AMD’s ThreadRipper “Dummy Dies” Explained

After the delidding of AMD’s ThreadRipper CPU by Der8auer many questions were raised about the manufacturing process of the chip. The delidding revealed that AMD’s ThreadRipper chip actually had four 8-core modules, much like AMD’s EPYC 32-core chips. These were not spacers as some thought. Spacers would provide even IHS pressure on the dies. AMD’s James Prior took to twitter to let everyone know what these dies actually are.

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So for those excited thinking that you might be able to unlock those two extra dies, it is not possible. James has stated multiple times that ThreadRipper is not an EPYC processor in disguise.

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“Threadripper is not a Epyc processor. Different substrate, different dies. 2 dies work, other 2 have no path to operation. Basically rocks.” – James Prior

This is why AMD has described the dies as “dummy” instead of “inactive” as there is no possible way to actually enable them. So why use real “dummy” dies and not spacers? Well Ian Cutress from AnandTech made a workflow chart of AMD ThreadRipper dies based on information from AMD and James’ comments on Twitter.

tr chart

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