CEA-Leti Forms a Six Chiplet 96 Core 3D Stacked CPU That Is Called TSARLET

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Chiplet designs have really been making news in the last year or two. Most major manufacturers have either begun to release their own product lines or are at least releasing information as they research them. The folks over at TechPowerUp have taken notice of a fascinating story coming from across the pond. French research institute CEA-Leti accomplished an interesting feat. They have created a 96 core CPU using six 3D stacked chiplets. Some quick easy math shows that each chiplet has sixteen cores.

Designed to be a modular SoC, TSARLET, it is a bit of a proof of concept. Six chiplets stacked on an active interposer created this MIPS processor. The active interposer serves to provide all needed I/O between the chiplets and external connectivity. Using a multi layered mesh design for the L2 and L3 caches they in turn created a 3D interface. The interface, called the 3D-plug, allows the chiplets, each with four quad cores, to communicate with each other. They sourced STMicroelectronics 28 nm FD-SOI for the chiplets while a larger 65 nm chip was used for the interposer die. A much greater explanation of details for this accomplishment can be found here over at WikiChip Fuse.

The big three at work on their own

We are seeing chiplet designs pop up just about everywhere these days. NVIDIA discussed their potential use in upcoming designs back in September. It is entirely possible that design may be the source of the benchmarks recently making rounds again. Intel appears to be working on a 500 watt SKU which may be using a multi-die chiplet approach as well. Fans of AMD have already been enjoying the fruits of AMD’s research into chiplet solutions with their CPU’s. The upper tier of the Ryzen 3000 series has prominently shown to be competitive. They even included announcements for them at their CES 2020 keynote. We’re sure to see more from the big three as the year moves on.

Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

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