We’ve been intriguing this matter regarding the inspection of Intel’s 9th Gen processors having a soldered IHS (Once again) and it seems like Intel has decided to bring it back. For now, we have seen the re-introduced soldered IHS (integrated heatspreaders) in Intel’s top two premium models:
- Core i9-9900K
- Core i7-9700K
Known as STIM (soldered thermal interface material) in Intel’s family, AMD also implements the soldered IHS feature in its Ryzen “Summit Ridge,” “Pinnacle Ridge,” and Threadripper families. This was also confirmed by XFastest, which took apart an i9-9900K to confirm that Intel is indeed using solder.
Why Soldered IHS?
Soldered IHS is generally preferred because of its improved heat-transfer characteristics, compared to fluid TIMs. The use of fluid TIMs prompts some serious enthusiasts to even “de-lid” (run their processors without the IHS).
Speaking of the 8-core “Whiskey Lake-S” die, it could be around 178 mm² in area, with the addition of two more cores, and 4.5 MB more cache (L2 + L3), over its predecessor. Also, if you recall not-so-old 6-core “Coffee Lake” die, it measures 150 mm², a 25 mm² gain over the 4-core “Kaby Lake” die. One thing that remains the same this time too, is that Intel is building these dies on the same 14 nm++ silicon fabrication node as “Coffee Lake,” with the only architectural difference being silicon-level hardening against certain security vulnerabilities.