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Intel and LEGO team up to help visualize what makes Lakefield so special

Intel and LEGO team up to help visualize what makes Lakefield so special
Intel and LEGO team up to help visualize what makes Lakefield so special
Build your own processors at home and learn what makes them tick... sort of. Through a unique marketing approach, this small Lego set shows exactly what each chiplet layer is responsible for and how Lakefield differs from traditional SoCs.
Allen Ngo,
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To celebrate the launch of Lakefield, Intel sent us an 89-piece Lego set showing off the innards of the hybrid processor. The full details of the groundbreaking 3D micro-architecture can be found via press release here. It may not be 7 nm, but it's a special series nonetheless with significant performance and power-efficiency advantages over the aging Amber Lake-Y series. The first laptops powered by Lakefield are expected to launch in the coming months.

The Lego set is separated into four chiplets to represent the different layers of a Lakefield processor: the package base, the compute layer, and the two package-on-package (POP) DRAM layers.

Box with classic Lego instructions included
Box with classic Lego instructions included
Each chiplet fully assembled and ready to stack
Each chiplet fully assembled and ready to stack

The package base lies on the very bottom and it's responsible for I/O processing including USB Type-C, NVMe storage, and others.

Integrated support for PCIe Gen. 3, NVMe, and UFS 3.0 storage for laptops or tablets. No native support 4G LTE or 5G just yet
Integrated support for PCIe Gen. 3, NVMe, and UFS 3.0 storage for laptops or tablets. No native support 4G LTE or 5G just yet

On top of the package die is the compute layer which houses the four low-power Tremont Atom cores and the single, more powerful 10 nm Sunny Cove core derived from Ice Lake. The integrated UHD Graphics sits here as well.

10 nm Compute die. The unique 5-core setup promises up to 2x the GPU performance and 10x the standby SoC power improvement over Amber Lake-Y
10 nm Compute die. The unique 5-core setup promises up to 2x the GPU performance and 10x the standby SoC power improvement over Amber Lake-Y

Finally, sitting on top of the compute layer are the two POP DRAM layers. All four chiplets are stacked together using a technique that Intel markets as Foveros.

Two identical memory dies
Two identical memory dies
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The resulting SoC measures only 12 x 12 x 1 mm to both reduce the space needed on a motherboard and allow for smaller laptop designs.

Explaining advanced micro-architectures with plastic building blocks can only get you so far, but it's definitely a fun and unique approach nonetheless. Hopefully Intel will do the same when Xe graphics cards become available!

Completed Lakefield SoC with the package die, compute die, and DRAM dies from bottom to top. Of course, the Lego set is not to scale!
Completed Lakefield SoC with the package die, compute die, and DRAM dies from bottom to top. Of course, the Lego set is not to scale!
(Source: Intel)
(Source: Intel)
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Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - Lead Editor U.S. - 4530 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2011
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.
contact me via: @AllenNgoNBC
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 06 > Intel and LEGO team up to help visualize what makes Lakefield so special
Allen Ngo, 2020-06-12 (Update: 2020-06-12)