As the market is reeling amidst a chip shortage, chipmakers are coming together to create UCIe standard, an ecosystem to connect chips. This Lego-like approach will allow companies to combine small chiplets to make more complex and efficient chips.
Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express (UCIe) is an open specification comprising almost all prominent chip designers and manufacturers. AMD, Arm, ASE, Google Cloud, Intel, Meta, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, and TSMC are already on board with the specification.
These companies have come together to create a standard that would allow them to connect different chiplets. If done right, there are several advantages to this process. For instance, we could get more powerful SoCs that are put together from chiplets. Chiplets are smaller, specialized chips that carry out simple functions. Combining these into a bigger chip will let chipmakers assemble different processors like you assemble a PC.
They can get components from each other and put them together to make the desired SoC. This approach can also lead to reduced wastage. Traditional chip-making forces manufacturers to discard the entire assembly if a core isn’t working as expected. However, with UCIe standards, only the damaged chiplets can be replaced.
Modular Chips are the future
Tightly integrated SoCs are one thing, but the UCIe standard can open ways for faster and even more efficient chips. With almost all major chipmakers on board, the standard is likely to be a reality soon. If done right, companies could offer chip configurations tailored to suit the users.
However, there’s one name missing from this standard, and it could be a matter of concern. While TSMC is there, the website doesn’t mention Apple as one of the members. This begs the question of whether the Cupertino giant is on board with the UCIe standard.
Nonetheless, the big names in the list pooling their resources together should give us something good for the future.