Innovative ASIC CPU Drives Record-Setting Server Performance
Alchip Teams with Synopsys to Meet 400-Watt Power Challenge
San Jose, CA. November 7, 2022–In a paper presented at the TSMC North America Open Innovation Platform Forum, Alchip Technologies and Synopsys showed how collaborative design expertise, EDA tools, and high-quality IP had created a record-setting, high-performance artificial intelligence enabled data center system-on-a chip (SoC).
The paper, being presented at TSMC OIP Forums in North America, Europe, and China, explains how the two companies developed a new high-performance SoC to operate to specification under extremely challenging 400-watt dynamic power conditions. The device also achieved first-pass silicon success on TSMC’s 7nm process technology.
The achievement is significant because today’s cloud-hosting data centers require tremendous amounts of energy to process the multi-terabytes of data powering today’s modern society. That energy generates millions of BTUs of heat which is a sizeable physical challenge for a computing system to deal with as it introduces new, complex challenges of IR drop, EM signoff, thermal considerations, and packaging design.
The data challenge itself is another huge ask. The most advanced SoC designs require higher compute density and faster interfaces, while operating efficiently in extremely elevated thermal conditions. In addition, server CPUs are handling increasing sizes of data sets, forcing more data movement to and from embedded SRAM.
But using Synopsys tools and leading-edge IP, Alchip engineers exceeded their design goals with an SoC capable of punching out more than 2.5 gigahertz (GHz) of performance across a 480mm2 device while running on dynamic power of less than 400 watts.
“This project really illustrates that solving today’s complex IC challenges requires multi-company collaboration. Both Synopsys and Alchip are members of TSMC Open Innovation Platform and it takes an industry effort of this magnitude to productively channel our collective energies,” explained Leo Cheng, Senior Vice President, Design Engineering, Alchip Technologies.