Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Intel demos multi-chiplet package using UCIe interconnects

Intel demonstrated the first multi-chiplet package using Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express (UCIe) interconnects.

Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express (UCIe) is an open industry standard for a die-to-die interconnect and serial bus between chiplets. It is co-developed by AMD, Arm, ASE Group, Google Cloud, Intel, Meta, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, and TSMC. In August 2022, Alibaba Group and Nvidia joined as board members. The open specification is now supported by more than 120 companies.

Intel's test chip combined an Intel UCIe IP chiplet fabricated on Intel 3 and a Synopsys UCIe IP chiplet fabricated on TSMC N3E process node. The chiplets are connected using embedded multi-die interconnect bridge (EMIB) advanced packaging technology. The demonstration highlights the commitment of TSMC, Synopsys and Intel Foundry Services to support an open standard-based chiplet ecosystem with UCIe.

Additional highlights of the first day of Intel Innovation 2023 event in San Jose

  • Intel confirmed its five-nodes-in-four-years process technology plan remains on track. Intel 7 already in high-volume manufacturing, Intel 4 manufacturing-ready and Intel 3 on track for the end of this year. An Intel 20A wafer was displayed showing the first test chips for Intel’s Arrow Lake processor, which is destined for the client computing market in 2024. Intel 20A will be the first process node to include PowerVia, Intel’s backside power delivery technology, and the new gate-all-around transistor design called RibbonFET. Intel 18A, which also leverages PowerVia and RibbonFET, remains on track to be manufacturing-ready in the second half of 2024.
  • The company revealed new details on next-generation Intel Xeon processors, including major advances in power efficiency and performance, and an E-core processor with 288 cores. 5th Gen Intel Xeon processors will launch Dec. 14. Sierra Forest, with E-core efficiency and arriving in the first half of 2024, will deliver 2.5x better rack density and 2.4x higher performance per watt over 4th Gen Xeon and will include a version with 288 cores2. And Granite Rapids, with P-core performance, will closely follow the launch of Sierra Forest, offering 2x to 3x better AI performance compared to 4th Gen Xeon. Looking ahead to 2025, the next-gen E-core Xeon, code-named Clearwater Forest, will arrive on the Intel 18A process node.
  • The AI PC arrives with the launch of Intel Core Ultra processors on Dec. 14. With Intel’s first integrated neural processing unit, Core Ultra will deliver power-efficient AI acceleration and local inference on the PC.
  • A large AI supercomputer will be built on Intel Xeon processors and Intel® Gaudi 2 AI hardware accelerators, with Stability AI as the anchor customer.

“AI represents a generational shift, giving rise to a new era of global expansion where computing is even more foundational to a better future for all,” said Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger. “For developers, this creates massive societal and business opportunities to push the boundaries of what’s possible, to create solutions to the world’s biggest challenges and to improve the life of every person on the planet.”

SiTime delivers MEMS-based ultra-stable clock for precision timing

SiTime introduced a MEMS-based, oven-controlled oscillator (OCXO) that delivers an ultra-stable clock to datacenter and network infrastructure equipment

In order to maintain optimal network performance and reliability, precision timing plays a crucial role. All nodes within a network must be synchronized in time with a high degree of accuracy. For instance, in a 5G network, synchronization between all nodes must be maintained within a few hundred nanoseconds, which is tenfold more stringent compared to 4G. It is imperative to ensure such consistent synchronization despite the occurrence of any network outages.

To maintain uninterrupted functionality, a synchronized network leverages multiple backup timing resources, among which an ultra-stable local oscillator, usually an OCXO, plays a key role in holding over the network in the event of any timing source failure.

The SiTime Epoch Platform breaks through limitations of quartz OCXOs, which are prone to performance degradation in the presence of environmental stressors such as temperature changes and vibration. The company says its Epoch OCXO delivers 2X longer holdover, even under environmental stressors, enabling telecom and cloud service providers to deliver service continuity in real-world conditions.

The company expects to extend its Epoch technology to other high-growth electronics markets, such as aerospace and defense, industrial controls, etc.

“The release of the Epoch Platform is a pivotal moment for SiTime and the electronics industry,” said Rajesh Vashist, CEO and chairman of SiTime. “For many years, customers lived with the shortcomings of existing timing technologies because there were no viable alternatives. They compromised on real-world performance, reliability and power, to name just a few. SiTime’s Epoch Platform changes the game, delivering higher performance and reliability with lower power that was unavailable until now. These benefits are the result of a half-decade of engineering investment and a systems-based development approach that combines MEMS, analog, packaging and algorithms. "


Ericsson Receives Funding for European 6G Research

Ericsson has been awarded a five-year funding from the German government for its European Microelectronics and Communication Technologies for 6G (EMCT) project. This project aims to develop energy-efficient and sustainable microelectronics and communication technologies for 6G Massive MIMO radios, in cooperation with European partners. It marks a significant investment in the development of 6G technologies in Europe.

