Multi-die system defines the future of semiconductors

However, very few business leaders are keeping up with the latest developments in the field. Multi-mold technology is still a mystery to many operators. A recent MIT Technology Review Insights poll asked business leaders about their perception of this design strategy—and found that 62% of respondents don’t care, don’t know, or just know somewhat about the capabilities of this technology.

Several chip-dependent industries clearly need to keep a close eye on advances in semiconductor technology: auto companies, artificial intelligence companies, hyperscale data processing organizations, and manufacturers manufacturing smart devices, etc. But since advanced semiconductors are fundamental to modern business operations, even executives whose functions don’t directly touch technology should be mindful of trends chip design—including the trends that will define the next chapter of the field.

Why are semiconductors important?

Although the global semiconductor shortage that began in 2020 is directly caused by natural disasters and geopolitics, its effects have drawn widespread attention to the fact that nearly every The industry is all dependent on chips. The ripple effects associated with the pandemic aside, the status quo of silicon has been in flux for some time. New technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), which require higher computing power and efficiency, have put pressure on traditional systems in recent years.

With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), customers also expect intelligence in everything from refrigerators to light bulbs. The innovators are responding accordingly. Our poll shows that nearly a third (31%) of business executives plan to improve their company’s existing smart products, and nearly another third (29%) plan to soon add AI/ML capabilities to their products. Only 9% of respondents said they do not manufacture IoT or connected devices.

However, this type of technology requires powerful on-device processing and edge computing, which requires greater hardware performance and efficiency. Complicating matters further is that the cloud data centers that power this computing shift are also gobbling energy consumers. Here’s another area where traditional silicon is stagnating: sustainability. The cost of producing excess silicon is not only bad for business, but it also has an impact on the environment. And despite an ongoing push towards zero carbon emissions in the semiconductor supply chain, the industry is still not on track to meet the emissions standards set out in the 2016 Paris Agreement of the semiconductor industry. United Nations.

The industry’s shift to multi-mould design could be part of the solution to these challenges. Instead of a single monolithic chip (“system on chip”), multi-die designs consist of a collection of chips (triple or die) linked in a sophisticated package (“chip system”). , which can consist of stacked blocks in 3D space. configured for greater density. Multi-die system designs have the potential to support large-scale AI/ML implementations, and they can improve silicon yield, reducing waste during chip manufacturing.

When it comes to business use cases for multi-die systems, Patrick Moorhead, founder, CEO and principal analyst at global technology consulting firm Moor Insights & Strategy, notes that these custom designs could soon become a key differentiator for companies looking to stand their ground. out among competitors. “As more and more people see custom silicon as a way to differentiate what they bring to the table, that’s something entrepreneurs should consider,” he said. “Chiplet allows smaller companies with less pocket money to use semiconductors for a unique competitive advantage.”

Gerry Talbot, a corporate fellow at semiconductor company AMD, lays out the business value of chiplets in a variety of technology use cases. “I do not think [business leaders] will be excited about the technology itself,” he said, “as well as the application and ability to deliver a unique user experience that can help sell their products.”

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This content is produced by Insights, the custom content arm of MIT Technology Review. It was not written by the editorial staff of the MIT Technology Review.

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