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NVIDIA Opens NVLink for Custom Silicon Integration

Ultra Energy-Efficient Die-to-Die and Chip-to-Chip Link for NVIDIA GPUs, DPUs and CPUs Opens New World for Custom Chips and Systems

Enabling a new generation of system-level integration in data centers, NVIDIA announced NVIDIA NVLink-C2C, an ultra-fast chip-to-chip and die-to-die interconnect that will allow custom dies to coherently interconnect to the company’s GPUs, CPUs, DPUs, NICs and SOCs.

With advanced packaging, NVIDIA NVLink-C2C interconnect would deliver up to 25x more energy efficiency and be 90x more area-efficient than PCIe Gen 5 on NVIDIA chips and enable coherent interconnect bandwidth of 900 gigabytes per second or higher.

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“Chiplets and heterogeneous computing are necessary to counter the slowing of Moore’s law,” said Ian Buck, vice president of Hyperscale Computing at NVIDIA. “We’ve used our world-class expertise in high-speed interconnects to build uniform, open technology that will help our GPUs, DPUs, NICs, CPUs and SoCs create a new class of integrated products built via chiplets.”

NVIDIA NVLink-C2C is the same technology that is used to connect the processor silicon in the NVIDIA Grace™ Superchip family, also announced today, as well as the Grace Hopper Superchip announced last year. NVLink-C2C is now open for semi-custom silicon-level integration with NVIDIA technology.

NVIDIA NVLink-C2C supports the Arm® AMBA® Coherent Hub Interface (AMBA CHI) protocol. NVIDIA and Arm are working closely together to enhance AMBA CHI to support fully coherent and secure accelerators with other interconnected processors.

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“As the future of CPU design is increasingly accelerated and multichip, it is critical to support chiplet-based SoCs across the ecosystem,” said Chris Bergey, senior vice president and general manager of the Infrastructure Line of Business at Arm. “Arm is supporting a broad set of connectivity standards and designing our AMBA CHI protocol to support these future technologies, including collaborating with NVIDIA on NVLink-C2C to address use cases like coherent connectivity between CPUs, GPUs and DPUs.”

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NVIDIA NVLink-C2C is built on top of NVIDIA’s world-class SERDES and LINK design technology, and it is extensible from PCB-level integrations and multichip modules to silicon interposer and wafer-level connections, delivering extremely high bandwidth while optimizing for energy and die area efficiency.

In addition to NVLink-C2C, NVIDIA will also support the developing Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express (UCIe) standard announced earlier this month. Custom silicon integration with NVIDIA chips can either use the UCIe standard or NVLink-C2C, which is optimized for lower latency, higher bandwidth and greater power efficiency.

Some of NVLink-C2C’s key features include:

  • High Bandwidth – supporting high-bandwidth coherent data transfers between processors and accelerators
  • Low Latency – supporting atomics between processors and accelerators to perform fast synchronization and high-frequency updates to shared data
  • Low Power and High Density – using advanced packaging, it is 25x more energy efficient and 90x more area-efficient than PCIe Gen 5 on NVIDIA chips
  • Industry-Standard Support – works with Arm’s AMBA CHI or CXL industry-standard protocols for interoperability between devices

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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