A Modular 3D Processor for Flexible Product Design and Technology Migration
The current methodology used in mass-market processor design is to create a single base microarchitecture (e.g., Intel's "Core" or AMD's"K8") that is used throughout all of the PC market segments from laptops to servers. To differentiate the products, manufacturers rely on speed binning, different cache sizes, and varying the number of cores. In this paper, the authors propose using 3D integration to provide a new, but complementary, approach to providing product differentiation. Past research on using 3D to improve performance has focused on the construction of "Fully 3D" circuits where functional blocks are partitioned across two or more layers.