The EMCT project is part of the European Union's Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) initiative on Microelectronics and Communication Technologies. This initiative is designed to support research and development projects across the whole ecosystem of microelectronics and communication technologies, from materials and tools to chip design and manufacturing processes.

Ericsson's project scope is to extend the current radio microelectronics development by establishing early technology development of 6G radio microelectronics. This will strengthen the European semiconductor ecosystem and help complete a European value chain in this vital field.

Freddie Södergren, Head of Technology and Strategy, Ericsson Networks, says: “The introduction of the 5G mobile communications standard already opened up a multitude of new applications beyond voice and mobile data. Upcoming 6G mobile networks need to meet the ever-increasing demand for communication in the areas of human-to-human, human-to-machine, and machine-to-machine in a highly energy-efficient way.”

“We’re excited to gain this opportunity, which allows us to pave the way for developing world-leading, highly efficient Massive MIMO radios by completing the value chain in microelectronics and communication technologies,” adds Södergren. “Ericsson’s R&D site in Rosenheim plays an important role in building competencies in microelectronics for Massive MIMO radios and the semiconductor industry in Germany.”


Intelsat connectivity to expand to all Airbus aircraft

Intelsat announced that its inflight connectivity (IFC), which uses its LEO and GEO satellites, will be available to airlines and aircraft lessors through Airbus’ Airspace Link (HBCplus) solution. Intelsat will be the largest service provider in the manufacturer’s flexible IFC service catalogue.

Airbus offers airlines the option of choosing their Ku-band ESA terminal, specifically designed to enable simultaneous connections to Intelsat's GEO and LEO networks such as OneWeb, commencing with aircraft deliveries aimed at the first half of 2026. This approach to data routing delivers superior In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) service with exceptional global resilience, low-latency, and high throughput, a feature exclusive to Intelsat. Under the terms of the agreement, Airbus will oversee the installation and maintenance of the HBCplus system in alignment with both retrofitting and retrofit programs.

Dell'Oro: Data center physical infrastructure market up 15% in Q2

 Data Center Physical Infrastructure (DCPI) market revenue growth slowed for the first time in six quarters to 15 percent year-over-year (Y/Y) in 2Q 2023, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. The deceleration in revenue growth was expected, primarily due to normalizing supply chain constraints and price realization beginning to wane. However, vendor backlogs have defied expectations and continued to grow in 2Q 2023, prompting another quarter of upward revisions from DCPI vendors and to our 2023 DCPI forecast.

“The DCPI market has blown past our already elevated expectations in 1H 2023. Sales growth has been notably strong, but what has been most surprising is the strength in new orders which pushed vendor backlogs to record highs at the end of 2Q 2023,” said Lucas Beran, Research Director at Dell’Oro Group. “This isn’t isolated to a select group of vendors, as nearly every public vendor has touted continued backlog growth while raising their 2023 guidance.

“This unprecedented rate of growth in 1H 2023 raises questions about a potential digestion cycle in the near term. However, existing backlog levels, record low data center vacancy rates and the emergence of generative AI applications are continuing to drive demand over the medium term. Any potential near-term weakness would be more a factor of tough Y/Y comparisons than weakening demand,” added Beran.

Additional highlights from the 2Q 2023 Data Center Physical Infrastructure Quarterly Report:

  • Vertiv significantly outpaced market growth and gained over 3 percent of market share in 2Q 2023.
  • North America, Asia Pacific (excluding China), Europe, and the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) were the fastest-growing regions in 2Q 2023, maintaining double-digit growth rates. Caribbean and Latin American (CALA) revenue growth slowed to a low single-digit rate, while China revenue growth was relatively flat Y/Y.
  • Product growth was broad-based, but thermal management and cabinet PDU and busway grew at the fastest rates as a result of easing supply chain constraints and realizing the highest ASP increases of any product category.
  • We raised the worldwide DCPI revenue growth forecast for 2023 to over 13 percent. This upward revision was due to multiple DCPI vendors raising full year guidance as supply chain constraints ease and vendor backlogs continue to grow.


Virgin Media Ireland deploys Ciena's Blue Planet

Virgin Media Ireland selected Blue Planet’s intelligent automation platform to modernize its Operational Support Systems (OSS) stack.

Prodapt, a telecommunications-focused company that serves as a partner to Blue Orbit and Virgin Media network OSS implementation, implemented and deployed the Blue Planet platform. This platform has enabled Virgin Media to rapidly introduce 2GB Full Fibre Broadband to both households and businesses throughout Ireland. Furthermore, the Blue Planet platform serves as a reliable and singular source of truth for both network and IT users, providing accurate information on the current state of the network. 

“Blue Planet is supporting Virgin Media Ireland with an adaptable, automated end-to-end order to service lifecycle, reducing delays and human errors often associated with legacy manual operations. By embracing intelligent automation, Virgin Media is in a better position to meet its goal of bringing faster connectivity across Ireland,” said Joe Cumello, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Blue Planet.