen 2 architecture. This is also indicated by the words of Robert Hallock, who last week said from social networking pages that the memory controller on Zen 3 processors is the same, and it is located on the “central” crystal.
The immutability of this crystal is beneficial for AMD in terms of unification. However, logistically, such a division is not quite convenient. The large central crystal is produced using 12nm technology by GlobalFoundries at its facility in the U.S., while smaller 7nm crystals with computational cores are produced in Taiwan by TSMC. Mounting of these elements on the textolite and testing of the finished processors are engaged in the enterprises in Malaysia and China, so the labeling on their cap mentions three countries of origin.