Intel to Abandon the Internal Voltage Regulator (IVR) with Skylake Microarchitecture

Intel to Abandon the Internal Voltage Regulator (IVR) with Skylake Microarchitecture

Remember Intel’s FIVR (Fully Integrated Voltage Regulator) innovation
that was something of a hype back before Haswell was released? Well we
have just received some technical documents which suggest that Intel is
abandoning the FIVR design.

Intel to abandon FIVR Innovation with Skylake Architecture

Alright, lets begin with the FIVR first. The Integrated Voltage
Regulator was thought to be a mini-evolution in die design with in-house
voltage regulation, providing more efficient power to the processor.
And initially  tests did seem to indicate that it is a tad more
efficient. However Blue has decided to ditch the IVR starting from its
Skylake Processors. So far, it is not clear why Intel is choosing to
turn back the wheel and adopt the classical voltage regulation system
for Skylake processors. Observe the slides below. The first slide on the
left shows the Haswell voltage regulation diagram while its counterpart
shows the same for Skylake.

Intel Shark Bay Haswell Power SolutionIntel Skylake Abandoning the Internal Voltage Regulator

Notice the movement of the PCH and CPU from the center to the left
and the removal of the VCC line, that is the restructuring to revert
back to the old power design. So that is a very interesting development
and hints that the IVR probably doesn’t justify its expense. Amusingly,
having just recently demoed the Devil’s Canyon flagship processors at
Computex and hosted OC Competitions, Intel attributed much of the rock
solid stability of the CPUs in question to the IVR inside the die which
allowed precision control of the voltage supplied to the CPU. So the
question is, if its that great, why is Intel leaving it behind?

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