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        Table of Content

   I.     Introduction – page 2-3
          a. The Company
          b. The Technology
  II.     Components of the Core i7 980X – page 4
          a. Classification
          b. Raw Materials
 III.     Core i7 980X and the Web – page 5-6
          a. Tech Communities
          b. General Information
          c. Corporate website
          d. Support
 IV.      Process and Design of Core i7 980X – page 7-11
          a. Input and Output
          b. Stage by Stage explanation
          c. Physical Design
          d. Types of Design
  V.      Life Cycle of Core i7 980X – page 12
          a. Current Stage
          b. Previous Stage
 VI.      Alternatives of Core i7 980X – page 13-14
          a. Other Intel products
          b. AMD
VII.      Effects of Core i7 980X – page 15-18
          a. Effects of the Technology
          b. Effects of Manufacturing the Technology
VIII.     External Factors influencing Core i7 980X – page 19
          a. Social
          b. Political
          c. Business and Economical
 IX.      Ethics and Core i7 980X – page 20
          a. Warranty
          b. Recall
  X.      Future of Core i7 980X – page 21
          a. Core i7 990X
          b. LGA 2011
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The Company
The company is based in Santa Clara, California, U.S. Founded by Gordon E. Moore and
Robert Noyce in 1968. Before Intel came to be, it was named NM Electronics. In a year, the
founders decided to name the company Integrated Electronics instead, Intel for short. 2010
report shows Intel has 82,500 employees while its rival company only 11,100.

                                        Intel® logo
                                                                                      Page |3

The Technology
Being Intel’s flagship for more than a year in the current market, the product has shown
interesting traits and uses very advanced technology to be in the spotlight for so long. If Intel
had not released the Core i7 990X in Q2 2011, the 980X could have still been first in the
market. The Core i7 980X is the first true six-core processor released for end-users with
hyperthreading support giving processing power of 12 threads, providing server-grade
performance. The Core i7 980X is built based on the 32nm manufacturing process. Therefore,
the Core i7 980X processor shall be the focus of this study.

                                      Intel® Core™ i7 logo
                                                                                        Page |4

Components of the Core i7 980X

The Core i7 980X is classified as a semiconductor microprocessor product. The product line
is called Core™; the X after 980 signifies Extreme performance.

Raw Materials
   1. Silicon
          Common metalloid, semiconductor
   2. Germanium
          Greyish-white metalloid in the carbon group
   3. Gallium Arsenide
          Used in the manufacture of devices such as integrated circuits and solar cells
   4. Organic Semiconductor
          Organic material with semiconductor properties
   5. Diode
          Single p-n junction
   6. Transistor
          Bipolar junction transistors
   7. High-k Metal Gate
          Promising replacement for silicon dioxide gate dielectric

      Difference between current silicon transistors and 45nm High-k + metal gate transistors
                                 (Thomas De Maesschalck, 2007)
                                                                                 Page |5

Core i7 980X and The Web

Tech Communities
With a simple search using keywords “Intel+Core+i7+980X” easily yields you more than 1
million of results. The search engine used in this study is Google™. There are numerous tech
communities which give good information, e.g. guru3d, engadget, techPowerUp!,
xtremesystems,, HWBot, AnandTech. Evidently, these communities in some
form advertise the technology.

                        More than 5 results redirect to Tech Community
                                    (Tan Chia Way, 2011)
                                                                                  Page |6

General Information
The accuracy of general information being able to be obtained online is more than 90%. So
end-users and consumers can easily find information online, which is good for the corporate
and the technology.

                             Accuracy of search higher than 90%
                                    (Tan Chia Way, 2011)
                                                                                   Page |7

Process and Design of Core i7 980X

Input and output
Core i7 980x is inserted into the motherboard with LGA-1366 socket and X58 chipset. Gulftown
sticks to Ronak’s 2MB of L3 per core rule and has a full, 12MB shared L3 cache that’s
accessible by any or all of the six cores. It’s actually because of the large unified L3 cache
that performance in applications that don’t use all six cores can be higher than quad-core
Core i7s. Gulftown has a 48 cycle 12MB L3, a 14% higher latency for a 50% increase in size.

                             7-Zip Benchmark and Performance
                                     (AnandTech, 2010)
                                                                                 Page |8

Stage by stage explanation
(Shenton College, 2009)

   1. Fetch
          a. The CPU communicates this address over the address bus to main memory,
              with signals indicating it needs the instruction stored at that address (This
              activates the Memory location) (1 clock cycle)The Core i7 980X utlises the
              new QPI I/O bus to quickly fetch data
          b. Main memory then transmits the instruction along the data bus to the CPU
              (The Control Unit sends a READ signal) (another clock cycle)
          c. The new QPI feature in the Core i7 980X allows faster communication
              between buses
   2. Decode
          a. Once an instruction has been fetched, it must be decoded
          b. With hyperthreading, the Core i7 980x can decode faster without
              compromising performance
   3. Execute
          a. After the instruction have been decoded/fetched, it can be executed(carry out)
              by the ALU
          b. These instructions are carried out at an electronics level
          c. Core i7 980x can execute faster because of IMC.
                                    Page |9

The Fetch, Decode & Execute Cycle
         (Kristin, 2011)
                                                                                  P a g e | 10

Physical design
It is a small chip which is square in shape with integrated heat sink (IHS). The IHS is mainly
made out of copper to better transfer heat to the heat sink for heat dissipation. The
semiconductor works best with lower temeperatures.

