they are the future of semiconductors but there is still a long way to go

That the semiconductor industry is hit by a severe supply crisis, does not mean that there is no room for innovation. Only so far this year we have seen two very interesting developments which have generated a big impact; the first was the introduction of the M1 Ultra chip for Mac Studio, which consists of two M1 Max chips; the second, NVIDIA’s new 144-core “Super Chip” that merges two Grace processors and is designed for data centers. In both cases, a crucial role is played by chipletsagain showing that chip development is reaching a level where monolithic architecture is no longer an option.

IEEE Spectrum published a very interesting article on this subject. The premise is that single-chip processors have reached their limit; not only physical, because in recent years there has been an impressive growth in the number of transistors they include, but also because the technology that makes it possible to better use the chips as such has matured. The proposal has its logic, but it also shows that there is still a long way to go.

If we talk about technological maturation for the benefit of chiplets, we can continue with the same examples that we mentioned at the beginning. Part of that is the fact that Apple managed to get the two chips that power the M1 Ultra to be recognized by a Mac’s software as a single processor. or that technology UltraFusion that joining the two M1 Max allows data to pass from one to the other without losing performance or worrying about latency or power efficiency is also valid.

In the case of NVIDIA, the company ensures that the two CPUs of its new “Super chip” for data centers are interconnected by a system called NVLink-C2C, which can be up to 25 times more efficient in terms of energy consumption, among other benefits; and the company plans to integrate it into all of its other products, be it processors, SOCs, graphics cards, data processing units, etc.

Eye, we’re not saying that Apple and NVIDIA discovered gunpowder. But it’s a reality that his most recent announcements have many more people wondering. what are chiplets and what benefits can they bring compared to monolithic architecture. And this kind of public interest had so far not been achieved by Intel or AMD who have been exploring this technology for five years now.