Netronome launches chiplet initiative for network-accelerator SIPs

By Chris Edwards |  No Comments  |  Posted: November 6, 2018
Topics/Categories: Blog - EDA, IP, PCB  |  Tags: , , ,  | Organizations: , , , ,

Data-center networking specialist Netronome has recruited a number of silicon makers and IP suppliers to a standard for chiplet designs that can be used in SIPs for edge computers and servers.

Netronome has said it is collaborating with six companies so far: Achronix, GlobalFoundries, Kandou, NXP, Sarcina, and SiFive. They aim to develop an architecture and a set of interface and design specifications for chiplets to make it easier for SIP integrators to mix and match processors, accelerators, memory, and I/O controllers and avoid the need to port all of them to the same semiconductor process.

The Open Domain-Specific Accelerator (OSDA) is intended to cover standards for implementing SIP flows based on known-good die as well as the interconnect networks the chiplets will use to communicate and the software stack they run on top. The hope is this will lower the hardware and software costs of developing and deploying domain-specific accelerators. In principle, any vendor’s silicon die can become a building block that can be used in a chiplet-based design.

“The end of Moore’s Law will increase the use of domain-specific accelerators to meet power-performance requirements in cloud infrastructure, network infrastructure and IoT/wireless edge applications,” said Bob Wheeler, principal analyst at The Linley Group. “With its modular approach, the open domain-specific accelerator architecture could change the chiplet paradigm from single-vendor solutions to a world of choice, thereby enabling OEMs and operators to develop and deploy advanced SoC solutions.”

“The use of AI and the need for power-efficient, high-throughput parallelism is driving the growth of accelerators. However, the high cost and complexity of accelerator development is a major factor restraining growth,” said Steve Mensor, vice president of marketing at Achronix. “We are delighted to join and bring our embedded FPGA technology to the ODSA Workgroup to enable customers to bring open, cost-efficient accelerator products to market.”

Amin Shokrollahi, founder and CEO at Kandou, said the company sees its serdes technology as being important for chiplets that communicate inside a multichip module. Sam Fuller, director of marketing at NXP said the company aims to provide multicore Arm SoCs to companies building devices based on the chiplet standard.

Netronome said the ODSA is just starting work and is open for contributions as well as accepting new members of the workgroup. Companies and industry partners wishing to learn more and participate can contact: odsa@netronome.com.

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