                Top and bottom view of the Core i7 980X ES (Engineering Sample)
                                       (ccokeman, 2010)
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Types of Design

Universal Design
Core i7 980x fits into motherboard socket LGA-1366 with the Tylersburg chipset. These
motherboards feature the support of 3 to 4 16x PCIe 2.1 lanes and tri-channel memory for
maximal performance and extension.

Functional design
The Core i7 980X is the first LGA-1366 processor based on Intel’s Westmere architecture.
The size of the die is smaller which is due to its 32nm manufacturing process. The design
does not only save cost but also produce less due to less energy loss, which is also an effect
of 32nm manufacturing process. It has 6 cores in a single die with an integrated memory
controller(IMC) featuring QPI links(Quick Patch Interconnect) and shared L3 cache(Level 3).

                                 Intel Core i7 980X ‘Gulftown’
                                  (Overlocker’s Club, 2010)
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Life Cycle of Core i7 980X

Current stage
Core i7 980X is in decline stage because of the released of core i7 990X. Core i7 990X will
replace core i7 980X soon in terms of the price and performance. Intel claimed that core i7
990X is crazy fast just got faster.

Previous stage
Core i7 980X is in maturity stage for the past year being Intel’s flagship and have been the
top of the end-user market as well, costing $999 constantly without any drop or raise.
                                                                                P a g e | 13

Alternatives of Core i7 980X

Other Intel products
One can easily obtain another cheaper processor from Intel Core i7 series, the 920, 930 and
950. However, these mentioned processors offer only 4 true cores as compared the 980X’s 6
true core. The processing power has a big significant performance gap as well as price. Not
only that, the models mentioned above uses 45nm manufacturing process, which can relate to
higher power consumption and higher core temperature. However, all the products mentioned
do have Intel Turbo Boost technology. This feature ramp up the processor with slightly
higher core voltage and increases the core speed with x1 to x2 multiplier for higher

                               Intel® Turbo Boost Technology
                                 (Overclocker’s Club, 2010)
                                                                                P a g e | 14

If one does not favour Intel, perhaps AMD is the choice. AMD offers six-core processors at a
low price, $199. Usually, really budget users will head for AMD while performance users
look for Intel. This is proven with numerous reviews made in the Internet, depicting
performance of processors from the Blue and Red camp. The flagship of AMD at that
moment was AMD Phenom II X6 1090T. It is very cheap but, performance wise, nowhere
near Intel Core i7. As depicted below, the performance of AMD Phenom II X6 1090T
overclocked to 4.1ghz barely scratched Intel Core i7 980X at stock clocks.

3DMark06                                      CPU                                     Score
(guru3d, 2010)
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Effects of Core i7 980X

Effects of the Technology
             Technology's Effect on:
                  o Commerce
                        1. AMD’s power user and overclocker market is suppressed
                        2. Preferred by power users over other processors
                  o Social
                        1. Brag rights
                        2. Farm
                  o The Environment
                        1. Arsenic contamination
                        2. Toxic waste
                  o Health
                        1. Virtually no health risk as product do not produce harmful
                             substance when used
                        2. Refer Page 2
                  o Economical
                        1. Flagship for Intel till 990X released
                  o Political
                        1. Unknown
                  o The Rate of Change
                        1. Slow
                  o Institutions – Educational
                        1. As a project study/title
                        2. Farm
             Both positive and negative effects
                  i. Further advancement of technology for end-users
                 ii. Ever changing, forcing end-users to change as the technology change
             Latest usage of technology related to the effect of the technology
                  i. Same technology used to improve the Sandy Bridge architecture aka
                     the new Core i7s
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Chemicals used in the manufacturing of semiconductors are known to have toxic effects
                      (Jason Holden, Christopher Kelty, 2009)
                                                                                       P a g e | 17

