Three Key Takeaways from the First Annual Chiplet Summit

Authored By:
Nick Ilyadis
Senior Director of Product Planning

Posted On: Mar 01, 2023

Chiplet technology is seeing a meteoric rise in our industry, redefining hardware architectures and paving a path toward greater computing performance, versatility, and efficiency. Given the economics of manufacturing chips with increasing capabilities, chiplets are the obvious next step — and the industry is ready. To ring in the success of the chiplet trend, this year saw the hosting of the first-ever Chiplet Summit — a trade show where leaders in the field get together to share ideas and help push the industry forward.

To show our support and leadership in the field, Achronix was a proud sponsor of and participant in the first annual Chiplet Summit. The event was undoubtedly a great success, full of exciting presentations, collaboration, and interesting ideas being exchanged. Read on to learn about four of our major takeaways from the first annual Chiplet Summit.

The Role of Heterogeneous Integration in the World of AI

As compute-intensive tasks such as artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) have become a priority in the computing industry, we’ve seen a big shift in computing philosophy. Specifically, the emergence of AI/ML has necessitated a shift away from more general-purpose computing architectures, such as CPUs and GPUs, and instead a move towards more dedicated hardware accelerators.

With this trend, the industry has seen a significant rise in heterogeneous integration, which is also one of the driving forces of the emergence of chiplets. In a keynote presentation entitled “Heterogeneous Integration in the AI Era”, Subi Kengeri, VP of AI System Solutions at Applied Materials, expanded on this idea.

The presentation provided an in-depth analysis of the emergence of heterogeneous computing and the role that chiplets play in this trend. A major takeaway was that, as tasks become more intensive, and performance and efficiency demands become greater, heterogeneous computing, and specifically chiplet design, will become a driving force in the field. Additionally, the summit showed that there is exceptional interest in FPGA-based chiplets as a key contributor to this heterogeneous integration.

The Need for an Open Chiplet Ecosystem

On a high level, the purpose of the chiplet philosophy is to design disparate chiplets which can be easily mixed and matched for optimal versatility, flexibility, and performance. However, in practice, the ability to mix and match cannot be achieved amongst chiplets from different manufacturers without some sort of industry standardization. Because of this, there are currently no drop-in solutions for chiplets.

In his keynote talk entitled “Enabling an Open Chiplet Ecosystem at the Package Level ,“ Brian Rea, Marketing WorkGroup Chair at the UCIe Consortium, covers this idea in depth. In this talk, Rea advocates for the Universal Chip Interconnect Express (UCIe) standard, an open specification that defines the interconnect between chiplets within a package. The goal is to enable an open ecosystem that supports ubiquity and compatibility between chiplets at the package level.

While there is still some doubt about the emergence of an open chiplet ecosystem, standards such as UCIe and Bunch of Wires (BoW) will have applicability moving forward. Here, it is envisioned that designers will select their preferred variations of each to interconnect as they determine the most critical elements for their solutions. With these interconnect solutions, the industry hopes to benefit from improvements such as greater design flexibility and designer choice, leading to chiplet designs that deliver greater performance and are more reliable.

Chiplets in the Wake of CHIPS for America

Signed into law in August of 2022, the CHIPS for America Act is a landmark legislation from the United States government with respect to the semiconductor industry. Most notably, the bill offers funding, tax incentives, and subsidies to help stimulate the domestic semiconductor market with the goal of increasing the production of semiconductors and other microelectronics in the United States. Now, as chiplets are rising in prominence, the question becomes: how will the CHIPS for America Act impact the chiplet market?

In a keynote presentation during the Chiplet Summit, Daniel Armburst, founder of Silicon Catalyst, addressed this question and provided a few interesting points on how to leverage the new legislation to bolster chiplet development efforts. The presentation was insightful into many ways to potentially leverage the CHIPS for America Act to increase efficiency and reduce costs for manufacturers, leading to increased adoption and potentially creating business opportunities for companies involved in chiplet production or design.

Develop a Speedcore eFPGA IP Chiplet Solution

FPGA-based chiplets can be used for application-specific workload acceleration applications in networking and communications infrastructure such as encryption, decryption and compression, packet processing, traffic management, and 5G physical layer signal processing. In addition, customers can use Speedcore eFPGA chiplets for high-performance compute acceleration workloads such as data centers, high-frequency trading, and autonomous driving.

To get started, contact Achronix today.