AMD’s Next GPU Is a 3D-Integrated Superchip


AMD lifted the hood on its subsequent AI accelerator chip, the Intuition MI300, on the AMD Advancing AI occasion immediately, and it’s an unprecedented feat of 3D integration. MI300, a model of which can energy the El Capitan supercomputer, is a layer-cake of computing, reminiscence, and communication that’s three slices of silicon-high and might sling as a lot as 17 terabytes of knowledge vertically between these slices. The result’s as a lot as 3.4-fold enhance in pace for sure machine-learning-critical calculations. The chip gives each contrasts and similarities to competing approaches equivalent to Nvidia’s Grace-Hopper superchip and Intel’s supercomputer accelerator Ponte Vecchio.

MI300a stacks three CPU chiplets (known as compute complicated dies, or CCDs, in AMD’s lingo) and 6 accelerator chiplets (XCDs) on prime of 4 input-output dies (IODs), all on prime of a chunk of silicon that hyperlinks them collectively to eight stacks of high-bandwidth DRAM that ring the superchip. (The MI300x substitutes the CCDs for 2 extra XCDs, for an accelerator-only system.) With the scaling of transistors within the airplane of the silicon slowing down, 3D stacking is seen as a key methodology to get extra transistors into the identical space and maintain driving Moore’s Legislation ahead.

Compute and AI chiplets are stacked on prime of I/O and cache chiplets within the MI300a.AMD

“It’s a really superb silicon stack up that delivers the best density efficiency that business is aware of how you can produce presently,” says Sam Naffziger, a senior vice chairman and company fellow at AMD. The mixing is finished utilizing two TSMC applied sciences, SoIC (system on integrated chips) and CoWoS (chip on wafer on substrate). The latter stacks smaller chips on prime of bigger ones utilizing what’s known as hybrid bonding, which hyperlinks copper pads on every chip straight with out solder. It’s used to provide AMD’s V-Cache, a cache-memory increasing chiplet that stacks on its highest-end CPU chiplets. The previous, CoWos, stacks chiplets on a bigger piece of silicon, known as an interposer, which is constructed to include high-density interconnects.

Similarities and variations between AMD and Nvidia

There are each similarities and variations to chief rival Nvidia’s method. Simply as Nvidia did in its Hopper structure, AMD’s accelerator structure, CDNA3, added the potential of computing with truncated 32-bit numbers called TF32 and with two totally different types of 8-bit floating level numbers. The latter attribute is used to hurry the coaching of sure components of transformer neural networks, equivalent to massive language fashions. Additionally they each embrace a scheme that reduces the size of the neural network, known as 4:2 sparsity.

One other similarity is the inclusion of each CPU and GPU in the identical package. In lots of AI laptop methods GPUs and CPUs are individually packaged chips deployed in a 4 to 1 ratio. One benefit to becoming a member of them collectively in a single superchip is that each CPU and GPU have high-bandwidth entry to the identical cache and high-bandwidth DRAM (HBM) in a means that gained’t journey one another up as they learn and write information.

Nvidia’s Grace-Hopper is such a superchip mixture linking the Grace CPU to the Hopper GPU by way of Nvidia’s Nvidia NVLink Chip-2-Chip interconnects. AMD’s MI300a is as effectively, by integrating three CPU dies designed for its Genoa line and 6 XCD accelerators utilizing its AMD Infinity Material interconnect know-how.

However an informal look at Grace Hopper and MI300 present some profound variations. Grace and Hopper are every particular person dies that combine all a system on-chip’s wanted useful blocks—compute, I/O, and cache. They’re linked horizontally, and they’re massive—practically on the dimension restrict of photolithography know-how.

AMD took a unique method, one which it has adopted for a number of generations of its CPUs and rival Intel used for its 3D-stacked supercomputer accelerator Ponte Vecchio. The idea is named system-technology-co-optimization, or STCO. Meaning, designers began by breaking the chip down into its features and determined which features wanted which manufacturing know-how.

A slice of MI300 stack from the service silicon on the prime to the solder ball on the backside of the bundle.AMD

“What we needed to do with MI300 was to scale past what was potential in single monolithic GPU. So we deconstructed it into items after which construct it again up,” says Alan Smith, a senior fellow and the chief architect for Intuition. Though it’s been doing so for a number of generations of CPUs, the MI300 is the primary time the corporate has made GPU chiplets and sure them in a single system.

“Breaking the GPU into chiplets allowed us to place the compute in essentially the most superior course of node whereas retaining remainder of chip in know-how that’s extra applicable for cache and I/O,” he says. Within the case of the MI300, all of the compute was constructed utilizing TSMC’s N5 course of, essentially the most superior accessible and the one used for Nvidia’s topline GPUs. Neither the I/O features nor the system’s cache reminiscence profit from N5, so AMD selected a inexpensive know-how (N6) for these. Due to this fact these two features might then be constructed collectively on the identical chiplet.

With the features damaged up, all items of silicon concerned within the MI300 are small. The biggest, the I/O dies, should not even half the dimensions of Hopper. And the CCDs are solely about 1/5th dimension of the I/O die. The small sizes make a giant distinction. Typically, smaller chips yield higher. That’s, a single wafer will present a better proportion of working small chips than it might massive chips. “3D integration isn’t free,” says Naffziger. However the larger yield offsets the price, he says.

Luck and expertise

The design concerned some intelligent reuse of present applied sciences and designs, a couple of compromises, and slightly luck, in response to Naffziger, an IEEE Fellow. The reuse got here in two cases. First, AMD was capable of do the 3D integration with a level of confidence as a result of it had already been utilizing the very same pitch of vertical interconnects—9 micrometers—in its V-cache product.

As an elective add-on that AMD was capable of cost additional for, V-cache little danger that poor yield or different issues would have a huge impact on the corporate. “It’s been an amazing factor to allow us to ring out the manufacturing issues and all of the design complexities of 3D stacking with out endangering the primary product line,” says Naffziger.

The opposite occasion of reuse was a bit chancier. When the MI300 group determined {that a} CPU/GPU mixture was what’s wanted, Naffziger “considerably sheepishly” requested the top of the group designing the Zen4 CCD for the Genoa CPU, if the CCD may very well be made to suit the MI300’s wants. That group was beneath stress to fulfill an earlier deadline than anticipated, however a day later they responded. Naffziger was in luck; the Zen4 CCD had a small clean area in simply the best spot to make the vertical connections to the MI300 I/O die and their related circuitry and not using a disruption to the general design.

Nonetheless, there was nonetheless some geometry that wanted fixing. To make all the inner communications work, the 4 I/O chiplets needed to be dealing with one another on a selected edge. That meant making a mirror picture model of the chiplet. As a result of it was codesigned with the I/O chiplet, the XCD its vertical connections had been constructed to hyperlink up with each variations of the I/O. However there was no messing with the CCD, which they had been fortunate to have in any respect. So as an alternative, the I/O was designed with redundant connections, in order that regardless of which model of the chiplet it sat on, the CCD would join.

Multicolor rectangle with capital lettering in places.To get every part to line up the IOD chiplets wanted to be made as mirrors of one another and the accelerator (XCD) and compute (CCD) chiplets needed to be rotated.AMD

The ability grid, which has to ship a whole bunch of amperes of present to the compute dies on the prime of the stack, confronted comparable challenges, as a result of it too needed to accommodate all the varied chiplet orientations, Naffziger famous.

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