Intel, TSMC and Samsung are working on UCIe packaging standards
Multi-chip module (MCM), is widely regarded as one of the ways that we can continue packing more and more transistors in our CPUs and GPUs without having to deal with huge, expensive monolithic dies. To create a new ecosystem for collaboration in packaging technologies, Intel, TSMC and Samsung announced that they will be forming a consortium to collaborate on a next-gen UCIe chip packaging and stacking.
Intel, TSMC and Samsung to collaborate on new UCIe chip packaging standard
This is indeed a very unique move, considering that the three biggest chipmakers are going to work together to bring a new standard to the industry. The new packaging standard is reportedly going to be dubbed UCIe, short for Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express. This can probably open up the industry to designs which mix and match dies manufactured at Intel, TSMC or Samsung, leveraging on the advantages that each foundry has to offer.
For a good example of the benefits of MCM, you can just take a look at AMD’s CPUs. By leveraging MCM packaging, AMD is able to use TSMC’s manufacturing to churn out a lot of smaller dies, and putting them into everything from the consumer AMD Ryzen processors, all the way up to the AMD EPYC processors that power servers.
For a higher core count, all AMD has to do is to package more dies, while for lower-end SKUs, they can use binned dies, like the Ryzen 5 5600X or Ryzen 9 5900X, for example, which uses binned dies with two cores fused off. Or for a more advanced application, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, which has additional L3 cache tacked onto the CPU die via 3D packaging technologies.
Aside from the trio of chipmakers, AMD, Qualcomm, Arm, Google Cloud, Meta, Microsoft and even ASE Technology Holding, are expected to participate in the consortium. The consortium is also welcoming more members to join. UCIe might be the stepping stone to a new spurt in new chips from all vendors, and it will definitely be interesting to see, especially as process node upgrades are growing increasingly difficult.
Pokdepinion: I definitely look forward to more product of collaborations between these tech giants.