Intel Adopting 3D-Stacked Cache for CPUs, Challenging AMD’s 3D V-Cache

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger held a Q&A session with the press here at Innovation 2023, and in response to a question about whether Intel would adopt a 3D cache approach like AMD does with its 3D V-Cache processors, he confirmed that, while Intel will take a bit of a different approach, it will also use stacked cache memory paired with the CPU die. This technology won’t arrive with Meteor Lake, but it is in development for a range of different Intel processors in the future. 

In response to whether or not Intel will adopt a 3D V-Cache technology, Gelsinger said, “When you reference V-Cache, you’re talking about a very specific technology that TSMC does with some of its customers as well. Obviously, we’re doing that differently in our composition, right? And that particular type of technology isn’t something that’s part of Meteor Lake, but in our roadmap, you’re seeing the idea of 3D silicon where we’ll have cache on one die, and we’ll have CPU compute on the stacked die on top of it, and obviously using EMIB that Foveros we’ll be able to compose different capabilities.”

“We feel very good that we have advanced capabilities for next-generation memory architectures, advantages for 3D stacking, for both little die, as well as for very big packages for AI and high-performance servers as well. So we have a full breadth of those technologies. We’ll be using those for our products, as well as presenting it to the Foundry (IFS) customers as well,” Gelsinger concluded. 

It’s logical that Intel could adopt this sort of technology; the hybrid bonding technology behind 3D V-Cache isn’t proprietary to AMD — it’s enabled by TSMC’s SoIC packaging technology. Additionally, this sort of chip architecture has been on the long-term horizon for chip makers for several years. 

Stacked cache has proven to be a strategic advantage for AMD, as it powers the company’s Ryzen X3D CPUs, which are the fastest gaming processors in the world. It’s also a strong value add for its X-series EPYC processors, like Genoa-X. Now it appears that Intel will also throw its hat into the ring with this tech, too.