Monday, September 18, 2023

Intel announces glass substrates for next-generation advanced packaging

Intel announced glass substrates for next-generation advanced packaging 

The new material offers ultra-low flatness and better thermal and mechanical stability, resulting in much higher interconnect density in a substrate.

Compared to organic substrates in use today, Intel's glass substrates possess superior mechanical, physical and optical properties that allow for more transistors to be connected in a package, providing better scaling and enabling assembly of larger chiplet complexes. This allows more chiplests in a smaller footprint on one package. The ability of glass substrates to withstand high temperatures is also expected to provide chip architects with the flexibility to determine the design rules for power delivery and signal routing. This attribute enables the seamless integration of optical interconnects and embedding of inductors and capacitors into the glass during high-temperature processing.

Intel said it is on track to deliver complete glass substrate solutions to the market in the second half of this decade, allowing the industry to continue advancing Moore’s Law beyond 2030.

"After a decade of research, Intel has achieved industry-leading glass substrates for advanced packaging. We look forward to delivering these cutting-edge technologies that will benefit our key players and foundry customers for decades to come,” stated Babak Sabi, Intel senior vice president and general manager of Assembly and Test Development.

Intel broadens FPGA portfolio

Intel expanded its Agilex FPGA portfolio and broadened its Programmable Solutions Group (PSG) offerings to handle the increased demand for customized workloads, including enhanced AI capabilities, and to provide lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and more complete solutions.

Intel is also officially releasing Open FPGA Stack (OFS) to open source, the first production adapter based on Intel’s F2000X infrastructure processing unit (IPU) platform and a new Nios® V processor.

Highlights of the announcement

Intel Agilex 3 devices are power and cost-optimized FPGAs in compact form factors for system/board monitoring and management, video and vision, protocol expansion, portable imaging and displays, sensor fusion, drives, robotics I/O expansion and others. New devices include

  • B-Series FPGAs have higher I/O density in smaller form factors at lower power than Intel MAX 10 FPGAs . B-Series FPGAs are targeted for board and system management, including server platform management (PFM) applications.
  • C-Series FPGAs offer added capabilities for a range of complex programmable logic devices (CPLD) and FPGA applications across vertical markets.

Intel Agilex 5 FPGA E-Series deliver up to 1.6 times better performance per watt compared to 16nm node competitors. Power capabilities are accomplished using the second-generation Intel Hyperflex™ FPGA architecture combined with Intel 7 process technology, where transistors are optimized for performance per watt. Intel Agilex 5 FPGAs and SoCs take the industry’s first AI tensor block from Intel’s previous generation high-end offerings and bring them to mid-range FPGAs in Agilex 5 FPGAs, making them an ideal choice for edge AI applications.

Intel Agilex 7 FPGAs with R-Tile are now shipping CXL IP with 2.0 features in volume: Launched in May 2023, the Intel Agilex 7 FPGAs with the R-Tile chiplet deliver leading technology capabilities with 2 times faster PCIe 5.0 bandwidth as well as 4 times higher CXL bandwidth per port when compared to other competitive FPGA products.

Open FPGA Stack (OFS) open source launch: Developers now have full access to the open source Open FPGA Stack (OFS) hardware code, software code and technical documentation for platform and workload development. The open source OFS offering supports Intel Agilex FPGAs and Intel® Stratix® 10 FPGAs, enabling hardware and software developers to harness their capabilities for their solution development.

First F2000X IPU-based production adapters launch. Napatech’s F2070X IPU production adapters enable TCO improvements for cloud and networking applications.

Nios V/c compact microcontroller is a free, soft-core IP, based on the RISC-V architecture, an open source industry standard. It will initially target all devices supported in Intel Quartus Prime Pro software with a roadmap to many devices supported in Quartus Prime Standard software. Quartus Prime is a programmable logic device design software. 

AMD releases Siena CPUs for intelligent edge, data centers

AMD announced the availability of its EPYC 8004 Series processors featuring the "Zen 4c" core, which is optimized for energy efficiency and performance in space-constrained environments from the intelligent edge to the data center.

