Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Chiplets: Intel and AMD Are Betting On Small To Beat Moore's Law

 Yesterdays link to The Register mentioned "chiplets:

....And it's this silicon which is at least partially responsible for Blackwell's performance gains this generation. Each GPU is actually two reticle-limited compute dies, tied together via a 10TB/sec NVLink-HBI (high-bandwidth interface) fabric, which allows them to function as a single accelerator. The two compute dies are flanked by a total of eight HBM3e memory stacks, with up to 192GB of capacity and 8TB/sec of bandwidth. And unlike H100 and H200, we're told the B100 and B200 have the same memory and GPU bandwidth.

Nvidia is hardly the first to take the chipset – or in its preferred parlance "multi-die" – route. AMD's MI300-series accelerators – which we looked at in December – are objectively more complex and rely on both 2.5D and 3D packaging tech to stitch together as many as 13 chiplets into a single part. Then there's Intel's GPU Max parts, which use even more chiplets.

As did the Saturday post "MIT Technology Review's 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024."

Here's the chiplet piece extracted from the Breakthrough Tech bundle:

Chiplets: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Chipmakers are betting that smaller, more specialized chips can extend the life of Moore’s Law.


Advanced Micro Devices, Intel, Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express



Packaging. It may sound boring, but it’s an essential part of building computer systems. Now companies are defining what that looks like for a new generation of machines.  

For decades, chipmakers have improved performance by making transistors smaller and cramming more of them onto chips. The popular name for the trend is Moore’s Law. But that era is ending. It’s gotten immensely expensive to further shrink transistors and manufacture the complex chips that today’s high-tech industries demand. 

In response, manufacturers are turning to smaller, more modular “chiplets” that are designed for specific functions (such as storing data or processing signals) and can be linked together to build a system. The smaller a chip, the fewer defects it’s likely to contain, making manufacturing less expensive.

Companies including Advanced Micro Devices and Intel have been marketing systems based on chiplets for years. But whether chiplets can help the industry maintain performance gains at the pace of Moore’s Law will depend on packaging, which entails placing them side by side or stacking them, forming fast, high-bandwidth electrical connections between them, and encasing them in protective plastic....