Written by 6:42 pm AI, Technology

### Unveiling Broadcom’s Massive XPU AI Chip: Potentially the Largest Client Intelligence Device in the Nation

A custom piece of silicon for a consumer AI company.

Broadcom has showcased its position as one of the leading processor manufacturers globally, particularly in the realm of multi-chiplet processors utilizing chip-on-wafer-on-substrate (CoWoS) packaging technology. These processors feature compute chiplets that are close to the reticle limit in size, measuring 858mm^2 (26 mm by 33 mm). While photography of the processors was prohibited, they undoubtedly captured attention, with Broadcom unveiling one such device at recent investor events.

Although widely recognized as a networking and telecommunications powerhouse, Broadcom also boasts a substantial custom chip design division. Notably, Google stands out as one key client for Broadcom’s contract chip design services, a facet that may surprise those less familiar with this aspect of the company.

Similar to TSMC, Broadcom maintains a veil of secrecy around its clientele. However, for those keen on exploring its recent innovations, Broadcom has outlined them in a recent press release. The company’s focus remains on showcasing its substantial achievements to investors, a fact not lost on industry analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor’s Strategies.

In a recent post, Moorhead highlighted Frank Ostojic, the head of Broadcom’s custom silicon group, announcing the development of a third XPU design from a major “consumer AI company.” The branding of these chips as XPUs serves to obscure their specific applications, although the incorporation of high-bandwidth memory strongly suggests a focus on artificial intelligence or AI-centric network switching.

Moorhead further described the XPU design, emphasizing its dual compute units, extensive high-bandwidth memory, rapid intra-chip connectivity, and top-tier external networking performance. The achievement of developing a chiplet nearing the reticle size is commendable, with the successful yield marking another significant milestone, likely facilitated by Broadcom’s foundry partner, presumably TSMC. The next phase involves optimizing software to leverage the full potential of this potent processor.

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Tags: , Last modified: March 23, 2024
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