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Chiplets: Rearchitecting the CPU

By Dick Weisinger

Computer chips have continued to scale up and become more performant by squeezing more and more integrated circuits onto each chip. Moore’s law describes how for 55 years the number of circuits on a chip have doubled roughly every two years.

The result has been chips that are fast and able to handle complex processing. The chips have also become incredibly complex and difficult to manufacture.

More recently there has been a move to break out functionality from the main CPU and move it in to smaller components called ‘chiplets‘. The advantage of keeping everything on one chip is that it reduces latency and power requirements. Chiplets are also smaller and less expensive to produce.

In 2018, chiplets accounted for only about $615 million of the microprocessor revenues. Omdia, an analyst organization, forecasts that the size of the chiplet market will grow to $5.8 billion by 2024, and ultimately to $57 billion by 2035.

Omdia: Chiplets promise to help reinstate Moore’s Law and generate nearly $6 billion in semiconductor revenue by 2024

Joel Hruska, lead author at ExtremeTech, wrote that “the most exciting thing about chiplets, in my opinion, isn’t that they offer a way to keep packing transistors. It’s that they may give companies more latitude to experiment with new materials and engineering processes that will accelerate performance or improve power efficiency without requiring them to deploy these technologies across an entire SoC simultaneously.”

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