UCIe, new standard that simplifies the creation of processors with chiplet design

UCIe, new standard that simplifies the creation of processors with chiplet design


Leading chip manufacturers have partnered to create a new standard called UCIe (Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express), to define the integration of chiplets within future CPUs. Major industry players such as Intel, TSMC, Samsung, AMD, Qualcomm and even Meta, Google Cloud and Microsoft are involved in the project.

As the name suggests, the new UCIe standard intends to make use of the broad ecosystem used for years with PCIe by applying it to chiplets, thus creating an interconnect standard that makes it easier for manufacturers to combine different types of chiplets in building an SoC. The idea is to be able to achieve the same simplicity with which you can install PCIe components inside a PC.

if (jQuery ("# ​​crm_srl-th_hardware_d_mh2_1"). Is ( ": visible")) {console.log ("Edinet ADV adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_hardware_d_mh2_1 slot id: th_hardware_d_mh2"); } The chiplet architecture is now the path taken by companies for the next CPUs, it is a construction philosophy that allows you to obtain various advantages by combining different modules specialized in specific tasks, allowing a simpler design and at the same time a greater yield. AMD processors, such as the recent Zen 2 and Zen 3, represent some of the most important examples: each Zen 3 CPU is composed for example of separate modules that enclose the cores, the integrated GPU and the controller, all built with different production processes.

The UCIe project is however still in the early stages, at this moment we are concentrating on defining the rules to define the interconnection of chiplets on larger packages, while later we will deal with the form factor, the management, advanced security and other essential protocols. The standard would thus allow in the future to assemble a customized SoC by purchasing the various components on the market, constituting a great advantage for large companies, engaged in the design of increasingly powerful and complex CPUs.

Intel is ready to adopt the chiplet design with Meteor Lake, the future architecture built with a 7nm production process, which will integrate a module dedicated to the Arc Alchemis t GPU.

Companies That Make Processors Join Forces To Create UCIe

As the market is reeling amidst a chip shortage, chipmakers are coming together to create UCIe standard, an ecosystem to connect chips. This Lego-like approach will allow companies to combine small chiplets to make more complex and efficient chips.

Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express (UCIe) is an open specification comprising almost all prominent chip designers and manufacturers. AMD, Arm, ASE, Google Cloud, Intel, Meta, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, and TSMC are already on board with the specification.

These companies have come together to create a standard that would allow them to connect different chiplets. If done right, there are several advantages to this process. For instance, we could get more powerful SoCs that are put together from chiplets. Chiplets are smaller, specialized chips that carry out simple functions. Combining these into a bigger chip will let chipmakers assemble different processors like you assemble a PC.

They can get components from each other and put them together to make the desired SoC. This approach can also lead to reduced wastage. Traditional chip-making forces manufacturers to discard the entire assembly if a core isn’t working as expected. However, with UCIe standards, only the damaged chiplets can be replaced.

Tightly integrated SoCs are one thing, but the UCIe standard can open ways for faster and even more efficient chips. With almost all major chipmakers on board, the standard is likely to be a reality soon. If done right, companies could offer chip configurations tailored to suit the users.

However, there’s one name missing from this standard, and it could be a matter of concern. While TSMC is there, the website doesn’t mention Apple as one of the members. This begs the question of whether the Cupertino giant is on board with the UCIe standard.

Nonetheless, the big names in the list pooling their resources together should give us something good for the future.