Gold-plated Zen 4 CCDs and Octopus-style IHS sensors for wider compatibility with coolers

Steve at Player Nexus recently had the opportunity to work with a delidded AMD Ryzen 7000 Desktop Processor.

AMD Ryzen 7000 Delidding Processor Reveals Gold-Plated IHS and Zen 4 CCDs with High-Quality TIM

The processor that was removed is part of the Ryzen 9 family since it has two dies and we know that the dual CCD configuration only applies to Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 9 7900X. The chip has a total of three dies, two of which are the aforementioned AMD Zen 4 CCDs fabricated on the 5nm process node, then we have the largest die around the center which is the IOD and is node-based of 6 nm process. The AMD Ryzen 7000 CCD measures at a die size of 70mm2 compared to Zen 3’s 83mm2 and features a total of 6.57 billion transistors, a 58% increase over the Zen 3 CCD with 4.15 billion transistors,

Scattered around the case are several SMDs (capacitors/resistors) which are usually found under the case substrate when considering Intel’s processors. AMD presents them on the top layer instead and as such they had to design a new kind of IHS which is internally called Octopus. We have already seen the delidded IHS before but now we see a final production chip with no cover to cover those Zen 4 gold nuggets!

That said, the IHS is an interesting component of AMD Ryzen 7000 desktop processors. The only photo shows the 8 arm layout that Robert Hallock ‘Director of Technical Marketing at AMD’ refers to the ‘Octopus’. Each arm has a small TIM application underneath which is used to solder the IHS to the interposer. Now disassembling the chip is going to be very difficult since each arm is right next to the huge array of capacitors. Each arm is also raised slightly to make room for the SMDs and users need not worry about heat being trapped underneath.

AMD Ryzen 7000 desktop processor removed (Image credits: GamersNexus):

Der8auer also made a statement to Gamers Nexus regarding his upcoming AMD Ryzen 7000 Desktop Processor Removal Kit which is in the works and he also seems to explain why the new processors have gold-plated CCDs:

As for gold plating, there’s the aspect that you can solder indium to gold without the need for flux. It makes the process easier and you don’t need harsh chemicals on your CPU. Without the gold coating it would theoretically also work for soldering silicon to copper, but that would be more difficult and you would need the flux to break up the oxide layers.

Der8auer at GamersNexus

The most interesting area of ​​the AMD Ryzen 7000 Desktop Processor IHS, besides the arms, is the gold-plated IHS which is used to increase heat dissipation from the CPU/IO dies and directly to the IHS. Both 5nm Zen 4 CCDs and the singular 6nm IO chip have TIM or liquid metal thermal interface material for better thermal conductivity and the aforementioned gold plating helps a lot in heat dissipation. What remains to be seen is whether the capacitors will have a silicone coating or not, but from the photo of the previous packaging it looks like they do.

It is also reported that the smaller surface area of ​​the IHS means it will be better compatible with existing round and square cold plate coolers. Square-shaped cold plates will be the preferred choice, but round plates will work great too. Noctua also pointed out the TIM application method and they suggest users to use the single point model in the middle of the IHS for AMD AM5 processors.

AMD Ryzen 7000 Desktop Processor Render (with/without IHS):

Another thing that needs to be pointed out is that every Zen 4 CCD is really close to the edge of the IHS, which wasn’t necessarily the case with previous Zen processors. So not only will the removal be very difficult, but the center is mainly the IO die, which means that the cooling equipment must be ready for such chips. AMD Ryzen 7000 desktop processors will launch in Fall 2022 on the AM5 platform. It’s a chip that can reach up to 5.85 GHz with up to Package power 230W so every little amount of cooling will be a must for overclockers and enthusiasts.

Comparison of AMD Mainstream Desktop processor generations:

AMD processor family Code name Process Processor Processors Cores/Threads (Max) TDP (Max) Platform Chipset Platform Memory support PCIe support Launch
Ryzen 1000 summit ridge 14nm (Zen 1) 8/16 95W AM4 300 series DDR4-2677 Generation 3.0 2017
Ryzen 2000 Pinnacle Ridge 12nm (Zen+) 8/16 105W AM4 400 series DDR4-2933 Generation 3.0 2018
Ryzen 3000 Matisse 7nm (Zen 2) 16/32 105W AM4 500 Series DDR4-3200 Generation 4.0 2019
Ryzen 5000 Vermeer 7nm (Zen 3) 16/32 105W AM4 500 Series DDR4-3200 Generation 4.0 2020
Ryzen 5000 3D Warhol? 7nm (Zen 3D) 8/16 105W AM4 500 Series DDR4-3200 Generation 4.0 2022
Ryzen 7000 Raphael 5nm (Zen 4) 16/32 170W AM5 600 series DDR5-5200 Generation 5.0 2022
Ryzen 7000 3D Raphael 5nm (Zen 4) 16/32? 105-170W AM5 600 series DDR5-5200/5600? Generation 5.0 2023
Ryzen 8000 granite ridge 3nm (Zen 5)? To be determined To be determined AM5 700 series? DDR5-5600+ Generation 5.0 2024-2025?

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