Chipmakers want to be able to mix them better in their SoCs. The UCIe standard is a promising solution

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Our devices and computers usually make use of a good number of chips that come from different manufacturers. Integrating them and making them work together is complexbut a new standard is now proposing a promising solution for the future.

It’s about the call Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express (UCIe)a system that aims to standardize and facilitate the combination of these specialized chips, called chiplets, in future SoCs such as those used for example in mobile phones and laptops.

Making SoCs like someone who builds a PC

The chiplet concept is already an old acquaintance. AMD used them in processors such as the Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 3900X using MCM (Multi-Chip Modules) designs that brought together several chiplets. Intel also takes advantage of the concept in its Intel Xe graphics processors, but this proposal goes further.

Chiplet

The idea of ​​UCIe is to create a standard for connecting chiplets together, thus making it easier for various manufacturers can properly mix their components when creating their SoCs. In essence, we do something similar in the PC when we connect a graphics card, a sound card or a network card to the motherboard and combine them to expand the features of the computer.

An industry in the hands of TSMC and Asian factories: the map of world chip production

Unlike monolithic chips – where all functions are integrated into a single large chip – chiplets apply a strategy that could almost be described as “divide and conquer”, segmenting each function and making a small chip take care of it to then combine those chips into that final chiplet.

This allows gains in modularity and expandability, and it is a promising bet for the future that, yes, has just started its steps. At the moment the standardization process focuses on establish rules to be able to interconnect chiplets in larger component packages.

If everything goes as expected, in the future we could have a UCIe industry that had each element and feature well defined and available, and that would allow a manufacturer make custom SoCs by combining chiplets of one and the other as if a custom PC were being manufactured.

So far the effort has already brought together some of the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturers and technology companies. AMD, ASE, ARM, Google Cloud, Intel, Meta, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, and even TSMC are all in the mix. -NVIDIA no, curiously-, and that is already a good indication that this project could be gaining ground in the future. We’ll be alert.

Via | TheVerge

More information | BusinessWire | eICU

Our devices and computers usually make use of a good number of chips that come from different manufacturers. Integrating them…

Our devices and computers usually make use of a good number of chips that come from different manufacturers. Integrating them…

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