Unleash The Joint Potential of Chiplets and AI

According to Moore’s Law, the number of transistors that can be placed on a single silicon chip doubles every two years. What come along with the technological advancement is the dramatic jump of the manufacturing costs of the chips. Instead of moving to more advanced nodes with high costs, chiplets provide a more economical way to continue the growth, opening up a new era for the industry.

Chiplet-based design is putting multiple silicon chips, so-called chiplets with different technology node on the same package, whereas they communicate with each other through organic or silicon interposer. The chiplets are closer together, enabling lower latency. As the design breaks a single chip into multiple smaller chiplets, which smaller pieces of silicon are less prone to manufacturing defects, it contributes to better yields and lower costs.

Chiplets are especially beneficial to the development of domain specific architecture (DSA). Take AI chips as an example, developers can use more advanced nodes for GPU and FPGA and cheaper technologies for other functional modules such as memory, analog interfaces, accelerators, etc. The mix-and-match approach allows developers to select the most cost-effective combination of the chiplets. By using pre-existing chiplets, they can shorten the IC design cycle time and create a trial product for rapid market testing. Also, they can carry out chip upgrades in certain functional blocks rather than a complete redesign of the chip, further saving the associated time and costs.

In view of the benefits brought by chiplets, UMEC(HK) is applying chiplet-based design to the latest invention. To cater the special needs of different AI visual or audio applications, we are designing a chiplet system that supports speedy reconfigurations at multiple levels. Combining with the tailored CNN model, it can reduce memory usage and energy consumption significantly without sacrificing the accuracy. It will be the backbone of various low power AIoT devices.

Chiplet-based design is the new direction for the semiconductor industry. It provides an alternative to traditional monolithic chip approaches, allowing chip companies to develop and manufacture chips in lower costs, with high flexibility and short time to market. With the ever-growing market size of AI chiplets, the companies that can master the technology will become a game-changer in the new era.