In a potentially game-changing move, Nvidia, a leading name in the tech industry, is rumored to be joining rivals AMD and Intel in developing a multi-chiplet architecture for its upcoming generation of GPUs. This departure from its longstanding use of a single slice of silicon for the processors in its top-tier graphics cards could lead to significant performance improvements. The speculation was ignited by renowned hardware leaker @kopite7kimi, who suggested that the tech giant’s commercial-grade GB100 GPU will feature a multi-chiplet module (MCM) design for the first time with the Nvidia Blackwell architecture.
This new Blackwell architecture is anticipated to power both the commercial and consumer GPU products of Nvidia. The commercial products are used by large-scale industries and data centers, while the consumer graphics cards are represented by the Nvidia RTX 5000 series. However, it remains uncertain whether the transformational MCM design will be incorporated into the Nvidia 5000 series graphics cards. If it does, this could bring the kind of performance leap that was somewhat missing in the recent RTX 4000-series cards. The new design promises a faster performance by interconnecting chiplets into a single processor, overcoming the physical constraints of a single silicon chip.
Nvidia Rumored to Adopt Multi-Chiplet Architecture for Next-Gen GPUs
Recent rumors suggest that Nvidia, one of the leading chipmakers, plans to adopt a multi-chiplet module (MCM) design in their next-generation GPUs. This comes as an unexpected yet welcome surprise since Nvidia is the only remaining major chipmaker that still employs a single slice of silicon in its high-performance graphics cards.
Nvidia Blackwell Architecture and Commercial-Grade GB100 GPU
The rumors, which originated from renowned hardware leaker @kopite7kimi on X, indicate that Nvidia’s commercial-grade GB100 GPU will feature MCM design for the first time. This new design will debut with the next-gen Nvidia Blackwell architecture.
The Blackwell architecture is projected to power both Nvidia’s next-generation commercial GPU products, utilized by data centers and industrial-scale users, and its consumer graphics cards, the Nvidia RTX 5000 series.
Impact of MCM Design on Graphics Cards
It remains unclear if the MCM shift will extend to the Nvidia 5000 series graphics cards. However, if it does, it could potentially bring a transformational performance upgrade.
The MCM design, wherein chiplets are interconnected into a single processor, promises significantly enhanced performance over a monolithic slab of silicon. Current fabrication processes limit the size of a single silicon chip that can be produced. The MCM design could enable the creation of a larger chip that surpasses this physical limitation, thus significantly improving performance.
A Solution to the End of Moore’s Law
The shift to MCM comes as a response to the end of Moore’s Law, which predicted a doubling of transistor density on a chip approximately every two years. As transistor sizes now approach the diameter of individual atoms in the silicon, cutting a transistor’s size by half is no longer feasible.
Adopting MCM design, which involves using multiple chips in conjunction to achieve performance targets, seems to be the way forward. Nvidia’s chief competitor, AMD, has already started reaping positive results from this shift.
Conclusion and Takeaways
While these are still rumors, Nvidia’s move to MCM design seems to be a strategic and necessary shift. It not only promises performance gains but also aligns with industry trends set by AMD and Intel. If Nvidia doesn’t follow suit, it runs the risk of being left behind in the fast-evolving chip-making industry.
The adoption of MCM design is a clear indication that chipmakers are exploring alternative methods to improve performance, given the physical limitations of their current processes. Nvidia’s potential move could usher in a new era of graphics processing, leading to more efficient computing not only for industrial-scale users but also for everyday consumers.