Pentiums, Pentiums, Why Aren't Thou, Pentiums?

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For the past couple months, I have been baffled by the following:

  1. Not too many high-grade Coppermines around.
  2. Coppermines that are around overclock 50% without too much problems.

That sure didn’t sound like a yield problem to me.

This morning, it dawned on me what part of the problem might be: on-die cache.

The bigger the on-die cache, the bigger the yield problem is. Intel
never got good yields on the much slower big caches on the Pentium Pros. More recently, AMD had a tough time with yields on the K6-3, which has the same amount of cache the Coppermines have.

What might be a part of Intel’s problem is getting a high yield of chips with all the cache working. That would explain why there are shortages, but the chips we do get overclock well.

Just some speculation for those of us who wonder about such things. 🙂

Email Ed


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