Effects of Manufacturing the Technology
Chemical name   Role      in   manufacturing Health problems linked to exposure
Acetone         Chemical-mechanical           Nose, throat, lung, and eye irritation,
                polishing of silicon wafers   damage       to      the       skin,     confusion,
                                              unconsciousness, possible coma
Arsenic         Increases conductivity of Nausea, delirium, vomiting, dyspepsia,
                semiconductor material        diarrhea, decrease in erythrocyte and
                                              leukocyte     production,        abnormal      heart
                                              rhythm, blood vessel damage, extensive
                                              tissue   damage        to      nerves,     stomach,
                                              intestine,    and      skin,     known       human
                                              carcinogen for lung cancer
Arsine          Chemical vapor deposition     Headache, malaise, weakness, vertigo,
                                              dyspnea, nausea, abdominal and back pain,
                                              jaundice, peripheral neuropathy, anemia
Benzene         Photoelectrochemical          Damage       to     bone       marrow,      anemia,
                etching                       excessive      bleeding,        immune       system
                                              effects, increased chance of infection,
                                              reproductive        effects,     known       human
                                              carcinogen for leukemia
Cadmium         Creates “holes” in silicon Damage to lungs, renal dysfunction,
                lattice to create effect of immediate hepatic injury, bone defects,
                positive charge               hypertension,         reproductive          toxicity,
                                              teratogenicity, known human carcinogen
                                              for lung and prostate cancer
Hydrochloric    Photoelectrochemical          Highly corrosive, severe eye and skin
acid            etching                       burns,        conjunctivitis,            dermatitis,
                                              respiratory irritation
Lead            Electroplated soldering       Damage       to   renal,       reproductive,     and
                                              immune systems, spontaneous abortion,
                                              premature birth, low birth weight, learning
                                              deficits in children, anemia, memory
                                                                                      P a g e | 18

                                               effects, dementia, decreased reaction time,
                                               decreased mental ability
Methyl           Washing                       Headache,       central       nervous      system
chloroform                                     depression, poor equilibrium, eye, nose,
                                               throat,   and      skin    irritation,     cardiac
Toluene          Chemical vapor deposition     Weakness,       confusion,      memory        loss,
                                               nausea, permanent         damage to         brain,
                                               speech, vision, and hearing problems, loss
                                               of    muscle       control,     poor      balance,
                                               neurological problems and retardation of
                                               growth in children, suspected human
                                               carcinogen for lung and liver cancer
Trichloroethylene Washing                      Irritation of skin, eyes, and respiratory
                                               tract, dizziness, drowsiness, speech and
                                               hearing impairment, kidney disease, blood
                                               disorders,   stroke,      diabetes,      suspected
                                               human carcinogen for renal cancer
                   Chemicals of concern in the semiconductor industry
                        (Jason Holden, Christopher Kelty, 2009)
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External factors influencing Core i7 980X

Most of the people need computer to complete their task nowadays. People prefer the latest
technology because it can be more productive, thus the demands of the better processor
increased. Most performance seeker purchased the Core i7 980X for optimal single-processor
performance. However, there are people too who bought the technology just for the bragging

There are no political influences which affects the Core i7 980X technology.

Business and Economical
Economical breakdown in 2009 and 2010 cause slower technological advancement thus
delayed the release of Core i7 980X as compared to the initial release of Core i7 products,
Core i7 920.

Intel is smart with releasing its new flagship. Since years ago, Intel always sold its flagship at
the same price, the successor replacing the predecessor, both in price and performance. The
price tag is a hefty $999. This causes the high-end users to be forced to get a new line of
product every time its released, better performance with the same price tag. This idea is better
sold than better performance with slightly higher price tag.
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Ethics and Core i7 980X

The Core i7 980X processor comes with a 3 year limited warranty. This type of warranty
usually do not cover end-user faults but if there are any manufacturer side faults, the end-user
can return the goods to the supplier to be repaired or replaced. This transaction is called
Return Merchandise Authorisation, more commonly known as RMA.

If the manufacture line ever messes up the processors with errata or faults which cause too
much problem for the processor to function normally, Intel is bound to make a recall of
products from all the suppliers providing free repair/replacement for all the products that
were sold to end-users.
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Future of Core i7 980X

Core i7 990X
Needless to say, Intel’s most recent release, the Core i7 990X, is a future of Core i7 980X for
a short-term. The original 980X was based on the Nehalem architecture, called Westmere.
After a year of being released, Intel finally released the 2nd generation Core product line, the
Sandy Bridge processors. These processors are part of the “tick-tock” strategy of Intel.

LGA 2011
The LGA 2011 is an Intel’s yet-to-be released socket. This socket is set to supersede Intel’s
LGA1356 and LGA1366 in the high-end desktop market. This socket has 2011 contact points
with pins protruding. This socket is rumoured to have QPI and quad-channel memory support.
Not only that, it is also rumoured to support 32x PCIe 3.0 lanes instead of 16x PCIe 2.1 lanes
of most LGA1366 boards. The chipset which supports the motherboard is codenamed ‘Ivy
Bridge’, whereas the latest LGA1155 is codenamed ‘Sandy Bridge’ which had several South
Bridge (ICH) faults which caused data lost. Intel authorised a recall on all defective
motherboard and gave free replacement with the B3 stepping.
                                                                                 P a g e | 22

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