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Intel Moving to Chiplets: ‘Client 2.0’ for 7nm

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One of the more esoteric elements of Intel’s Architecture Day 2020 came very near the end, where Intel spent a few minutes discussing what it believes is the future of some of its products. Brijesh Tripathi, VP and CTO of Intel’s Client Computing group, laid out a vision about the future of its client products in the 2024+ future timeframe. Centered around Intel’s 7+ manufacturing process, the goal was to enable ‘Client 2.0’ – a new way to deliver and enable immersive experiences through a more optimized silicon development strategy.

Chiplets aren’t new, especially with recent launches from Intel’s competitors, and as we move into more complex process node development, the era of chiplets enables faster time-to-market as well as better binning and yields for a given product. The key is enabling how those chiplets fit together, and at which points it makes sense to mix and match the relevant ones. Intel has spoken about this before in a more generalized context, at its Technology and Manufacturing Day 2017, as shown in the carousel image at the top.

The goal here is to mix and match which process nodes work best for different parts of the chip. Intel seems set to realize this vision starting with its 7nm platform. At Architecture Day 2020, Brijesh Tripathi showed this slide:

On the left is a typical chip design – monolithic with everything it requires. For Intel’s leading edge products, these take 3-4 years to develop, and bugs are found in silicon by both Intel initially and then later by Intel’s partners as they can ramp up the silicon-on time by a a few orders of magnitude.

In the middle is a basic chiplet layout, similar to that slide from 2017, where different functions of the die are split into their own modules. Assuming a consistent interconnect, there are some reuse of the silicon elements, such as AMD using the same core compute dies in client and server. For some semiconductor companies (except Intel), this is where we are.

On the right is where Intel sees its future. Instead of having a single digit number of chiplets in a product, it envisions a world where each IP can be split into multiple chiplets, enabling products to be built with different configurations of what works for the market. In this instance, a chiplet might be a PCIe 4.0 x16 link – if the product needs more, it simply adds in more of these chiplets. Same with memory channels, cores, media accelerators, AI accelerators, Ray Tracing engines, crypto accelerators, graphics, or even as far down as SRAM and caching blocks. The idea is that each IP can be split and then scaled. This means that the chiplets are tiny, can be built relatively quickly, and bugs should be ironed out very quickly.

In this diagram, we are treated to Intel’s long term vision for the client – a base interposer with an in-package memory (something like an L3 or L4) that can act as the main SRAM cache for the whole die, and then on top of this we get 24 different chiplets. Chiplets can be graphics, cores, AI, Media, IO, or anything else, but they can be mixed and matched based on what is needed. A content creator might want a balance between some good graphics acceleration and compute, while a gamer might want to focus purely on the graphics. A corporate client or workstation might need less graphics and more for compute and AI, whereas a mobile version of the chip will be heavily invested in IO.

As always, there is some trade-off between chiplet size and complexity of actually putting them together in a multi-die arrangement. Any communications between chiplets costs more power than a monolithic interpretation, and usually offer higher latency. Thermals have to be managed as well, and so sometimes those chiplets are limited by what thermal properties are available. Multi-die arrangements also cause headaches for mobile devices, where z-height is critical. However, the benefits afforded from using the right process at the right time for the right product are big, as it helps provide both performance and power at the best possible cost. It also gives the opportunity to bring in 3rd party IP quickly if something amazing hits the scene.

The only downside here is that Intel hasn’t spoken much about the glue that binds it all together. Chiplet strategies rely on complex high-speed interconnect protocols, custom or otherwise. Current uses of Intel’s die-to-die connectivity are either simply memory protocols or FPGA fabric extensions – the big ones for server CPUs like UPI aren’t necessarily up to the task. CXL could be the future here, however current CXL is built upon PCIe, which means a complex CXL/PCIe controller for every chiplet which will likely get power hungry fast.

Intel has stated that they are inventing new packaging technology and new levels of connectivity to act between the silicon – there is no disclosure on the protocols at this time, however Intel acknowledges that to get to this level of scale it will have to go beyond what the company has today, and that will require creating standards and innovation in this area. The goal is to create and support standards, and the first incarnation will have some standardization built in. Intel states that this is a method of extreme disaggregation, and to note that not everything that is connected has to be high bandwidth (such as USB) or a coherent interconnect – Intel sees the goal involving a handful of protocols throughout the spectrum.

There’s also the developer market, which might be used to a more homogeneous implementation of resources in any given product. Without careful planning, and relevant coding, there is the potential for certain chiplet configurations to fall over if the developer was expecting a certain ratio of compute to graphics, for example. This isn’t something that OneAPI could easily fix.

These are all issues that Intel will have to address, although they have a few years until this comes to fruition. We were told that the internal name is Client 2.0, although it will likely have more marketing dressing added as Intel starts talking about it in more detail.