Cited benefits for the AMD EPYC 8004 Series processors:

  • * High performance per watt: The AMD EPYC 8004 Series processors deliver up to 2x better SPECpower performance per system watt advantage compared to the competition's top networking model. 
  • * In a video encoding workload, the EPYC 8534P provides up to 2.4x the aggregate frames/hour/system watt against the competition’s comparable networking productii. In an IoT Edge gateway workload an eight core EPYC 8024P powered server can provide ~1.8x the total throughput performance per 8kW rack, compared to the competition’s eight core processor.
  • * Balanced performance: The AMD EPYC 8004 Series processors provide a balanced mix of performance and energy efficiency, making them ideal for space-constrained environments.
  • * Wide range of applications: The AMD EPYC 8004 Series processors are well-suited for a wide range of applications, from the intelligent edge to the data center.

“The new EPYC 8004 Series processors extend AMD leadership in single socket platforms by offering excellent CPU energy efficiency in a package tuned to meet the needs of space and power-constrained infrastructure,” said Dan McNamara, senior vice president and general manager, Server Business, AMD. “AMD has delivered multiple generations of data center processors that provide outstanding efficiency, performance, and innovative features. Now with our 4th Gen EPYC CPU portfolio complete, that leadership continues across a broad set of workloads – from enterprise and cloud, to intelligent edge, technical computing and more.”

Thunderbolt 5 delivers 80 Gbps bi-directionally

Intel announced Thunderbolt 5, promising 80 Gbps of bi-directional bandwidth, and with Bandwidth Boost up to 120 Gbps for displays. 

Thunderbolt 5,  will provide up to three times more bandwidth than the best existing connectivity solution, is based on industry standards – including USB4 V2 – and will be broadly compatible with previous versions of Thunderbolt and USB.  

Thunderbolt 5 builds upon Thunderbolt 4 in several ways, including:

  • Two times the total bi-directional bandwidth; Bandwidth Boost provides up to three times the throughput for video-intensive usage, up to 120 Gbps.
  • Double the PCI Express data throughput for faster storage and external graphics.
  • Built on industry standards including USB4 V2, DisplayPort 2.1 and PCI Express Gen 4; fully compatible with previous versions.
  • Double the bandwidth of Thunderbolt Networking for high-speed PC-to-PC connections.
  • Utilizes a new signaling technology, PAM-3, to deliver these significant increases in performance with today’s printed circuit boards, connectors and passive cables up to 1 meter.
  •  Computers and accessories based on Intel's Thunderbolt 5 controller, code-named Barlow Ridge, are expected to be available starting in 2024.

indie Semi acquires EXALOS for optical

indie Semiconductor has acquired privately held EXALOS AG, a Swiss photonics company, specializing in the design of high-performance optical semiconductors. indie paid approximately $45 million to EXALOS equity holders comprised of 6.6 million indie Class A common shares. In addition, if certain revenue-based performance targets are exceeded over a 24-month post-closing period, there is an opportunity for such holders to earn up to $20 million more in cash or indie Class A common shares, at indie’s election. 

Founded in 2003 and based in Z├╝rich, EXALOS has developed and launched several products, including its field-proven SLEDs for fiber optic gyroscope and Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers (SOAs). The company holds 59 global patents.

"EXALOS’ differentiated solutions immediately expand indie’s ADAS and User Experience product and technology offering to our global tier one and automotive OEM customer base," said Donald McClymont, indie’s co-founder and CEO. "Specifically, indie can now leverage EXALOS’ core Super luminescent LED, and SOA technologies to enable Head Up Display (HUD), high brightness visible lighting and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU)-based navigational applications and, importantly, to extend our FMCW LiDAR portfolio. We are gaining a well-established team of 17 world class engineers, including the industry’s leading expertise in bright light sources based on a proprietary Gallium Nitride process. At a higher level, our acquisition of EXALOS represents another step in our quest to build a broadline Autotech powerhouse.”

“We are excited to join forces with indie at this key juncture of EXALOS’ evolution," said Christian Velez, CEO and founder of EXALOS. "Given indie’s global sales channels and demonstrated scalability, I am confident that together we can take our business to the next level, capitalizing on clear product synergies between us and extending our customer reach while preserving the EXALOS innovation engine."