News & Analysis

Alphawave Semi announces successful tape-out

17th June 2024
Caitlin Gittins

Alphawave Sem has announced the successful tape-out of the industry's first off-the-shelf multi-protocol I/O connectivity chiplet on TSMC's 7nm process. 

Integrating the company's adaptable connectivity IP, bespoke silicon, and advanced packaging capabilities, the 7nm multi-standard I/O chiplet offers a standards-compliant IP portfolio including Ethernet, PCIe, CXL, and UCIe (Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express) Revision 1.1.

Chiplets are gaining prominence in high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) applications, as they deliver essential connectivity with higher bandwidth and lower power consumption than traditional technologies, without the need for extensive customisation or development. By opting for commercial off-the-shelf chiplets, customers can enhance performance and efficiency while benefiting from reduced development time, lower costs, and increased flexibility within their existing hardware ecosystems.

The Alphawave Semi chiplet provides a total bandwidth of up to 1.6 Tbps, enabling up to 16 lanes of multi-standard PHY that supports silicon-proven PCIe 6.0, CXL 3.x, and 800G Ethernet in various mixed operating modes. This announcement paves the way for a robust, open chiplet ecosystem that accelerates connectivity for high-performance AI systems using UCIe as a die-to-die connectivity subsystem. A live demonstration of Alphawave Semi’s 24 Gbps UCIe silicon platform was recently showcased at the Chiplet Summit 2024 in Santa Clara.

“The successful tape-out of this off-the-shelf, multi-protocol I/O connectivity chiplet demonstrates our extensive experience of using the TSMC 3DFabricT ecosystem to integrate advanced interfaces and marks another step forward in Alphawave Semi’s mission to deliver ultra-high-performance connectivity for the critical data communications that underpin the world’s digital infrastructure,” said Mohit Gupta, Alphawave Semi’s SVP and GM, Custom Silicon and IP. “Our top hyperscaler and datacenter infrastructure customers can quickly and easily mix and match high-performance custom SoCs with our I/O connectivity or memory expansion chiplets, providing a new level of flexibility and scalability for their AI-enabled systems.”

“The tape-out of the Alphawave Semi multi-protocol I/O connectivity chiplet built on our 7nm process is another example of how TSMC is playing a critical role in the semiconductor platforms essential to new and emerging high-performance, high-throughput applications. We will continue to work with our VCA partners like Alphawave Semi to foster a robust and open chiplet ecosystem that delivers the high-bandwidth connectivity and compute silicon needed for HPC and AI applications," added Percy Chang, Director of Emerging Business Development at TSMC.

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