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Intel’s Fab 9 Will Allow the Chipmaker to Produce a Viable Rival to AMD’s 3D V-Cache

Intel has yet to come up with an alternative to AMD's 3D V-Cache technology that powers the Ryzen X3D and Epyc Milan/Genoa-X processors

Earlier this week, Intel announced the opening of Fab 9, its first high-volume factory dedicated to advanced semiconductor packaging solutions, including 3D packaging technologies. Intel’s had 3D packaging since 2019 when Lakefield was introduced in limited quantities with DRAM stacked atop the base die and the compute chiplet. Foveros is also used in the Core Ultra “Meteor Lake” processors to stack the compute and tGPU tiles on the base die.

Unfortunately, despite the maturity of Foveros, Intel has yet to come up with an alternative to AMD’s 3D V-Cache technology that powers the Ryzen X3D and Epyc Milan/Genoa-X processors. This is likely due to technical/production reasons. The opening of Fab 9 should allow its engineers to explore advanced implementations of Foveros, including but not limited to a 3D stacked cache.

Together with Fab 11x, Fab 9 is the first Intel site capable of producing advanced 3D packaging solutions at scale. The chipmaker already has a set of cutting-edge packaging technologies, including Foveros 3D and EMIB (embedded multi-die interconnect bridge), supposedly more advanced than TSMC’s CoWoS. Till recently, however, Intel had no use for these technologies as its processors were monolithic and planar.

Today, we celebrate the opening of Intel’s first high-volume semiconductor operations and the only U.S. factory producing the world’s most advanced packaging solutions at scale. This cutting-edge technology sets Intel apart and gives our customers real advantages in performance, form factor and flexibility in design applications, all within a resilient supply chain. Congratulations to the New Mexico team, the entire Intel family, our suppliers, and contractor partners who collaborate and relentlessly push the boundaries of packaging innovation.

Keyvan Esfarjani, Intel Executive Vice President

The launch of Meteor Lake (and Sapphire Rapids) has forced Intel to innovate on the packaging front as it produces more and more chiplet-based products. According to previous leaks, Team Blue plans to launch its first 3D V-Cache alternative by 2027 in the form of Nova Lake. Dubbed “Big LLC,” it’s expected to start shipping in the second half of 2026, giving AMD ample time to refine and expand its V-Cache offerings.

Areej Syed

Processors, PC gaming, and the past. I have been writing about computer hardware for over seven years with more than 5000 published articles. Started off during engineering college and haven't stopped since. Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Divinity, Torment, Baldur's Gate and so much more... Contact: areejs12@hardwaretimes.com.
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