Ki processor: graphcores huge 60 billion transistor chip

Ki processor: GraphCores huge 60 billion transistor chip

GraphCore has introduced the KI processor Colos MK2 GC200, which accommodates record-making 59.4 billion transistors on a chip plant of 823 mm² and mainly competes with Nvidias Ampere graphics chip A100 (54 billion transistors, 826 mm²).

During Nvidias A100, however, represents an all-purpose GPU with a Ki content, the Colos MK2 GC200 is suitable as ASIC only for exercising and exports of neuronal networks. Stuck in it 1472 "IPU CORES", What is at GraphCore for Intelligence Processing Unit. These drove multiply-accumulate (MAC) operations and can be dealt with, for example, with the data types FP32 and INT8. The manufacturer speaks of 62.5 FP32 Teraflops or 250 INT8 teraops per chip. The production ames TSMC with 7-nanometer technology.

On the 823 mm², GraphCore brings 900 MB SRAM cache, in which comparatively large KI models fit. Here is the reason for the high transistor packing density compared to NVIDIAS A100: Sram is simple to set up and let go of particular tight.

Ki processor: GraphCores huge 60 billion transistor chip

GraphCores Ki Processor Colos MK2 GC200. With 823 mm² he is one of the big 7 Nm chips.

1U server with four KI processors

GraphCore sold the previous MK1 processors as a PCI Express plug-in cards, the Colos MK2 GC200 appears in the form of 1U servers, called M2000 and distributed by Dell EMC. To the most prominent customers, cloud operator Microsoft is associated with Azure, who has previously invested in the startup.

GraphCore couples four colos MK2 GC200 on a board that communicate with each other in a ring bus. The latter allows for easy and efficient construction, but the individual chips can not count on a common model. About a switch ("IPU Gateway") Run up to 2.8 Tbit / s. He grabs on M.2-data carrier and two DDR4 slots that serve to provide data and not as buffer. According to GraphCore, any number of such boards can be coupled together. External communication runs over 100 gigabit Ethernet.

Ki processor: GraphCores huge 60 billion transistor chip

Of the "IPU Fabric": Four Ki processors can be coupled together, adds additional communication a switch.

CTO Simon Knowles is the head behind the Ki processor. Previously, he had built Iceras fashion division as chief engineer and senior positions at element 14 (now part of Broadcom) and Stmicroelectronics clothed.

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