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Source: https://e-cryptonews.com/intel-moving-to-chiplets-client-2-0-for-7nm/

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Analysts Eye New Top of $74,000 as Bitcoin Comes Within 3% of ATH

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In a move adding to the already monumental rally, Bitcoin prices touched $19,400 during late trading on Tuesday, November 24. This is just 3% away from its peak of $20K which came in December almost three years ago.

Since then, the asset has retreated sharply in a $700 pullback to the mid-$18K level where it currently trades. With momentum still in its favor, analysts and traders are eyeing the next possible peak.

CNBC Touts $74K Bitcoin

During the 2017/2018 rally, mainstream media outlets were renowned for spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) over something they really failed to truly comprehend. CNBC in particular came to be known as a counter trade signal as whenever the news outlet predicted a pump, BTC would dump and vice versa.

In its latest edition of Trading Nation, the channel interviewed a couple of traders who both had very positive things to say about the king of crypto.

Founder of TradingAnalysis.com, Todd Gordon, used Elliot Wave theory to measure herd mentality and market sentiment. He added that the fifth wave is just starting now which will result in a new all-time high in 2021. When asked about a price prediction he added;

“I can’t believe I’m going to go out on CNBC and say this, but it’s about $74,000. The Elliott wave goes very well with … Fibonacci multiples. If it does want to fall short, it can go to 61% of that target, which is only at $34,000.”

PayPal Driving Adoption

Mark Tepper, president and CEO of Strategic Wealth Partners, also commented on the trading show stating that before PayPal and other large corporations stepped in he treated Bitcoin like any other speculative investment, owning a small enough amount.

“The thing that’s always held me back from being an outright bitcoin bull has really been this lack of widespread adoption. But … adoption’s happening and those users, those PayPal and Square users, they’re buying more bitcoin than what’s actually hitting the market on a daily basis,”

He added that Bitcoin could be the Tesla of 2021, stating that it could possibly reach $100K by the end of next year. That certainly fits in with other models and predictions such as stock-to-flow which also predicts triple figures within the next year or so.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/analysts-eye-new-top-of-74000-as-bitcoin-comes-within-3-of-ath/

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Coinbase Pro To Disable Margin Trading From December Citing CFTC Guidence

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  • The Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal published a post earlier informing customers that the popular exchange will seize offering margin trading.
  • Clients will not be able to place margin trading orders starting from 2 p.m. PT on November 25th, 2020. At the same time, the platform will cancel all open limit orders.
  • The San Francisco-based exchange will disable the margin trading feature fully at the end of November, “once all existing margin positions have expired.”
  • According to the statement, the decision aims to comply with guidance introduced by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) earlier this year.
  • Back in March 2020, the federal commodities regulator published a 35-page document with its views on how it will regard “actual delivery” of cryptocurrency assets. The guidance provides rules on when a customer has legally taken control of a digital asset, including acquisition through a margin or leveraged product. The document reads:
  • · (1) a customer securing: (i) possession and control of the entire quantity of the commodity, whether it was purchased on margin, or using leverage, or any other financing arrangement, and (ii) the ability to use the entire quantity of the commodity freely in commerce (away from any particular execution venue) no later than 28 days from the date of the transaction and at all times thereafter; and

  • · (2) the offeror and counterparty seller (including any of their respective affiliates or other persons acting in concert with the offeror or counterparty seller on a similar basis) do not retain any interest in, legal right, or control over any of the commodity purchased on margin, leverage, or other financing arrangements at the expiration of 28 days from the date of the transaction.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/coinbase-pro-to-disable-margin-trading-from-december-citing-cftc-guidence/

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VanEck Europe Launches A Bitcoin-Backed ETN Listed On Deutsche Börse

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  • Founded in 1955, VanEck is among the world’s largest investment management firms. Its European branch, VanEck Europe, announced today the official release of an ETN, physically-backed by Bitcoin.
  • The statement came from the company’s digital asset director – Gabor Gurbacs. He noted that releasing such a service has been a “top priority for VanEck.”
  • The ETN will be listed on the Frankfurt-based exchange Xetra. Its price performance will reflect the MVIS CryptoCompare Bitcoin VWAP Close index, directly linked to Bitcoin’s movements.
  • This became possible after MV Index Solutions officially granted access to VanEck Europe to use MVBTCV as an underlying index for the Bitcoin ETN.
  • Apart from being fully collateralized, Gurbacs revealed several other features that will attract investors. Those include “negligible premium/discount to NAV, transparent holdings and prices, investor protections, and professional management by VanEch Europe.”
  • Gurbacs also asserted that VanEck is “committed to support Bitcoin and financial innovation.”
  • Martijn Rozenmuller, Head of Europe at VanEck, outlined that Bitcoin is an “excellent way to contribute to the diversification of a portfolio” because of its low correlation to other asset classes. He added that with the release of the Bitcoin ETN, VanEck will enable its clients to “benefit from the performance of bitcoin.”
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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/vaneck-europe-launches-a-bitcoin-backed-etn-listed-on-deutsche-borse/

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