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Why not use silver instead of copper in CPUs?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Since silver is a better conductor, wouldn't that immediately cause a drop in temperatures inside the CPU?

Is there a technical reason why silver would not work better (or at all) if it replaced the copper?

As for costs, it wouldn't cost much more. There's a few grams at most of silver in the CPU, and that can easily be reclaimed by adding a $5 CPU deposit which is refunded when you bring used CPUs back to a major retailer. (Kind of like how they make you put a deposit on a car battery for the lead content). And 99%+ of the silver is reclaimed when it's recycled, which is already done since computer components are recycled to reclaim the metals used in them.
post #2 of 11
Maybe because silver is harder to work with? Thats my best bet, apart from the need of higher grade machines to mill it out
     
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post #3 of 11
cost more, rarer, harder and thusly more expensive to work with. etc.
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PedroC1999 View Post

Maybe because silver is harder to work with? Thats my best bet, apart from the need of higher grade machines to mill it out

I doubt that's the case.

Silver already has it's uses in electronics. So does gold, but gold's not a better conductor then copper. Gold doesn't tarnish so it's a good choice for plating exposed connections.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by demoship View Post

Since silver is a better conductor, wouldn't that immediately cause a drop in temperatures inside the CPU?

Is there a technical reason why silver would not work better (or at all) if it replaced the copper?

As for costs, it wouldn't cost much more. There's a few grams at most of silver in the CPU, and that can easily be reclaimed by adding a $5 CPU deposit which is refunded when you bring used CPUs back to a major retailer. (Kind of like how they make you put a deposit on a car battery for the lead content). And 99%+ of the silver is reclaimed when it's recycled, which is already done since computer components are recycled to reclaim the metals used in them.

I'm not sure if I'm missing something, but I'm not sure what you think the copper is being used for. Modern CPU dies are made from silicon, a semiconductor. They're needed to create the billions of transistors needed to form the logic circuits in the CPU.

If you're referring to the use of copper in the substrate, I don't think there would be any real benefits to using silver, as the short lengths of copper used already mean that there is very little resistance present.

Edit: Just realised that you were probably referring to the heat spreader. In that case, there's already been a thread about this: http://www.overclock.net/t/838456/why-no-silver-heat-spreaders
Edited by Noupoi - 6/1/13 at 11:58am
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkDaring View Post

cost more, rarer, harder and thusly more expensive to work with. etc.

I understand the costs, but we're talking about a company that spends billions on R&D.

If switching metals leads to a 25% performance increase that's a huge step forward.
post #7 of 11
Yes, but then the i3 and i5 will lose their competitiveness against the FX CPU's something Inte is trying to avoid allready. But there is one thing I would say to Intel, they need to go back to soldering the IHS, as the thermal paste is atrocious
     
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post #8 of 11
All I could find, seems the price doesn't justify the performance boost.
http://www.overclockers.com/silver-vs-copper-plates/
post #9 of 11
ITT: People with a little knowledge trying to advance something.

CPU interconnects using copper vs interconnects using silver would not see much difference because the thermal conductivity of copper and silver are pretty similar. The savings would not help clocks much, and the price would not be worth it.

Thermal conductivity chart: http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=233
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noupoi View Post

I'm not sure if I'm missing something, but I'm not sure what you think the copper is being used for. Modern CPU dies are made from silicon, a semiconductor. They're needed to create the billions of transistors needed to form the logic circuits in the CPU.

If you're referring to the use of copper in the substrate, I don't think there would be any real benefits to using silver, as the short lengths of copper used already mean that there is very little resistance present.

All the gates are on the silicon, but there's tons of copper trace layers above that

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wizard View Post

All I could find, seems the price doesn't justify the performance boost.
http://www.overclockers.com/silver-vs-copper-plates/

Irrelevant, that's talking about the heatsink. I'm talking about replacing the copper traces ON THE DIE with silver traces.
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